Before starting at mediaman Shanghai in August 2016, I had already gathered some experience in advertising and web design. When I was pondering a career change, I met some of my current colleagues at a business networking event. I was immediately attracted to mediaman’s work and client list, but also their professional and warm-hearted attitude.
I am glad I joined them. Our team has a comfortable atmosphere and we enjoy sharing our work experiences, as well as our hobbies with each other. And our way of team working is truly special. We have continuous conversations about our projects. Everybody shares their point of view, together we get to the core of a problem and find the best solutions. These discussions allow me to learn from my mistakes. Also, every day I come to work, knowing what my tasks and responsibilities are. I appreciate this kind of clarity.
Currently, I spend a lot of my free time on Zhihu [a Chinese Q&A and networking platform]. It is like a window into different ways of living and an opportunity to encounter very different people. Of course, I also meet my friends in real life and we talk about the interesting things that happen to us in life and at work.
I joined mediaman Shanghai in October of 2015. Since then I have been combining my previous experience in UX design with my passion for strategy and research. I analyze product demands, survey market research, optimize business processes, and write product requirement documents (PRDs). I also design product functionalities and user interactions.
Initially, I was attracted to mediaman because of all the professional opportunities. I wanted to meet experienced people from my field and work on a variety of different products. It is true that my work here is fresh and challenging every day. But in addition to that, I also enjoy the young and energetic atmosphere, created by an empathetic and kind-hearted management.
The office and our processes are well organized. All I have to do, is come to the office and work on the best possible results. When clients appreciate my work and my ideas, I am happy.
What makes me happy outside of work? Travelling, playing badminton and going for walks.
I have been at mediaman since 2007, and I work in UX design and requirements engineering. My daily routine depends heavily on the project and project phase; projects begin with analysing aims and conditions, and developing ideas and making them workable with the customer. This involves a lot of teamwork. Other phases involve upgrading and continuously improving a product. Sharing ideas and information with colleagues plays a major role in every phase of a project.
I enjoy being part of an experienced team with the ability to develop and implement good ideas. We talk openly, and quickly benefit from each other’s knowledge.
I especially enjoy the versatility of my profession, which is what brought me to mediaman back in the day. Digitalisation has made new business models possible with new topics and objectives. Working methods also reflect the change – things we used to do in series we now do mostly in parallel, and that takes effective communication between everyone involved. I also love prototyping – visualising requirements in an interactive model, and testing and refining design ideas at an early stage.
I like to go windsurfing in the summer months, and I’ll never say no to a board game whatever the weather. I enjoy going to sci-fi conventions – it’s as if you’d just landed on an alien planet sometimes 😉
"People ask me as a sociologist what made me switch to digital design, but there’s a lot of common ground in methodology such as in watching user behaviour."
I already knew I wanted to work in an agency when I began university. I was looking for variety, an exciting range of projects and an environment with relaxed colleagues and extraordinary personalities, and worked towards this during my studies and various internships. I struck lucky; my impression at the interview confirmed itself, and I met exactly the people and projects I’d been looking for here at mediaman.
Apart from my morning cappuccino, variety is about the only thing that’s a constant in my work. My tasks include researching, conducting user studies, drafting ideas by hand or using Axure, documenting designs, producing content, presenting pitches and monitoring agency projects. It’s all highly manageable thanks to the great teamwork at mediaman.
I can’t do without sport to keep me balanced. I love playing tennis, and sometimes I find the time to go riding. And of course you’ll also find me with my colleagues at the company triathlon or run.
"I especially enjoy working successfully in a team of reliable and helpful colleagues, and that’s exactly what I’ve found here – as you’ll see in our great results."
I worked at Sinnerschrader, XING and Interone and other places co-developing major platform projects, microsites and apps in the beautiful city of Hamburg before joining mediaman in the middle of January 2015. I had an inkling to switch to the Rhine-Main area when I was in Hamburg, and Google search and a freelancer that had already worked a lot for mediaman agreed that I should send a job application to mediaman.
My colleagues and the team management that I met during the interviews, and the opportunity to work for car makers as customers again finally sealed it for me.
I enjoy working here in an interdisciplinary team on a common task with a common goal. I am proud of the large and small projects I’ve been involved in and the great people I’ve met along the way.
I spend my spare time on runs and meeting friends, and I like to do a spot of gardening on my mini-balcony and keep my plants from dying off on me, though sadly not always successfully. When I can find the time, I like to walk the dogs from the local shelter, and I still do all that boring stuff like cooking, making stuff, watching serials and reading books in Thai to keep my language skills up to speed.
"Challenging projects and a great team with colleagues that I can still learn a lot from – this is what I need to be a happy worker."
After a semester of Physics I quickly realised that this was not my calling, so I switched to journalism with a view to making children’s television. I spent a year abroad at San Jose State University in the heart of Silicon Valley in 1996 – the campus was already completely networked at the time, and I knew I wanted to do something that involved the Internet when I came back a year later.
There was no actual department for design development when I joined mediaman in 1999, and I was a kind of combination of project manager, coder and usability specialist. Nobody had heard the term wireframe at that time, and we used hand-drawn sketches that we faxed back and forth between Mainz and Frankfurt while designing the individual pages in the Deutsche Bank moneyshelf project. Our projects grew, and so did our need for a solid team of information architects and UX designers; I helped establish the department and headed it until my move to the USA.
