Mobi Lab, the agency that connects people and technology

Mobi Lab embodies visions for the future, which are brought to life with the help of product managers, mobile digital product designers and mobile application developers. Veiko Raime, CEO of Mobi Lab, will talk about how the agency works, what their work is guided by, and what are the plans for the future. 

On the photo: Veiko Raime

What type of design-related challenges do you predominantly work on, what does your day to day work look like?

Our focus is on digital products for mobile users. On a daily basis, we work to ensure that our solutions have a real and significant impact on future business models, business growth or efficiency, end-user experience, service design, etc.

What is the motto or philosophy that Mobi Lab follows?

Our mission is to make technology easily accessible to mobile users. Every day, we need more and more help from various IT solutions — banks are moving online, the state communicates with us via computer, and even making doctor's appointments has to be managed online. If the user is not sitting behind a large computer screen at home or in the office, then their access to technology is more limited. This limited access can even be caused by the environment changing around us; one minute, it’s raining, and the next, the sun is shining; computers (phones, watches, etc.) have small screens, and we are predominantly distracted. This is where design can come to the rescue and make technological support tools more accessible.

Another motto that we always keep in mind is the return on investment. We believe that design has a real positive, measurable impact. Customers who invest in new mobile products, for example, need to see that the investment has a reasonable payback period as a result.

What is a strength that is particular to you, what is your team like?

Our team comprises a triad of product managers, mobile digital product designers and mobile application developers.

The designers mainly represent the end-user on the team; they make sure that people/users know precisely how to use the correct functionality at just the right time.

The role of a product manager is to represent a client, a company that wants to increase its business or reduce costs by investing in design or development.

The task of software development is to choose the right technical tools and realize the result of the design with high quality.

Apart from a very concentrated focus on the mobile aspect, the strength of our team lies precisely in the collaboration between the aforementioned roles. While, traditionally, the design is created separately from the development and then, figuratively saying, thrown over the fence to the development company for realisation, then in our case, the designer and the developer communicate right from the start of the project. Sometimes, it can happen that there is a very cool design idea, which, in reality, would sadly be too expensive and of little commercial value when realized, and so it would take up an unreasonably large part of the budget. This is the moment where developers can immediately offer alternatives to the designers that are just as useful and awesome, yet many times cheaper to develop.

Which one of your projects do you believe to be the most successful one thus far and why?

Over the course of 20 years, we have worked on a huge number of projects, and, of course, our footprint has been the greatest with larger companies such as Microsoft, Ericsson and a California start-up – NextPlus.

At the same time, there is often even greater ambition when working with Estonian companies:

InPay, for example, is the solution of one very innovative and ambitious bank. They are very customer-centric, and providing value to end-users is their top priority.

Ühisteenused mobile app is aimed at the people who do their complex daily work outside the office. We believe that we have made the workdays of employees better and, at the same time, working more efficient for the company.

Projects where the starting point of the service is not digital are also quite exciting. Digital Kingdom , for example, is building a new generation of robotic lawnmowers.

What is your main customer profile?

Our customers are, as a rule, curious in the best sense. They desire to do great things in their own narrow field or the world at large, and they are eager to try, learn and discover.

Large technology companies want to involve us in their smaller innovation projects. Smaller companies, on the other hand, want to transform their business through digital products. Among our clients, there are also many start-ups whose ambition is, as a rule, growth, for which they can partly rely on our experience.

What is your work process like with your client, from the moment the customer enters the door?

The work process begins with the formulation of the end goal because the beginning of the project is the beginning of our shared journey. This is the moment when all the teams start the journey together, and our goal is to move in parallel in the same direction, complementing each other.

While Mobi Lab's work mainly results in a digital product or interface, the first part of our design process is more focused on service design and strategic design. The user journey does not usually start with a mobile app but with a physical experience, and it is our job to understand what the user journey is before and after using the mobile phone or website.

What type of clients are you hoping to work with more in the future and what type of projects and in which fields would you prefer to take on?

Our innovation lab is currently becoming increasingly focused on augmented reality solutions. When we first started, we used SMS messages to connect technology and people, then various mobile apps came along, but where do we go from here? We believe that it is precisely augmented reality that is one of the new additional interfaces connecting people and technology. The more customers and partners are willing to go along with our crazy new ideas, the better the direction we can take together.

What is your ambition, where do you see yourselves in five years?

We will continue with our mission to make technology a democratically accessible tool, regardless of time and place. To achieve this, we hope to be the best mobile solutions company in Europe.

What inspires you, where do you draw inspiration from on a daily basis?

Our inspiration comes from our clients. Each person sees the world uniquely from their own perspective. Our clients take us into worlds we don't usually come across in our daily lives – shipbuilding, industrial manufacturing, banking, etc. One only has to be curious and eager enough to discover it all.

What's the one thing that must always be present in your office/workspace, that makes it feel just right?

People :)

On the photo: Camp Mobilab