Janne Kaasalainen

Product designer

 

I am a product designer. To me, that means that I excel on how to make good products that meet users’ needs. I have a strong emphasis on running projects and setting the goals to meet the user and business needs before diving into interaction or visual design. This, in my opinion, forms the very basis for succeeding and makes the rest of the design works far simpler and more straightforward.

 

Key to this process is collaboration with research, business and engineering to form independent teams with clear goals and a mission.

 

If you want to learn more how I view my ideal design process, I’ve written about it in more detail here.

 

While working for Google, I’ve been leading designers and user experience projects for Fleet Deployment and Optimization organization. Our task has been to develop internal tools and processes around how to spend roughly 16 billion dollars a year on Google’s hardware infrastructure and data centers. These projects cover end-to-end forecasting, planning and management of the whole compute infrastructure to increase efficiencies and provide capacity where it matters the most.

Janne is comfortable with gnarly, ambiguous problems and he’s a wonderful thought partner to work with as a result. He helps synthesize the complexity by providing unique insights that facilitate rationalization into a way forward. Janne is also a strong leader on the design side, he’s firm when he has to be, driving rationalization of points he doesn’t feel were appropriately resolved, and in my experience this has only been to the benefit of the team. 

Janne brought a lot of discipline to the UX design work along with Google values (fostering respect, showing consideration for team members). The quality of his work was excellent relative to many senior designers that I worked in the past. Janne stands out clearly showing higher quality output, faster turn around and no-nonsense attitude.

Janne has taken complete ownership of design for [redacted] and the [redacted]. Janne has constantly pushes for a more structured process around identifying product market fit and evaluating features / designs as early as possible in the product development process. Janne is great at driving forward design changes, but also listens to alternative views and adjust accordingly. He’s provided excellent “air cover” for other designers. Janne’s work on the FDO product shows strong leadership, taking a nebulous problem, synthesized complicated sets of CUJs into a compelling, consistent, visual story. 

Janne has brought structure/consistency to the UX process in FDO. He advocates user-centric design and has been a proponent of using consistent design languages across the FDO spectrum. His thought leadership was evident in his CUJ focus and the extra-ordinary work on mapping out the journey of various customers across domain/tooling boundary.  It was eye-opening to a lot of SWEs and illustrated the user painpoints in a single picture.

Windows 10X

Coming later. The operating system has yet to be launched.

Video editing

In August 5, 2015, I created a pitch to Microsoft leadership about modernizing the aging Movie Maker.

This lead to a chain of events of moving me from Finland to US and designing a basis for a new video editor.

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Remix Everything

To take storytelling to a new level, me and my team started to concept on ways to make people more engaged with video editing.

We came up various ways to accomplish this and concepting how storytelling could be made viral by allowing people to riff off from existing stories and add their own twist to them.

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Nokia Camera

Nokia’s Pro Camera was originally designed for the ‘monster’ camera phones, but ended up being the default Microsoft Camera that ships with Windows 10.

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Snip & Sketch

Modernizing the Windows 10 screen shot tool to drive pen and ink engagement.

Photos Mobile

Getting people to try out new apps is hard. So how can that be made more enticing?

Lumia Highlights

Improving consumer awareness for Nokia’s offerings.

Lumia Accessories

How to make first party accessories work seamlessly with Nokia’s mobile phones.

Awards

Hobby Projects

 

Here and there I also engage in hobby projects. My latest interests have been about home automation and spreading the joy of voice assistants to my motorcycling. 

Photography

On personal side, I do find photography relaxing. I love to organize a handful of photoshoots a year.

Galleries on Flickr

Diving & Motorcycling

Having a kid has limited my leisure time activities, but I yearn to go scuba diving again and still enjoy my motorcycling trips on warm summer evenings.