About

Susanna Nevalainen, the owner of Zuzze Technologies, is a creative technologist from Finland who grew up with a passion for technology and design. She belongs to a rare breed of professionals known as “UX unicorns” in the industry: she creates magical experiences by combining in-depth expertise both in UI/UX and frontend engineering.

Over the past decade, Susanna has built innovative products and features from the ground up. To share her international battle-tested product development experience, she founded Zuzze Technologies. Zuzze helps teams with shaping tomorrow's user interfaces with the latest technologies to make the world a better place by creating experiences users love.

Education

Master of Science in ICT Innovation

European Institute of Innovations and Technology
EIT Digital International Double Degree, GPA 4.8/5

MajorHuman-Computer Interaction and Design

MinorInnovation & Entrepreneurship

Bachelor of Science in Technology

University of Turku, Finland, GPA 4.9/5

MajorComputer Science

MinorMathematics

Work Experience

Zuzze Technologies GmbH

Zuzze Technologies GmbH

Founder / Freelance Consultant, 2024

Based in Switzerland, serving customers globally

Hexagon / Leica Geosystems - Digital Reality Innovation Hub

Hexagon / Leica Geosystems - Digital Reality Innovation Hub

Senior consultant in Frontend & UI/UX, 2021-2023

Zürich, Switzerland

Oyster Lab - CleanTech Incubator by Alpiq

Oyster Lab - CleanTech Incubator by Alpiq

Frontend Lead Engineer, 2020-2021

Zürich, Switzerland

SafetyWing - Y-combinator 2018 InsurTech SaaS Startup

SafetyWing - Y-combinator 2018 InsurTech SaaS Startup

Frontend Lead Engineer, 2018-2019

San Francisco, California, US

CERN - the European Organization for Nuclear Research

CERN - the European Organization for Nuclear Research

Frontend Engineer & UI/UX Designer, 2018

Geneva, Switzerland

Nokia - 5G Data center Innovation Unit

Nokia - 5G Data center Innovation Unit

Frontend/VR Developer & UI/UX Designer, 2017-2018

Espoo, Finland

Outotec - HSC Chemistry Simulation R&D unit

Outotec - HSC Chemistry Simulation R&D unit

Software Engineer Trainee, 2015-2017

Espoo, Finland

Selected awards

Selected awards Susanna has received over the years

Want to hear more?

For the full story, we need to jump back in time...

portal

1990s

Got excited about the new thing called “The Internet”.

Got excited about the new thing called “The Internet”.

2000s

Became familiar with many games and game devices. Games were rarely translated into Finnish so she had to learn English resulting in a stipend in the English language in 2006.

Became familiar with many games and game devices. Games were rarely translated into Finnish so she had to learn English resulting in a stipend in the English language in 2006.

Susanna became the first one in her family who attended gymnasium. Art and Math became quickly her main interests and she studied all available courses on these subjects. She received stipend in Art and graduated with top grades in both subjects.

Susanna became the first one in her family who attended gymnasium. Art and Math became quickly her main interests and she studied all available courses on these subjects. She received stipend in Art and graduated with top grades in both subjects.

2010

Earned money as a school assistant and started side income by organizing an art & crafts club for primary school kids.

Earned money as a school assistant and started side income by organizing an art & crafts club for primary school kids.

She wanted to add a snowfall animation on her Tumblr blog. She was quickly sucked into the world of HTML, CSS, & JS because the ready-made blog themes were simply not pretty enough.

She wanted to add a snowfall animation on her Tumblr blog. She was quickly sucked into the world of HTML, CSS, & JS because the ready-made blog themes were simply not pretty enough.
Enlightened by the magical superpower to make anything look better via code, she started to study Computer Science at the University of Turku. Finland's free university system provided a great opportunity for her as a first generation student. The university was known for courses around games and gamification.

Enlightened by the magical superpower to make anything look better via code, she started to study Computer Science at the University of Turku. Finland's free university system provided a great opportunity for her as a first generation student. The university was known for courses around games and gamification.

