Monday Musings with Entrepreneurs features interviews with game changers across the start-up, tech, and creative spaces. In this edition, we speak to Ida from Noise Studio.
Tell us about your studio!
Hi 👋 , I’m Ida and I am co-founder and Managing Director at Noise Studio. Noise Studio is a creative studio for fitness, sports and the great outdoors. Basically, we are a small group of passionate athletes and outdoor enthusiasts that specialize in creating inspiring and creative work, from mobile and web UX UI, to brands, visual campaigns and photo- and video production. We are a 100% remote studio with team members located in Australia, Indonesia, UK, Spain, Denmark, Colombia and Argentina, and we work with clients and on projects all over the world.
For us, sport, nature and the outdoors are at the center of everything we do. That’s why we decided to be a remote-first studio: to be able to have the world as our office and fully immerse ourselves into the outdoors. When we don’t work, we spend most of our time in the ocean, in the mountains or on the fields. We surf, we hike, we ski, we climb, we yoga and play sports with our friends. Then, we use our shared values and background in sports to work towards one unified goal: to create and design digital products and experiences that encourage people to get outdoors and experience the world, actively.
What problem are you solving and what can we look forward to?
We specialize in digital strategy, branding, UX UI design and video production for sport and outdoor brands and organizations. Basically we are a bunch of sporty, passionate people that one day though “wouldn’t it be cool if we could design and brand other sports organizations, we would all learn a lot, meet some cool people and have a great time doing it” – and that’s what we are up to today.
As a team of athletes AND creatives, we know how important it is to understand the sport and activity you are designing for. A boutique design agency in Berlin might be great for a hipster coffee roasting brand, but you wouldn’t choose them to build a snow avalanche transceiver app or a gamified fitness experience. Empathy and user-centered design has become very hot topics, and for good reasons, it’s important to relate and have a deep understanding of what the customer wants and needs.
Knowing your audience means seeking to understand them as users and to understand the experiences they share. It’s hard to design fitness, sports and outdoor products if your team is not active and pursuing the sports. Understanding the nuances of off-piste skiing or the rules of rugby is nearly impossible without living the sport, going to the matches or fully experiencing the activity. We spend a massive chunk of time immersing ourselves in sports, natures and foreign conditions and outdoor regions around the world. Whenever we’re approached to tackle a project in a new sport or outdoor vertical, or a new region, there’s a high chance someone on our team has already pursued that sport or spent some time there.
What motivates you?
I read a quote saying “Never feel bad about struggling with your dream, waiting for your dream, missing a short over for your dream, losing something valuable in pursuit of your dream or failing to capture your dream. The world is filled with people afraid of dreaming. You don’t realize how brave and lucky you are to have a dream at all”. I feel very grateful that I get to work on my dream, live remotely and surround myself with teammates and clients that fuels me with positive and inspiring vibes. I feel privileged and an insane pleasure of being allowed to align my main interests of global team collaboration, creative work, the outdoors and sports every day. That in itself gives enough thrill, motivation and commitment to work hard and dedicated.
What’s one routine you can’t live without (and why?)
I try my very best to keep all mornings work-free and slow in order to stay balanced and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Some mornings, I wake up at sunrise and spend a few hours in the water in search of another marvelous surf session. Other mornings, I dedicate to yoga, meditation and to practice reflection. When I am based in the city, I spend my mornings doing yoga, meditation and practice reflection – or I start with a swim in the ocean, a morning run or a walk in nature. It’s so so important to step away from the screen and take a break from all the endless scanning and consuming, to step back, to breath and reflect.
What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs to invest their time in?
On the personal side, spend more time logging off and staying balanced! Slow and steady wins the race! The overall point is: maintain a healthy life whatever you do. Stay close to your relations. Have fun with your friends. Follow what brings you joy. Look after your health. Practice good posture. Exercise as often as you can. Eat well. Meditate. Practice Reflection. Don’t move from one deadline to another and only focus on work. Take a step back once in a while, breath, reflect.
A healthy amount of sleep and a rich and rewarding life outside of work should not be squandered for a few more hours at work. Also, kill distractions on your computer and on your phone. Remove notifications, practice deep work, and delete Slack, email and all work-related apps from your phone. This will help you work more focused when you work and relax when you are off.
As for work related, we see a lot of early-stage startups and founders going directly to design or development, and forgetting about brand identity and UX strategy. If you’re creating a new product or a new brand, it is valuable to spend some time to understand your strategy, before you dive into your visual identity and start designing and developing a mobile app or a website. By building a foundation and understanding who your product and your brand are, what your brand and product stand for and who you’re trying to communicate with, you can make more effective design choices.
Basically, it’s all about getting to the bottom of what problem you are actually solving, the customer you are solving it for and the business goals you are trying to achieve. Research and spend some time on understanding, planning and setting up your UX strategy, brand identity and digital roadmap, to ensure that your product and digital initiative support your business objective and provide a better experience for the end-user.