Hey there!

My name is Jón Frímannsson but most people call me Jónfrí. In english, that’s pronounced something like “ya’own free”.

I’ve been working as a UI designer for the past five years, doing work for various Icelandic agencies, start-ups and freelancing.

I’ve given a few talks on design, the theme usually beeing that “... user experience is the product you’re shipping!”

This is a chronicle of my UI-Ninja heroics the past few years. I tried to keep it short to save us both time.

Ég tala líka íslensku.


Míla maintain the largest communication network in Iceland. The project was about combining several maintainence systems into one coherent solution.

The project was awarded The Icelandic Web Industry award for best internal system in 2014

Ask first, design later

The user base was large and well diverse. Getting to know them well first was crucial in solving the design problem as well as possible.

Daily releases

Tecnical specs were constantly changing. Sometimes we were releasing twice a day. I always kept a close eye on any actions that enabled users to accidentally cut off customers internet connections, and hid them well. It takes days to get to get fixed and this actually happened frequently in older systems. Paying it forward.

Tigt-knit team

As we were constantly releasing the dev team got this not so fancy UI kit to use, then I reviewed any changes they’d make and made adjustments before releasing.

Project goals

These Super Mario 3 items are descreptive enough with Icelandic titles. Goals were generic anyways. In hindsight I really should have included the frog.


Jurgen, enviromental engineer from Switzerland is my most memorable UX person. He does his research, compares prices and is savvy with his online shopping. Our problem was not selling him the thought of exploring Iceland, but to make him return and finish his checkout. Among the things we implemented was a sort of “foot in the door” technique with a favorites feature, where items could easily be moved to cart. Also we presented Tripadvisor data in innovative ways to make Jurgen think “Since people are buying this it has to be something for me aswell.”

Users learn incrementally

We always asked for info in context. When users adds an item to cart, we ask the minimum amount of questions, to make him feel right at home. The products the client was selling can be complicated, so later in the process we ask for the complex details if necessary - when users have gotten comfortable with the UI.

Don’t drop out now!

The feeling I wanted to create with users during the checkout process was that it was like a person was on the other end. Describe in plain ol’ english why we needed the info we were asking for and keep it clear at all times what they were buying and what it costs. Sales have rocketed since project launched.

Flybus and user testing

Flybus is Reykjavík Excursions most sold item. A bus ticket is a basic item in principle, but they sell it in many variations. To simplify that on buisness level was impossible, so we tried to make the product presentation as simple as possible. Along with normal user testing, I sometimes stopped at downtown cafés on my way home from the office and did some guerilla user testing on tourists. Bought them coffee and got them to test interactive prototypes early on. This helped alot and gave me great insight into the target audience minds.


Too many vertical pixels of seriousness.

RE:D Car

RE:D car started buisness when we launched the website. The big car rentals are a UX jungle full of dark patterns and confusion, so our goal naturally was to simplify the process of renting a car. Even make it enjoyable.

The project was nominated as “Best Website (Small Companies)” at The Icelandic Web Industry award in 2014

Clear and simple

Pick a date. Pick a Car. Pay up. Problem? The booking engine is the heart of everything so we tried to minimize anything that could disrupt users from that ideal user flow.

Mutual understanding

Few know the difference between a VW Golf and a Renault Grand Scenic. I certainly don't. We tried to offer users filters & tags that filtered the fleet on users terms. We sent a survey to approx. 200 people, then implemented the filters from those results. This was also a discreet way of asking the client to drop all the car rental industry lingo and just talk to humans.

Upselling is key

Car Rentals usually just break even if there’s no upsell. the RE:D insurance package was the one desk staff were pushing & we pushed on the web aswell. Over half of web rentals bought this insurance with their rental.


Reykjavík’s website had been deteriorating rapidly. City hall formed a team to review and rewrite the content. My role was to design the information architecture so users could find the content they were after, as well as the aesthetics.

The project was awarded the best governmental website award in 2014

Complex navigation solved with clever search

Working closely with front-end coders was not possible in this project. Sometimes my vision for the UI/UX got lost in translation. But from the get go I advocated for a robust search engine as the heart of the web. City hall has since done a terrific job connecting terms from search logs and it’s call centre, to relevant content - as was the strategy.

Less noise more awesomeness

Whilst designing I took a non-decorative approach. Users go to reykjavik.is to get stuff done, not to view all the spectecular graphics that one might find on any given webpage.

too many chiefs

Reykjavík alot of editors on their website, some maybe just edit one or two pages that are “theirs”. We did some research on their needs to make templates that accomodated their needs, so they were less inclined to invent their own ways to make things stick out.

More about me

Just a wee bit of info on what I’m up to when I’m not spending my time working or with the family.

Talks on design

Beautifully crafted interfaces and great user experiences are a passion of mine. I contemplate these things whilst not at work and sometimes ramble on about them when drinking, usually to the wrong crowd. Here are some slides from recent talks I’ve given on design. In icelandic unfortunately.


I’m decent at beat-mixing, and sometimes I make house music. It’s kind of like UI design. You need to find the sounds that make the groove, work on them and mute the noise. Laurent Garnier once wrote me a nice letter telling me he played one of my records.


Carrying a camera helps with always keeping your eyes open. I like observing the our interaction with each other and our enviroment, and document what I see.

The social me

I try and present my finest self on social media at times. I’ve got some doodles up on Dribbble, attemts at sarcsm on Twitter and my photos on 500px

Jón Frímannsson