Continued art hobby on the side and experimented especially with line art

Continued art hobby on the side and experimented especially with line art

2015

Got first real developer job during second year of university simulating recycling processes to improve circular economy at Outotec.

Got first real developer job during second year of university simulating recycling processes to improve circular economy at Outotec.

Bought a drawing tablet and started making hand-drawn digital & vector art.

Bought a drawing tablet and started making hand-drawn digital & vector art.
After ranking in the top 2% in her Bachelor's, received a €24K scholarship for an international Master program at the European Institute of Innovations and Technology, focusing on Human-Computer Interaction & Design. The program specialized in user-centered design, emerging technologies and entrepreneurship.

After ranking in the top 2% in her Bachelor's, received a €24K scholarship for an international Master program at the European Institute of Innovations and Technology, focusing on Human-Computer Interaction & Design. The program specialized in user-centered design, emerging technologies and entrepreneurship.

She worked together with dozens of different nationalities being the only Finnish person among hundreds of students from all over the globe.

Worked as a frontend developer for 5G data center innovation unit at Nokia specializing in responsive dashboard visualization. The team had no designers so she also started applying her UI/UX design knowledge on the side.

Worked as a frontend developer for 5G data center innovation unit at Nokia specializing in responsive dashboard visualization. The team had no designers so she also started applying her UI/UX design knowledge on the side.
As part of the studies at EIT Digital, she became familiar with design thinking and did hundreds of user interviews and surveys. She also gained proficiency in moderated user testing and heuristic usability evaluation while working as a Frontend Engineer for Nokia in parallel.

As part of the studies at EIT Digital, she became familiar with design thinking and did hundreds of user interviews and surveys. She also gained proficiency in moderated user testing and heuristic usability evaluation while working as a Frontend Engineer for Nokia in parallel.

At university, she did thousands of design mockups, slowly learning the psychology behind the user interfaces and human mind. Realized that making things look nice is only a part of UX.

At university, she did thousands of design mockups, slowly learning the psychology behind the user interfaces and human mind. Realized that making things look nice is only a part of UX.
Won her first hackathon prize at Junction 2016 creating a donation app for Transferwise.

Won her first hackathon prize at Junction 2016 creating a donation app for Transferwise.

Got into motion graphics by creating hand-drawn animation movies.

Got into motion graphics by creating hand-drawn animation movies.
Ranked as a top 10 ICT students in Finland receiving a scholarship for Huawei’s Seeds for the Future Program in China.

Ranked as a top 10 ICT students in Finland receiving a scholarship for Huawei’s Seeds for the Future Program in China.

Started working with Blender & 3D modeling and realized it was kind of like pottery - but better!

Started working with Blender & 3D modeling and realized it was kind of like pottery - but better!
2017 she received a scholarship for European Innovation Academy startup accelerator program in Italy and worked with an Augmented Reality MedTech app for vestibular disorders.

2017 she received a scholarship for European Innovation Academy startup accelerator program in Italy and worked with an Augmented Reality MedTech app for vestibular disorders.

Second year of the Master’s was at KTH in Stockholm where she learned about emerging user interfaces and continued improving her knowledge on user-centred design. She also confirmed that her interests lie in software, not in hardware.

Second year of the Master’s was at KTH in Stockholm where she learned about emerging user interfaces and continued improving her knowledge on user-centred design. She also confirmed that her interests lie in software, not in hardware.
Received the top grade for her Master's thesis, which focused on comparing the visualization of Nokia's 5G data centers in virtual reality (VR) and 2D.

Received the top grade for her Master's thesis, which focused on comparing the visualization of Nokia's 5G data centers in virtual reality (VR) and 2D.

After graduation she worked as a Frontend Engineer at CERN,  the European Organization for Nuclear Research. As the only person with frontend and design background in the team, she created designs and the frontend web app from scratch, which visualized data from all particle accelerators at CERN. She worked together with around 20 backend engineers and physicists connecting the APIs into a single easy-to-use frontend app.

