Nerdindustries is an innovation agency based in the heart of Hamburg. They started in 2009 when most companies (especially in Germany) still feared the real innovative and oftentimes crazy stuff these nerds were creating. Today big companies like adidas, Audi, Porsche and Sennheiser are queuing up to work with Nerdindustries. So I was excited to overtake the management of two major projects for Porsche and adidas as interim project manager.

Nerdindustries GmbH
My Role
Senior Project Manager

What was it all about?

I had already worked for NI in 2012 when I was still living in Hamburg. Not only innovative as hell but also uniquely great people, these nerds always stayed in my heart. In January 2018, when CEO Mathias Keswani asked me if I was interested in doing the parental leave replacement of his senior project manager, I was just looking for new challenges.
But wait a minute! Why would I work as a project manager being a UX designer? Well, just take a look at what these nerds are pulling off - this is pure user experience and I was looking forward to getting the taste of real innovation again. Besides, the prospect of working with these crazy yet adorable people made me jump for joy ♡.

Porsche Hall of Legends

One of the main projects I was entrusted with was the VR application “Porsche Hall of Legends”, a breath-taking VR adventure game that should introduce the audience into the long history of Porsche in motorsports. Besides Nerdindustries, Porsche brought UDG, its lead agency, on board. When I overtook the project it already was fully underway, so I had to gain an overview very quickly.
Apart from coordinating between the different players (UDG, Porsche, Nerdindustries) and between different roles (developers, creatives, business) to finalise the application, I also had to organise the international VR roadshow where the game would be showcased. Fortunately I had the chance to participate in many testing sessions and review meetings that gave me a lot of input for my UX work.

adidas Digital Instore Experience

Besides ongoing work for the adidas Flagship Store Experience in London, Nerdindustries was assigned to develop ideas for the digital in-store experience for a retail trade show in China. Together with our Head of Design we mainly collaborated with adidas’ Digital Instore Consumer Experience Manager and Global Consumer Experiences Manager. Working with people from adidas was an extraordinary pleasure! I had never worked with such targeted, creative and incredibly friendly people before (many thanks at this point).

For the Flagship Store Experience, the team was further developing “Young Athletes”, an interactive 3D game projected to the wall and floor with two beamers while the projection surface on the floor is an interactive touch screen which is used to control the game. A ToF camera transfers the movement of the users to the game characters.

For the adidas NEO Trade Show in China adidas was able to get Derek Gores - a well-known US artist - to help to design the look and feel of the new stores. Derek’s collage art should be brought to life with an augmented reality application. Nerdindustries not only developed the consumer application but also built a custom software for the artist to edit and animate his artwork digitally.

Also part of the digital in-store experience were the NFC tagged products. By scanning a product with the smartphone, a 3D model is displayed in the adidas NEO app. The user would now be able to check all variants of the product that are available in the store or another store in the city, then purchase the product and have it delivered home. When leaving the store the customer gets a notification (triggered by beacons) with a summary of the purchase, the delivery time and special vouchers and invitations to exclusive NEO events. All this happens automatically and based on the customer’s behaviour in the store.

DISCLAIMER: I want to emphasise that all the creative work I’ve been describing was done by the incredible people at Nerdindustries. I was mostly doing the project management BUT with the keen eye of an observer, absorbing all the insights about digital experiences and appreciating the collaboration with tons of creative, bright people. What I’ve learned for my UX work was just mind-blowing.