In a thrilling announcement, we would like to introduce Olawale Akigbogun as WONDR’s newest Digital Product Designer.
Wale is no stranger to WONDR, having previously interned with us in 2021. Now, armed with years of experience working with both in-house teams and agencies across Ireland, the UK, Spain, and Switzerland, Wale brings a fresh perspective to the dynamic world of design.
"It was during my time at WONDR that I not only honed my product design skills but also discovered a deep passion for the industry"Olawale Akigbogun Digital Product Designer
Wale’s journey in design has been nothing short of remarkable. Successfully transitioning from graphic design to product design. Working with a plethora of agencies, both locally and internationally, has enriched his expertise and shaped his unique design approach.
Wale’s portfolio boasts an array of impressive design experiences and projects. With a focus on design systems, he has collaborated with renowned businesses spanning multiple countries. From neo-banks and e-commerce ventures to software companies, Wale’s expertise traverses diverse sectors, showcasing his versatility as a designer.
Olawale Akigbogun WONDR
I hope to progress my career and gain a more extraordinary skill set within WONDR by learning from the outstanding designers we have within the team
Digital Product Designer
Wale’s areas of expertise lie in visual design, where his talents truly shine. However, his design approach is grounded in thorough research, forming a solid foundation for his creative endeavours. With this well-rounded skill set, he is poised to make a substantial contribution to WONDR’s overall goals and objectives.
Always staying ahead of the curve, Wale keeps a keen eye on design trends and technologies. He finds inspiration from platforms like Awwwards, constantly exploring innovations and trends that push the boundaries of design.
Wale’s unique background, diverse experience, and unwavering passion make him a valuable asset to the team. As WONDR continues to shape the future with cutting-edge design solutions, Wale’s creativity and expertise will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in WONDR’s success.
Marilese is a great addition to the WONDR team fitting right into our culture of driven professionals who are passionate about the power of design.
She has worked in South Africa, the Netherlands and our lucky isle of Ireland. With expertise in client relationships, partnership roll-outs, and process elevation, Marilese is always looking at the bigger picture & we believe she will help WONDR continue on an upward trajectory in our recent successes.
"I think the most important aspect of design is its ability to communicate a message effectively, evoke emotions and create a memorable experience for users."Marilese Havenga Account Director - WONDR
Marilese continued … “Design has the power to convey a brand’s values, tone, and personality. Good design can make a brand stand out in a crowded market, and it can help build trust and credibility with potential customers. “
Creating a Customer-Centric Culture
At WONDR we believe a positive and inclusive work environment not only makes employees feel valued and appreciated but also translates into better client relationships and higher-quality work.
When everyone is working towards the same goals and values, it creates a sense of unity and purpose that can drive success for the whole team.
I liked the idea of working at a company like WONDR where there is collaboration and passion in every project created, a talented team with a strong camaraderie when each person has a voice that can make a positive impact.
Account Director - WONDR
The Art of Customer Excellence
We are committed to providing top-quality digital solutions for all of WONDR’s clients. Building and maintaining strong relationships with clients is crucial to our success. We build strong relationships through collaboration.
Our clients are experts in their industry, and we value their input and insights throughout the design process. By working together, we are able to create a product that not only meets their needs, but also exceeds their expectations.
We also understand that our clients’ needs and goals may change over time, and we strive to be flexible and adaptable to these changes. This means being proactive in our communication and being willing to make adjustments as needed.
“I believe in taking the time to understand a client's needs, goals, and challenges so that we can create a solution that not only meets their expectations but exceeds them.”Marilese Havenga Account Director - WONDR
Marilese added…”Communication is also key – I make sure to keep clients informed throughout the project and encourage them to provide feedback so that we can make any necessary adjustments.”
At WONDR, we believe that our success is directly tied to the success of our clients. By focusing on building strong client relationships and delivering high-quality design solutions, we are able to help our clients achieve their goals and stand out in a crowded digital marketplace.
With Marilese’s wealth of experience and commitment to creating top-quality solutions for our clients, we know that she will be a valuable asset to our team.
As part of Design Week 2022, the Institute of Designers Ireland with support from the Design Crafts Council of Ireland have opened the IDI ReJOYce Exhibition to celebrate the best of Irish Design over the past 50 years.
The exhibition aims to showcase the depth of creativity and far reaching impact that the Irish design industry delivers to businesses across the globe.
A stat highlighted by Minister Humphreys from a Grant Thornton report which commissioned by the Design & Crafts Council Ireland, highlights a turnover of €53 billion across design & craft in the Irish economy.
The exhibition was opened at Two Central Plaza, Dame Street with a speech by the Minister for Social Protection of Ireland, Heather Humphreys. The exhibition plans to raise the profile of Irish design to the general public and will run from the 16th November until 2nd December 2022.