After graduation she worked as a Frontend Engineer at CERN,  the European Organization for Nuclear Research. As the only person with frontend and design background in the team, she created designs and the frontend web app from scratch, which visualized data from all particle accelerators at CERN. She worked  together with around 20 backend engineers and physicists connecting the APIs into a single easy-to-use frontend app.
Thanks to the Finnish not-for-profit organization Startuplifers, she landed a job as a Frontend Lead Engineer in San Francisco for a Y-combinator company SafetyWing, who provide a social safety net for digital nomads. After the founders, she was one of the first full-time employees in the team together with a backend engineer.

Thanks to the Finnish not-for-profit organization Startuplifers, she landed a job as a Frontend Lead Engineer in San Francisco for a Y-combinator company SafetyWing, who provide a social safety net for digital nomads. After the founders, she was one of the first full-time employees in the team together with a backend engineer.

The first product grew into 10K users in less than a year resulting in $3.5M seed round. Today, SafetyWing has raised $50M and has hundreds of thousands of customers around the globe.

2020

Moved to Zürich and started working as a Frontend Lead Engineer at the Oyster Lab CleanTech incubator testing out startup ideas with an innovative team aiming for a cleaner future for the planet. She worked developing vue.js frontends for several apps such as Juicar electric car subscription and Claridoo smart electricity app.

Moved to Zürich and started working as a Frontend Lead Engineer at the Oyster Lab CleanTech incubator testing out startup ideas with an innovative team aiming for a cleaner future for the planet. She worked developing vue.js frontends for several apps such as Juicar electric car subscription and Claridoo smart electricity app.
Inspired by the Swiss mountains and her new COVID hobby hiking, bought an action camera and a drone, and started making landscape videos for fun.

Inspired by the Swiss mountains and her new COVID hobby hiking, bought an action camera and a drone, and started making landscape videos for fun.

By this point, coding had become less of a challenge and more of a tool, allowing her to focus on experimenting with many exciting hobby project in both 2D and 3D.

By this point, coding had become less of a challenge and more of a tool, allowing her to focus on experimenting with many exciting hobby project in both 2D and 3D.
Oyster Lab and the whole Zürich office was closed by Alpiq due to the economic situation & COVID-19. During the garden leave she did a certificate on Unreal & C++ to learn more about available 3D tools that were beyond her comfort zone.

Oyster Lab and the whole Zürich office was closed by Alpiq due to the economic situation & COVID-19. During the garden leave she did a certificate on Unreal & C++ to learn more about available 3D tools that were beyond her comfort zone.

In 2021, was headhunted for a Senior consultant position at Hexagon Digital Reality Innovation Hub working with digital twins and the industrial metaverse. She specialized in designing, prototyping and developing complex 3D web user interfaces for reality capture and geospatial data.

In 2021, was headhunted for a Senior consultant position at Hexagon Digital Reality Innovation Hub working with digital twins and the industrial metaverse. She specialized in designing, prototyping and developing complex 3D web user interfaces for reality capture and geospatial data.
Experimented on the side with several 3D and AR unity projects in Unity Learning Academy.

Experimented on the side with several 3D and AR unity projects in Unity Learning Academy.

Her team won an Innovation Hub Hackathon at Hexagon and she deepened her knowledge in 3D avatars and rigging. As a prize of the hackathon got an Oculus VR headset and started experimenting with VR more.

Her team won an Innovation Hub Hackathon at Hexagon and she deepened her knowledge in 3D avatars and rigging. As a prize of the hackathon got an Oculus VR headset and started experimenting with VR more.
Started to learn more about AI tools and actively experimenting with AI everyday to optimize work further.

Started to learn more about AI tools and actively experimenting with AI everyday to optimize work further.

In 2024, registered Zuzze Technologies as a company to help more people to create user experiences that people love.

In 2024, registered Zuzze Technologies as a company to help more people to create user experiences that people love.

Your project?

Yes, I need a unicorn

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