Bureau Oberhaeuser is a design studio focused on Information and Interface Design. The Bureau was founded in 2011 in Hamburg by award-winning designer Martin Oberhäuser. Formerly known as oberhaeuser.info, the company evolved into a GmbH (LLC) in 2013 and was renamed Bureau Oberhaeuser.
Our work has always been inspired by our passion for complex data visualization and information design, and it’s still the backbone of our company. We use the principles of those areas and combine them with our UX and UI expertise to create new digital experiences. Based on this philosophy, we believe that almost every digital and analog challenge can be solved with creativity and design thinking.
… and life without information is impossible.
But it needs someone to filter the mass of information around us and turn it into something readable and useable.
Since the beginning of our studio’s inception, we have always viewed projects through the lens of Information Design: understanding and visualizing complex sets of information. It is the translation of data into a visualization that adds value. It points right to the issue and ideally it makes something you hadn't seen before, visible. Our design is driven by data, readability and function! And therefore, our projects / products always seek the right relationship between these aspects and visual aesthetics in beautiful solutions.
Before we take a look at the visual design, we make sure to understand the challenges and needs of each project individually. The problems of today are complex and aren’t solved with easy answers or quick solutions. Even though many designers like to jump right onto the computer and start pushing pixels, an integral part of our process is taking the time to consider multiple ways to approach a problem.
We read, research and interpret the data surrounding each project to find the best possible concept to structure the information. We dive as deep as we can to explore options, discover new concepts, and become experts on the topic for each new project.
Once we understand the 'big picture', we delve deeper into the user's needs and begin sketching out initial layouts and ideas. The best products and solutions are tailored to optimize the user’s experience with that product. Yet, the process of tailoring any project to users can vary widely depending on one’s approach.
Traditionally, User Interface Design follows User Experience Design in the process of building a product. However, we believe this process is never the optimal way forward, as in most projects the visual Interface is affecting the Usability, in the same way the User Experience is providing foundations for the User Interface. In our experience, only through a subsequent back and forth between these two design disciplines do we reach satisfying solutions.
In order to measure how well our designs solve a problem, we believe the best way is to build working interactive prototypes of our projects. It’s that moment, when the product is touchable… when the data is in movement… when the interactions are tangible… that one can really test how a product feels.
Once we have a living prototype of something in the hand, we can measure interactions and better understand where our solution can still be improved. We are constantly iterating and regularly fine-tuning our solutions until we feel like they are beautiful enough to go out into the world. This doesn’t mean perfect! (perfect doesn’t exist) But through our close collaboration with our clients, we always find the sweet spot of when a solution is good enough to be released into the world.
We are a tight knit team of self-disciplined Designers with diverse skill sets who care about guiding highly functional, and absolutely beautiful solutions from Concept to Execution. And even though we take our work seriously, our culture is what defines us. From the weekly tradition of eating together, to Friday evening drinks with the team and Design community in Hamburg. We care about the solutions we create, the partners we work with, and each other!
This is part of our philosophy and that’s why we try to work on self-driven projects next to our client projects if possible. Many of these projects began as concepts that we wanted to try out, or current complaints we want to solve for ourselves. In the midst of this process, we tend to try to push the boundaries of current industry solutions, as well as just experiment with ideas that are relevant for the world (or even just our circle of friends).
In these self-initiated projects, we learn so much about a topic and in testing out potential solutions. The process becomes an exercise in growing us as a team and as individual designers. Not only that, but many of our concepts end up being a great promotional tool in reaching potential clients and the Design Community at large. This alone is value enough to justify such a time investment.
Often then, after spending so much time and energy into an idea, we try to gauge the benefits of actually bringing a solution to market. We’ve tested tons of ideas, that never make it out of the studio. However, we’re always open to the potential of an idea that could become a viable business. And since we’ve been doing this continually since our beginnings, it’s become a discipline that is ingrained into the makeup of our studio (and will continue on in the future!).
Here are a few of our favorite self-initiated projects 👇
tackl is the most intuitive football prediction app on the market.
Inspired by the 17 inch touchscreen of Tesla's awesome Model S we designed an interface concept for a new generation of car infotainment systems.
Lufthansa recently redesigned their inflight infotainment system and we were somewhat disappointed with the outcome. So we challenged ourselves to come up with a better solution within one week of time.
We love our clients! They vary in size and makeup, including large and small scale digital products (with focuses on complex data visualization and information architecture) for exciting US Startups as well as international corporations. We wouldn’t be around without our partnerships, so thank you to all of them who have supported us throughout the years! Just to name a few…
We are always on the lookout for the next innovative project and partner to work with as a team. However, it’s very important to us that the project as well as the expectations around any collaboration really fits well together. If you’re interested in working together, send us an idea about who you are and what your project goals are.
We’re always looking for new talented people to help us build outstanding user experiences in our office located in the heart of Hamburg’s most creative neighborhood. So feel free to send us your spontaneous application at any time.