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Sanoma’s News and Feature Media enters into a design partnership with Qvik

Design partnership ensures high-quality user-oriented services.

Sanoma offers high-quality digital news services to millions of Finns on a weekly basis. With this design partnership, Sanoma aims to ensure that its design stays cutting-edge, efficient and tuned to the evolving needs of users.

Sanoma is one of the best-known media houses in Finland. Its digital products include the Helsingin Sanomat, Ilta-Sanomat, Aamulehti, Satakunnan Kansa and IS Supersää websites and apps, in addition to several local newspaper apps. Their services have a loyal user base which Sanoma also intends to keep happy.

Qvik and Sanoma have a long history together: it’s been more than a decade since the first Qvikie mobile developer started at Sanoma. On the design side, Qvik has been working with Sanoma’s apps from the autumn of 2022.

The trust built during our successful cooperation made Sanoma choose Qvik as its partner.

“We are experts in our own industry but don’t necessarily know what’s going on in design in other industries. For that, we rely on Qvik’s expertise and partner network.”

Teemu Hauhia, Sanoma News Platform Owner

A partnership model gives more benefits than retaining individual experts

“Our purpose is not to outsource work, but rather engage a partner who can help our own team create new ways of providing even better news services.”

Timo Rinne, the VP responsible for digital development at Sanoma’s News and Feature Media.

Hiring individual consultants or freelancers always entails a risk. People change jobs or get better offers, which can cut the cooperation short. At the same time, the customer loses the outbound employee’s know-how and any procedures built together.

With the partnership model, things never rest on the shoulders of an individual consultant. Rather, they are supported by the capabilities of a veteran company and, if people working on the project do change, their replacements will be shown the ropes.

A partnership benefits all parties: Qvik gets to deepen its expertise in the media industry, while Qvik’s knowledge of digital service practices in other industries helps Sanoma build know-how and improve its product development practices.

Sanoma’s growing team joins the Qvik design community

Sanoma is familiar with the partnership model. The company has engaged a number of partners in its digital service development and gained good experiences of constant sparring and teamwork. In design, too, the company expects their partner to be more than just a resource. 

“We have our own design team and intend to grow it. Until now, we have used consultants to help with design, but then we started wondering if we couldn’t find a partner who would be more than just an extra pair of hands and could give us more proactive support”, Rinne says.

The partnership gives Sanoma’s designers access to Qvik’s active design community. Qvik’s designers work in a number of industries and regularly share their experiences within the community. With the partnership, Qvik brings this culture of knowledge-sharing to Sanoma as well.

“Our designers have welcomed this cooperation. Working together and developing our operations, starting with things involving tools, practices, recruitment and training, is what’s essential here”, Hauhia says.

Evidence-based solutions and better practices

One of the goals of this partnership is to make Sanoma’s digital service development more customer- and performance-oriented. You are more likely to succeed when you have more time for doing the groundwork and chart the user needs related to the future service thoroughly.

The design partnership was kicked off in January 2023, and neither party can wait to see its effects in action. We have already prioritized future development and laid plans for the spring in a kick-off meeting between Sanoma’s and Qvik’s designers.

“We have particularly high expectations for Qvik’s research. Consumer and user studies are an essential part of service development and, with Qvik, we intend to invest more in them even before we enter production.”

Teemu Hauhia, Sanoma News Platform Owner

Photo credits: Samuli Pulkkinen / Sanoma

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