Interview by Jana Wardag
Photos by Beatrice Lunari

October 09, 2019

menonthemoon is an independent experience design company with a focus on innovative solutions for existing businesses.

Their headquarter is based in beautiful Vienna, Austria and we talked to Managing Directors Yeliz Üney and Simon Müller about their mission and vision, and why motm is a fantastic place to work at.

Fasten your seatbelt and let's go! 🚀

Yeliz Üney

Yeliz Üney

Managing Director


Simon Müller

Simon Müller

Managing Director

Who are you? What is your job at motm?

We are Yeliz Üney and Simon Müller. Both of us are managing directors at motm.

Tell us about motm and how it started?

Yeliz: Motm has been around since 1999, so we are celebrating our 20th anniversary. Motm began as a typical digital agency, designing online shops primarily. Four years ago there was a change of management. Simon and I took over the business and began to transform the agency into a design company.

Simon: We wanted to improve the interactions between companies and their customers to create positive brand experiences. So we focused on the interaction between our clients and their customers. This has opened up many new possibilities for innovative solutions.

Yeliz: The change was fraught with great challenges: for these new tasks we needed new structures, tools and processes and a team that wanted to tackle these challenges together with us. But it was worthwhile. We are very proud of our team and their capabilities.

“Today our team is made up of people from 8 different countries. Our headquarters is in Vienna. We opened an office in Hamburg in 2017, and our New York office is coming soon.”

How big is the team now? Is everybody based out of the same office?

Simon: I clearly remember a night when we put our heads together over a cold drink and imagined our ideal team. New skills ... ok, where do we find the people? Open mindset ... how can you tell? And that's how it started. Step by step, we assembled a talented international team composed of individuals from a variety of disciplines: (UX-) design, strategy and technology. These diverse influences come through in our work.

Yeliz: Today our team is made up of people from 8 different countries. Our headquarters is in Vienna. We opened an office in Hamburg in 2017, and our New York office is coming soon. Last year, we began to experiment with remote working. This allows our teams a very flexible and individual work space. Teams can now decide for themselves where they want to work. Of course, the tools and processes had to be adapted again.

Simon: Remote working gave our teams the ability to access and share knowledge anywhere and at any time. It helped us improve the structures and processes used by our team.

What do you tell your family and friends about motm and what are you doing there?

Simon: We guide companies as they undergo digital transformation by helping them make the right strategic decisions and then successfully implementing those changes.

Yeliz: Sometimes just: “we have a creative team that we do lots of great things with!”

What's the story behind your name?

Simon: We always look at things in a very holistic way. Sometimes it's as if we're looking down from outer space. We like to consider every perspective.

Could you tell me about an outstanding project/product you worked on in the past few months?

Right now, we are working intensively on the topic of Data Thinking. In contrast to Design Thinking, Data Thinking is a method that uses existing and/or new data to initiate innovations and to optimize innovation processes. Both Data Thinking and Design Thinking put the user at the center and therefore have many things in common. Since data specialists (data scientists) often lack understanding of customers, our approach is highly valuable to companies. Through the collaboration, we bring together enterprise-level data experts and our design experts to develop technically feasible and desirable solutions. Most of our projects are confidential and we cannot speak about them. However, we have already published some articles (The Ingredients of Data InnovationThe Order of Data Experts) and regularly host meet-ups on the subject. In our team, Michael Kurz and Robbert De Kruijff are hard at work on this front.

What's one thing you do to nurture your own creativity and/or energy? How does motm help you with that?

Yeliz: We travel a lot and are inspired by foreign countries and cultures.

Simon: Last year, for example, we spent two months in New York, looking at the creative market and getting inspired. Working remotely, we were able to stay closely connected with our team.

Yeliz: We are having valuable discussions with experts from our industry. We stimulate creative exchange in the Vienna design scene through regular meet-ups held at our office.

Simon: At our weekly team meetings, we encourage individuals to share their current projects, ideas and experiences with one another.

What is a day in the office like for you?

Simon: Every day is different. It's a mix of remote and on-site work. The change of scenery is good for me and helps me come up with new ideas. The strategic work for our projects usually takes place outside of the office.

Yeliz: The mornings are for team meetings. I am checking in to project updates if necessary. In the afternoon I work on strategic topics. Or we meet potential new clients or business partners.

How do you see motm evolving in the next 5-10 years?

Simon: In five years, we are an internationally renowned design company and a contact point for customers looking for a creative and courageous approach to digital transformation.

Yeliz: We have up to 25 employees per site and we collaborate worldwide.

What does the recruitment process at motm look like?

Yeliz: First we need a CV and a letter of motivation. We need to understand exactly how the person fits the job. Then there is an interview with our team leads. After that hurdle is overcome, there is a final interview with us as the managing directors. Then it is decided. Our assistant Ruperta M. Steinwender guides all applicants through this process and is the central point of contact for all queries before and during the selection process.

What are the biggest mistakes you have seen people make when applying for a job at motm?

Simon: Sometimes people pretend to be ... we've had some bad experiences.

What gets you excited about a great candidate?

Yeliz: An inspirational conversation about the candidate’s personal experiences. Also, bad experiences. Personally, I find those stories even more interesting because they show how a person overcame challenges in their life.

Simon: I just want to feel that a person is engaged in mastering their discipline, really burning for it.

“Our leadership style leaves a lot of room for personal development. Of course, this also applies to our executives.”

Why are you better at your job than your competitors?

Yeliz: Our leadership style leaves a lot of room for personal development. Of course, this also applies to our executives. People who join our team must be able to handle this freedom and know how to make use of it. This is an opportunity for us to learn a lot about ourselves, professionally and personally.

Simon: We are open to new directions and ideas that will help us strategically and creatively as a design company. Our employees have the opportunity to pursue their own interests and we are ready to encourage young talent. You must see this as a start-up within motm.

What would you like to tell us about motm that is not written down in your job descriptions?

Yeliz: Our customers and their needs are central to our work. We are looking for people who can collaborate with clients to develop solutions.

Simon: As a part of motm, you should feel personally invested in the company's growth and in finding new ways of working together.

Open positions at motm:

UX/UI Designer (Digital Products)
→ Junior Front-End Developer (UX Design)
→ Digital Consultant
→ Lead Business Developer

Thanks so much, Yeliz & Simon! ⚡️⚡️