Today is my birthday. I’m fifty years old. Before the coronavirus pandemic, I had the wildest dreams on how to spend this day, such as trekking in the high Himalayas or exploring Hokkaido in Japan (to name a few). Instead, we’re in the woods in Sweden, which is more sustainable, and not so bad either. The Himalayas can wait.

For someone who has always had many interests in life, it’s interesting to reflect back on my (roughly) seven-year cycles of change. After the childhood/teenage years of drawing, skiing and listening to my sisters’ piano playing, I spent the next 14…

Photo by Aki Kärkkäinen

2020. The year from hell, entirely of our own making (we humans). I’ve spent most of this lonely pandemic year reading, listening and trying to understand people’s behaviour better, including people whose opinions, beliefs and actions are the polar opposite of mine. 2020 was also a wake-up call and an opportunity to try to update and reprogram my System 1.

My perception of several countries has changed profoundly in 2020 — including a certain Scandinavian country whose arrogant “we know best” attitude has resulted in not only suffering and unnecessary deaths, but also its international reputation being damaged for years…

Photo by Teresita Garit on Unsplash

After having worked in Copenhagen for about eight years, I’ve decided to move to Sweden, to the opposite (east) side of the Öresund bridge. Those sunsets!

Sweden is the sixth European country where I’ve lived and worked so far. Number is not important. What’s important are all the cultural experiences and the diverse people I’ve met and learnt from during the years, widening my perspective. I’m grateful for that. However, I’m not willing to completely abandon my international career yet :) I will always remain open to new and exciting challenges.

English will still (mostly) be my language of choice…

Photo by Nicholas Green on Unsplash

Music, people, culture, languages and communication have been my main interests for as long as I can remember. Growing up in a musical family where two of my sisters created a career as classical pianists, playing drums gave me a sense of purpose. So, my early adult years were spent on studying music at university level and working as freelance musician and drum teacher.

At first it was fun and rewarding. But something was missing in my career trajectory. Editing audio and writing music with software filled that gap for a while, paving the way for another university, and a…

Have you ever had trouble using a digital product or service? Do you remember how it felt? Did you feel excluded, or just frustrated? In this introductory post I’ll discuss some of the roadblocks to creating accessible products while offering practical advice on how to overcome them.

Photo by John Mark Arnold on Unsplash

What is Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility is about putting people first. It’s about digital equality and inclusion. It’s about understanding the diversity of users and designing for the needs of the widest range of people — including (but not limited to) those with situational, temporary, changing or permanent disabilities. It’s not about edge cases: designing for inclusion…

Aki Kärkkäinen

Scrum Master, Agile enthusiast and former UI Developer with 20+ years of international working experience from six European countries. Occasional Music Freak.

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