I believe that a great way of using social media is to not use social media at all but rather create something that your target audience care about so much that they want to share it with others.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
My name is Fredrik Wetterholm and I work with things digital. My background is from e-commerce and digital project management since 15 years+. Me and my partners run Another Agency, an agency for brands that want to boost their digital presence and lower the threshold for consumption as well as develop innovative digital solutions. We are based in Stockholm, Sweden.
What do you do for inspiration?
I find inspiration to be quite volatile. Sometimes we get inspired by great clients with a vision. Entrepreneurial people that come to us with a white paper in terms of brand and user experience but a lot of thoughts of the future and their product. I personally also try to engage as much as possible in other creative outputs as music and arts which are great sources of inspiration.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
Do I need to say The FWA? Right now I also hang out on Pinterest and check out Site Inspire quite often. Otherwise I would say that Soundcloud, Uber, Tictail and social networks get a lot of traffic from my devices.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Work wise I am pretty proud of our Innovative Advertising Award in New York Festivals for a campaign for Diesel Jeans and also to be featured in the Google Creative Sandbox for our client God Morgon Juice. Otherwise getting married to my fantastic wife would probably be my biggest achievement so far!
How many hours do you work each week?
About 50? But as a company owner you actually think about your business and your projects all the time almost.
How do you relax or unwind?
You can never go wrong with great friends and red wine.
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
Well the hardest part is that every project is such a challenge. We need to reinvent ourselves time after time which can be exhausting. At the same time the demands for relevance and performance are higher than ever which naturally is a good thing. The greatest feeling is of course when our projects create fantastic results and you can look back and feel that we made no compromises in terms of execution.
What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?
Probably when we did a project for ZTV in Sweden back in 2006. Our Creative Director Linus Wahlstedt and his team came up with the quite innovative solution to make a complete community in flash. Developers Rafael and Albert worked 24/7 and even invented their own version of XML that they naturally named ZML. We actually lived at the office quite a lot during that period.
If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?
After working some years in the industry and getting more observant to what you are doing I would say that you start evaluating your work even more. That may give you the confidence to state the arguments for your solutions rather than panicing and doing exactly what the client tells you. That is a game changer.
What software could you not live without?
That would be Keynote and E-mail. And Spotify.
How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?
Right now we are working on over 10 different projects varying in size.
In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?
We bought an Arduino. Never used it. Haha!
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
Right now I am impressed by Studio Källbom here in Stockholm. Kurrpa Hosk has always been great and internationally I have always liked AKQA that manages to stay relevant and skilled even though they are huge as a company.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
We actually have a project where our restructuring and redesign of a website raised the conversion with over 400%. The impact on traffic probably comes more from designing great products and services that people love to use and talk about.
Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?
Absolutely, FWA is a great platform!
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
My first website was something I made together with friend and Internet guru Gustaf Burström. It was some sort of online publication / magazine well ahead of its time. We named the project Wonder Magazine. This was back in 1995. We were idiots.
What was the last digital effort you saw (or were a part of) that used social media in a way that really made sense. Why?
I believe that a great way of using social media is to not use social media at all but rather create something that your target audience care about so much that they want to share it with others. From a technical perspective I find all solutions that use social to create a seamless experience makes sense. As simple as social login for example.
Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?
Well I would say as far as we can imagine and beyond. Right now we are experimenting with a solution that connects the responsive web with apps (which isn't´really working at all the way we want it to). Furthermore wearables, smart appliances and NFC opens up for great new innovations.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
No nothing is here to stay. Everything changes.
There is perhaps a shift in web use these days. We are seeing a decline in the purely experiential sites in flash with huge production efforts, to a relationship with clients based on tools and services, that many times have simples interfaces. How do you see that trend developing? Will Flash suffer?
Well there is some sort of shift but I personally think that a huge production effort could absolutely be motivated depending on the scope of the project and the concept. Just look at Apples product pages / microsites and the quality of content.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
I think the schools are great but they sometimes blow some sunshine up young peoples a**. Many graduates has an impossible perspective on what they can achieve and do which may disappoint them. Education is great but experience, talent and staying humble is of equal importance.
If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?
Never settle for second best. Benchmark against the best and be thorough in your approach.
How difficult do you find employing the right people in a world where everyone calls themselves a web designer?
It´s crazy. We spend loads of time evaluating people that want to work with us and as much as we love to help new talent and get them onboard there are a lot of people out there that may not have all it takes. The thing is that being a skilled modern creative is harder that you think.
What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?
I have always had some sort of idea that I would be able to fly private for once. Let´s see if it ever happens.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
Always exceed expectations.
What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?
Right now we actually look quite a lot at the Silicon Valley guys and the startup scene in the US. Some great product and service design in the making.
There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?
Designing a user experience and interface for a car (they all suck). Tesla, please give us a call.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
Believe it or not, a toilet.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Have fun, great things can only be achieved if you really love to make them. Invent stuff people care about.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much
Thank you Rob