»I believe that design can solve problems«
Carolin, UX designer and manager of the sovanta office in Hamburg tells her sovanta story

Jan 11, 2019

UX design plays a central role at sovanta AG. But is it really possible to solve problems with design? And how do you manage a team based in Heidelberg from Hamburg? Our Design Unit Head Carolin has the right answers to this question. Now we learn more about her daily work as a designer and manager of the new sovanta office in Hamburg.

Hi Carolin, what made you become a designer?

Design and creation have played an important role in my life early on. My father is a master goldsmith and clockmaker and as a child I liked to help out in the goldsmith's workshop. That's how I decided to train as a goldsmith and jewelry designer after graduating from high school. During my apprenticeship, I discovered my enthusiasm for graphic design and marketing. So I completed a bachelor and master degree in communication design with a focus on interactive media and brand communication. I believe that design can solve problems and ease people's lives - that's what drives me to this day.

And how did you finally come to sovanta?

It all happened so fast back then! During my master's degree, I attended an information event that sovanta organized especially for our course at the university. sovanta offers a good mixture of interesting company with exciting tasks, likeable colleagues and great team spirit - I realized right away that it fits! The clear focus on design was still very unusual for software companies at the time, and that's exactly what inspired me so much. So I started working for sovanta as a UX designer just one month after the first get-together at the university.

Now you have been with sovanta for about 7 years and since the beginning of 2018 you are also responsible for the newly opened sovanta office in Hamburg. How have your tasks and daily work changed?

With Hamburg, my areas of responsibility have expanded considerably. I'm still in charge of my design team here in Heidelberg, but now I'm also responsible for the office administration in Hamburg. Setting up the office was a very exciting, but sometimes also stressful time - especially since I had to deal with some tasks that were completely new to me; from finding the right location and selecting office equipment to setting up and arranging the furniture. When the last coffee spoon was in the drawer and everything was ready, I was definitely relieved and proud of the great result! Then I really had the feeling that this is my office, I helped setting it up and made sure that the office was filled with life.

You still lead your design team in Heidelberg. How does communication and coordination work from a distance?

We do a lot online, via slack, phone calls, video conferencing and screen sharing. In the best case with video conferencing, because I like to see my counterpart. In the beginning we had some doubts whether the big team meetings can be conducted via video. But that actually works very well. And because I'm regularly in Heidelberg for customer meetings, I don't lose my personal connection to the team.

You are often on the road, at the customer’s site or at sovanta in Heidelberg. If you are in the Hamburg office, how do you spend your lunch break?

When the sun shows, I like to use the lunch break to walk along the Elbe. Our office is beautifully located in the Hafencity. While watching the ships passing by, I can really relax and then return to the office with fresh energy.

Do you have a favorite activity as a designer?

I really enjoy the customer contact! Understanding the customer and his problems and finally solving them - that's our main ambition as designers. And there is also a bit of psychology involved, which makes my work particularly exciting and appealing. After all these years, you're still learning with every customer. I also like working out concepts. Even if there is sometimes only little time left for that, I enjoy withdrawing all day to think about a concept. It is very important for me to not only give feedback to the team, but also to dive deeply into the conceptual project work.

Early riser or morning grumpy?

I like to sleep in, but luckily still not really morning grumpy. You can talk to me already before 9 o'clock in the morning.

What’s your favorite day of the week?

No one will believe me, but surprisingly Monday! I like to start the new week, talk to colleagues about the weekend and make a plan for the week.

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