WONDR are featured in the digital design section of the exhibition with our work for clients from across home and abroad which include, 11Onze ‘La Plaça’ (Spain), Likha Aesthetic Clinic (Ireland) and CSSDA WOTY (global).
IDI 50 years on
The exhibition marks the 50th Anniversary of the IDI, who were established in 1972 by a group of passionate designers led by architect Raymond McGrath, who created a community where designers could support each other and encourage development of the design profession.
50 years on, navigating economic highs and lows, that profession is valued at €6bn and the IDI has continued to support designers and their businesses every step of the way.
Every year Awwwards hold a conference in an iconic city to bring the global design community together with inspirational talks on trends, new technologies and provocative thoughts to create discussion.
Over two days we heard from designers, developers and digital experts from across the globe who gave fascinating insights on what’s happening next, here are our key takeouts from the event.
3D Web Experiences
3D Web Experiences
To 3D or not 3D? That, as it happens, is a complicated question.
Nothing quite compares to the impact of well crafted 3D experience, be that through video or WebGL. Paired with great content and presented with compelling motion design, 3D has the power to cut through and create genuinely engaging digital experiences. But, they come at a cost.
The additional processing power to serve and run such experiences is coupled with a greater awareness that 3D and motion design are inherently less accessible.
In the same way packaging designers have evolved to consider environmental and user impact, so too should digital designers when considering what creative tools to employ and deploy.
At the same time digital designers are finding access to 3D software, motion graphics and webGL (through ThreeJS etc) is becoming easier and more ‘designer’ friendly. In addition, the spectre of the meta-verse is driving us towards more, not less 3D.
In other words, these forbidden fruits are increasingly reachable. Their demand also seems to be increasing. But just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. As always, the experiences we create must serve the brand and the message, not the latest fad or tools we have to hand.
Expression through motion design
Motion is something that can have a phenomenal impact on any website, creating focus around key areas, not only making it more interactive for the user but giving the brand life and personality to evoke positive emotion.
We like to use motion to draw users attention & provide feedback on their progress where possible, but it’s critical to ensure motion never hinders functionality but adds to the user experience.
Likha Aesthetic Clinic uses subtle motion design to build empathy with the user. This site has been benchmarked by Awwwards for mobile excellence, due to the fact whilst we had used motion design to enhance the experience, it did not affect performance on mobile devices.
Balance between science, data & art
Helping users think and feel by finding the balance between science and art is a topic from the event that really stood out to us as well, as it is something that we are passionate about.
We like combining science, data and creativity to create digital products that deliver for both users and brands alike.
A recent example of this was for the 11Onze El Canut App, where we utilised the latest in artificial intelligence to predict user behaviour on our proposed designs for the launch. We then correlated this data against the results of real user testing with over 1,200 people to validate, refine and ensure we had the right user experience that would deliver for everyone.
11Onze were a good example of a brand willing to be brave, as we released openly via the user test what we were going to launch into the market. We weren’t worried by the competition nor were we afraid to hear what customers would think, in fact we welcomed it and took onboard their feedback to deliver something they wanted.
Do the Unexpected
One of the key themes that really struck a chord with us was being brave by ‘Doing something unexpected’.
We strongly agree with this sentiment and why it’s in our company ethos – Clarity & Bravery.
Bravery is something we bring to every digital product we work on. As we highlighted in the case of 11Onze, you can make brave choices with confidence that they will deliver through the use of science, data & art. We always push our client partners to do what is possible and right for their customers and we try to not allow technology to limit our scope but actually empower it.
So next time you hear the word MVP (minimal viable product), try and substitute it in your mind for MLP (most ❤️ lovable product).
📸 Shots from the event
Prior to joining WONDR, Sinéad was Head of Customer Operational Excellence in CarTrawler. There, she led multiple teams responsible for customer experience, project management and business process improvement.
Sinéad’s industry background began in design and technology, before moving into the project and operational management side of things.
"While WONDR is an extremely ambitious practice, there is a strong sense of community and social responsibility."Sinéad Good Operations Director
Sinéad’s main passion always remained with her foundations in design and technology, which is what brought her to WONDR. “I was at a crossroads in my career. I knew Operations and Project management were still in my future, but I really missed working with creative people, especially with designers and developers”.
“It was also important to me to move to a company that made a difference to the community. While WONDR is an extremely ambitious practice, there is a strong sense of community and social responsibility. Our values are Clarity and Bravery.
These are ever-present in the team’s approach and are visible in the span of clients we have. It’s how we collaborate with and support them to deliver successful products and projects”
Sinéad Good WONDR
Driving clarity through simplicity helps clients make brave decisions to drive success via increased revenue generation and disrupting their competition.
Operations in a Creative Environment…
The role of Director of Operations in WONDR is to oversee the day to day operational running of the business and contribute to the development and future growth through Strategy and Vision. Sinéad works closely with each team member but particularly with the Project, Product and Creative Directors in the business.
