Projects / Telefónica


Telefónica is one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers in the world. At their headquarter in Madrid, I got the opportunity to work on the internet of the future.

Through a long-term contract as UX Consultant with FJORD, Madrid, I had the opportunity to work with Telefónica I&D, the research and development company of the Telefónica Group at the corporate campus on user data management models of the future.  


Distrito Telefónica, Telefónica, S.A. headquarter in Las Tablas, Madrid, Spain where I worked for several months in an office complex shared by 14,000 people


Inside the offices looked pretty much like everywhere else. And everyone speaks English.


Telefónica wanted to create a unified vision for future app and site data management in Europe and South America and reshape their universal design system to deliver that vision.

At the heart of this goal was a complicated but basic question: Who uses what kind of data when, and how much of it? This is crucial information for a company whose business model depends on accurately envisioning the mobile and data network we all would be wanting – in 5 or 10 years time.


'Envisioning through empathising' was the goal I set for a workshop I initiated in order to understand data usage from a users perspective

We conducted a 2 day work session a the FJORD office in which we led 15 client specialists from different data and network management departments as they envisioned data usage scenarios of the coming years down to actual media consumption times throughout particular days. 




I had the opportunity to be an active part in unifying usability and design standards and processes across several Telefónica apps and sites

Apps and sites that had been developed by different agencies were loosing consistency. As “embedded” UX Consultant at the campus I served as the connecting force between agency, client and development partner which enabled me to streamline functions, behaviours and visual styles. I was also able to create sign-up routines that would be used in a Data cloud services as well as a VoD portal with single sign on.

These are some of the many pages I created that compared apps and sites in detail. When there were inconsistencies, I then added actionable recommendations with a user-centric and multinational view point.

In this project I was able to bring in an ability that is usually reserved for my hobby: writing. I proposed a unified system for those synonyms that pose a problem in most portal projects. “Sign in” or “Log in”, “Sign up” or “Register”, “My Photos” or “Your Photos”, etc.

A couple of examples of the hundreds of wireframes I produced for processes, features or individual pages in several data projects for desktop, mobile and TV, often, as with sign-up or log in pages, involving all three. 

When millions of accounts are affected by a UX change, every detail matters

Once a design direction got a sign-off, we went into high fidelity prototyping. I directed UI designers  to optimise usability and click rates by making use of the small variations in position or color of elements we could still implement without affecting the sign-off. When printing them out in 80%,  8 or 10 client stakeholders and 3-4 designers would often end up sticking their dots to the same favorites that simply communicated better. 

High fidelity variations of one of the important sign-up pages. I would either lead UI designers to create these variations or produce them myself.


After researching and writing a media usage study I realised it needed a different form than the usual PPT in order to be usable. I found it in a series of infographic posters. (One of those moments where a design background comes in handy)

Backed by quantitative data on network usage as well as findings from my research, I prepared a media usage study showing all factors that have a major impact on Telefónica’s future business model. The “infographic poster” presentation strategy worked and the posters became permanent fixtures in Telefónica campus team rooms and were presented during the yearly global meeting to all representatives from Europe and South America.

This study list our senses and relates them to our social circles For example private videochat is vital with the 10 loved ones and 20 closest friends, but not so much with outer circle contacts. A table shows what type of media you will likely use with what kind of person on what kind of day at what time.  

A comparison of business models of the two types of major players in the digital media arena, Telcos and software companies. The poster compares their software solutions and lists strategy, methods, investments and revenue.

A visual representation of Telefónica’s network usage strategy that up to this point had only partially been described in internal  Powerpoints. The poster brings internal strategy and media usage development together and contrasts it with Google’s data and media strategy.  

The final poster showed the “red thread” of Telefónica’s data strategy, a unique combination of services and features that adapts to a more and more organic data ecosystem. I developed it by visualising and in parts completing high level strategic stakeholders vision.



This is how the posters were used in workshops and during presentations


Fjord was building the narrative for design at Telefónica. With almost immediate effect, Telefónica began to embrace the needs and desires of customers in radically new ways.

During my time as the first permanent FJORD UX Consultant stationed full time at Telefónica R&D and representing the agency on site, I was aware that I held a substantial responsibility to enable the service transformation of a global company. I did not learn Spanish after all, but I came out of it a better designer.

Large corporations often have a “no personal testimonies” policy, so here is what Pamela Mead, at the time Director UX at Telefónica R&D said about the work of FJORD at this time:

Fjord was instrumental in starting the Telefónica R&D transformation process from an engineering organisation into one that values customers and UX as drivers for creating great product experiences. They have brought thought leadership, commitment and passion to all of our collaborations. Fjord is definitely one of our most valued partners for creating differentiated products and services.

Pamela Mead, 
Director User Experience, 
Telefónica I&D, Madrid

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