I have been combining my passion for all things digital with my love of mountains, rivers, vast open expanses and the great outdoors since 2008. I currently live in Missoula, Montana, in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, where I work with the rest of the team in all of our different time zones, and sometimes also for our German-based customers such as Pioneer Investments. I sometimes miss my high-energy colleagues at the agency, but I love the flexibility of a home office and the time I spend in a canoe or dinghy on Montana’s rivers or the Grand Canyon gives me exactly the grounding I need for work.
"Mediaman and I have been though quite a lot together – from hand-drawn wireframes to interactive click dummies, simple HTML pages to connected car apps, from Mainz to Montana."
I was originally sent to Opel as an IT consultant from the United States; the project came to an end after a year, and they told me on Wednesday I’d be flying back Monday. I wanted to stay, so I applied for a few jobs in Mainz on spec – and opted for mediaman. I’ve been working here as a software developer since 2014.
The mediaman location in downtown Mainz has made an immense improvement to my life. You might not have thought it of an American, but I’ve always dreamed of not needing a car – ten minutes is all it takes me to walk to work, and there are great opportunities close by for lunch or a beer after work.
One of the things I love about my job is working with our trainees, especially as we often learn from them while teaching them something new.
I’ve always wanted to live and work outside America. Most Americans don’t speak any foreign languages, so I’m especially proud that I’ve managed to make a name for myself here in Germany.
"I have a great relationship with my co-workers; we often meet after work and organise evenings over a video game, a match on the big screen, or new board game in the kitchen at our agency. Obviously, not everyone is there every time, but I think it’s important that we get along outside working hours too."
I switched to mediaman in my new job as a junior art director in August 2015; I like that they’ve all kept their feet on the ground here even with the major international customers. I also wanted to work for customers in the automotive industry again – some of my current colleagues I got to know from my time as a placement student at Scholz & Volkmer as the two agencies work closely together on some Mercedes-Benz projects. The great mediaman location in Mainz city centre is a bonus.
The thing I like about everyday life here is that it’s anything but everyday. Sometimes I just boot up my computer and let the creativity flow all day, on other days, I’m rushing from one meeting to the next. Then, of course, there are the days I spend working off my to-do list.
It’s a great feeling when a project is done and dusted, everything’s gone to plan and I’m happy with the result – it makes me proud of myself and my team, and I can look forward to the next project.
I love to rise to a new challenge. I’ve been trying my hand at ballet since the beginning of the year, as I’d never tried it before. Who knows what I’ll be like at the end of the year.
"The initial phase of a project is always exciting – you don’t know which way the project is going to go, you have that big blank slate in front of you. Eventually everything gets moving, and you find yourself creating something completely new."
I began working on the side at a small online marketing agency in search engine optimisation and marketing half a year before leaving high school. After high-school graduation, I started working there full-time and completed my first year of training.
My second year as a business trainee in Marketing Communications at mediaman began in August 2013, and I stayed on as a junior account manager in January 2015.
I was always excited about what our software could create with a few lines of code in my role managing very IT-heavy projects such as the Hyundai sales app and the new Hyundai configurator. I often watched developers at work, and also gave my support in technical discussions.
The skills I picked up along the way brought me onto the path of software development; I talked about my ambition in an open interview with our management, and I found myself switching from project management to software development before I knew it.
What’s so great about working for mediaman is the general atmosphere among colleagues and how we all get along – at work and in our spare time. Another thing I especially enjoy is putting on my headset and listening to music while completely focusing on the task at hand – listening to music helps me wall myself off from the outside world and devote my attention to complex topics.
Music has always been an important part of my life in my spare time too – I am a singer or shouter in a metal band; I often call it my second job as I put my remaining energy into it. Whether writing lyrics, creating and designing artwork, producing videos, recording, mixing, mastering, rehearsing, or looking after our Facebook page, I always have something to do; I obviously also like going to concerts, or standing up on stage and shouting at the crowds in my spare time.
"I’m proud of what our team achieves every day, and especially the projects we’ve completed, when I can say, ‘Look, that was us, we did that!"
I’d just finished my studies when I noticed a job ad for a junior lead designer at mediaman – that was fifteen years ago. It was still an unusual profession, but it still sounded like what I’d already been doing with friends in my free time. I hadn’t heard of mediaman, but the bright green website the company had at the time and projects they were working on fascinated me, and I was wondering if I could turn my hobby into a career. I’m immensely proud of the many major and minor projects I’ve worked on since joining mediaman.
I’ve been heading the lead design department since mid-2015; my working day looks somewhat like this:
I enjoy taking the user’s perspective and designing digital solutions that are user-friendly and innovative, and I get excited about new technologies, tools, and methods that change the way we work as information architects and concept developers.
After work, I usually play football, build Lego Nexo Knights, and read “Cowboy Klaus” as a bedtime story for what feels like the hundredth time.
After 8 PM, I go swimming, jogging, spinning, or I enjoy reading a whodunit, or go straight to sleep since I’ve given up coffee.
"If you’d asked me fifteen years ago, I’d have told you I’d be staying at mediaman for maybe a couple of years, then I’d move on to Pixelpark. But I’ve noticed that mediaman and I work well together – I’ve always had great colleagues, varied projects, and plenty of opportunity to develop."