Over the last 12 months, WONDR has experienced high growth levels which are set to continue, meaning the team is expanding.
Sinéad Good WONDR
My immediate challenge after joining WONDR, involved looking at internal and external processes, spanning all elements of the Operations from project management and technical delivery to people and resource planning.
Working with the team we have systemised all parts of the WONDR business; set in place scalable processes to respond to our growth while maintaining the delivery of creative and innovative solutions for our clients.”
Cultural Changes of moving to WONDR…
“WONDR is Ireland’s top digital product practice. It has a very unique mix of culture, passion and talent, making it a really exciting place to work. No day is the same for the Director of Operations here! Since I joined in January, we have launched a new banking social network in Barcelona, called 11Onze, the new ESB International website and an award winning website for Likha Aesthetic Clinic.” One of the biggest changes for Sinéad when joining WONDR was the move from corporate to agency.
“The difference? Pretty much everything. The pace, culture and the day-to-day tasks. Things happen slowly on the corporate side. WONDR is a fun, fast-paced environment, with plenty of opportunities to collaborate and continuously learn. Decisions come quickly which can be really rewarding.”
“Also being part of a small business, everyone has a role to play and you can see immediately what you contribute and what your value is.”
What’s next for WONDR?
“We have some really exciting projects in the pipeline that we look forward to sharing. For now the next big challenge for WONDR operations as with many businesses, is the return to the office. The pandemic has changed the way people work, perhaps forever.”
Sinéad Good WONDR
While technology has made it possible for our team to work entirely from home, everyone is keen to get the band back together and also meet all our new faces in person! The key focus will be to maintain our unique culture while implementing a hybrid working model.
Sinéad joins us from Cartrawler where she was Head of Customer Operational Excellence. There she was responsible for the customer side of product management, project management and data delivery, combined to deliver a quality customer experience.
Sinéad’s industry background began in design and development, before moving into the project and operational management side of the business.
I am looking forward to helping deliver the strategic growth and expansion in WONDR's next chapter.Sinéad Good
Sinéad Good Opps Director
Joining Ireland's top Digital Product Practice is an exciting step in my career. WONDR has a unique culture and approach to design and delivery. I am delighted to be a new member of their team.
Sinead is one of 5 recent additions to the WONDR team as the business expands to partner with new clients on exciting missions. WONDR is currently working on the launch of a new bank in Barcelona, called 11Onze, defining & designing the long-term roadmap for the customer experience design across all touchpoints.
Our founder, Dermot O’Shea, added…
“Having been part of the team in Cartrawler for over 10 years, her experience & strategic advice will be invaluable for our plans in 2021 and beyond. She’s already making an impact and it’s already clear she will be a key member of our team going forward.”
It’s been a challenging two years since we last got to visit one of our favourite conferences, Awwwards. We decided to recap on our last visit as we look forward to next years event, fingers crossed it happens.
AWWWARDs was last held in the beautiful city of Amsterdam. Over two days we heard from designers, developers and studios from around the global digital community, bringing us their insights and opinions on product and experience.
We heard from many people on the topic of design systems. This is something we at WONDR are really passionate about. Designing less for transaction and more for clarity and human experience , in order to secure better conversion is core to our values.
Bravery is something we value at WONDR for every product— setting a global benchmark for our work and communicating a vision to our client partners, like in the case of Pet Drugs Online, where considered design systems were applied to create one of the best performing Magento websites in the world.
Our take? Experiment more, think braver and be better. We have the opportunity and capabilities and visions to create something that goes beyond the template and push the boundaries of what’s possible.
Mobile loading speeds
An interesting point raised, and one that comes up time and time again was around mobile loading times.
We think mobile first here at WONDR and are always conscious to optimise load times but we are wary of media companies who spout scary stats that often don’t take techniques we employ such as lazy loading into consideration.
Blindly following media stats can limit creativity and experience, things we don’t sacrifice. Being clear, concise and useful with our content and prioritising the most important information first is something we practice, so we can be free to create the best experiences for users. So while speed is important, we never abandon creativity or the brand experience.
Never compromise your brand expression
We saw some great examples of how studios are finding some interesting ways to overcome technological limitations. We firmly believe brand expression should never be a passenger to technology. Never give up on your creative idea because with some outside the box thinking it’s possible to find a creative solution for our problems.
Like millions of others across the world, we’re big fans of Star Wars. The 4th of May is recognised globally as #StarWarsDay and to mark the occasion our creative Jedi, Oisin, paid tribute with a series of video posts he made.
Everything from a Rancor strolling outside outside our window in Dublin, to a little Jawa racer to the latest in sour snacks from Papa Palpatine’s Pickled Snokes (organic & gluten free).
Lots more to see here on our dedicated page for Star Wars Day, enjoy.