Meet Håvard – the tech-savvy creative immersed in aquaculture

On the future of fish farming and how the right level of automation holds the key

Håvard is the developer gone tech-savvy and user-centric designer gone aquaculture innovation expert. We met our Creative Leader of Digital in Trondheim for a conversation on the future of fish farming and what made him dive into the design world.

Fascinated by human-machine interaction

Håvard is all in one – a tech nerd with the creative skills of a designer and the industry expertise few can dream of. He started his professional journey at NTNU, studying programming, but after some time, he switched to digital design. What made him make the move to the creative side?

"I have always been interested in technology and wanted to become a developer. However, during my years at university, I became more and more fascinated by the human-machine interaction part of tech. So I realised that digital product design was what I was passionate about. How can we use design methodology to make tech and people communicate effectively? Over the years, this has developed into a passion for digital innovation."

Immersed in the aquaculture universe

During his nearly nine years as a designer at EGGS Trondheim, Håvard has become a creative expert in the aquaculture industry. From organisational development and mergers and acquisitions to the nitty grittiness of development of concrete digital tools and automation projects, Håvard has had a hand in most fish farming-related projects in EGGS. “I truly enjoy it. It’s an industry where we can make good use of our understanding of user experience for professionals and also use the knowledge and experience from the maritime industries that we have in EGGS.”

Norway boasts a state-of-the-art aquaculture industry, and is the worlds second biggest exporter. But the industry faces several challenges related to environmental impact. "But there is a great potential for innovation and positive impact", says Håvard.

Sees great innovation potential in fish farming

The seafood industry is one of Norway's most important industries, second only to the oil industry, when it comes to export. What are his thoughts on the future of aquaculture? "Norway is number one in the world when it comes to advanced aquaculture and farming Atlantic salmon. Still, there is immense potential for further innovation, and the industry faces several challenges. While salmon production is one of the most eco-efficient forms of animal protein, the industry's sustainability aspect remains an issue. For example, land-based fish farming is highly energy-demanding, while sea-based aquaculture struggles with handling the effects of pollution and fish escapes. But, the Norwegian aquaculture industry has a remarkably strong culture of innovation and drive to find solutions. I do not doubt that we will figure these things out as well. "

"The Norwegian aquaculture industry has a remarkably strong culture of innovation and drive to find solutions."
Håvard Sjøvoll, Creative Leader, EGGS Design

Finding the right level of autonomy is key

Håvard is optimistic and sees many opportunities in the industry:"I think many, if not all, of the solutions already exist. There is a sea of technology available that can solve many of the existing problems, but the challenge is to make sure it is adapted for the context, integrated into existing tools, and, last but not least, makes the everyday work context of the users better. Having the most advanced aquaculture industry in the world comes with the challenge that it also becomes rather complex for the users involved.

Looking ahead, I think one major challenge to this is utilizing all the data being gathered for more autonomous operations. Automatic health assessments and treatment of fish, feeding, and environmental control – all of these could be made more autonomous. The biggest challenge lies in identifying the level of automation. What is best handled by machines, and what is best handled by humans? How do we ensure that we get the best of these worlds, and how do we pass the responsibility between the two parties on a case-by-case level? As designers, I am convinced we have an important role in defining this."

"The biggest challenge lies in identifying the level of automation. What is best handled by machines, and what is best handled by humans?"
Håvard Sjøvoll, Creative Leader, EGGS Design

Tech and people – the key is trust

Håvard has given many talks on the element of trust in the success of implementing new technology and has become known for his expertise in this field. When asked what makes people trust new technology, he says.

"Most people don't trust new technology – trust must be earned. However, they might trust whatever this product is associated with – a brand, a company, or a service. That's what makes trust tricky. Still, when working with new technology, I often say that there are at least three parts you need to focus on to ensure it is trustworthy: The relational trust that the product enables, the mechanical trust (safety and security of the technology), and the design (what it looks like, how it interacts with the user). You can't work with any part isolated to make people trust the tech. That goes for both consumer and professional users."

According to Håvard, there are three core elements to designing for trust: the basic (practicalities such as usability and aesthetics), the mechanical (eg. security, privacy) and relational (transparency and familiarity).

About Håvard

Title in EGGS: Creative Leader Digital Design, EGGS Trondheim

Education: Master of Science in Computer science from NTNU

Works in EGGS since: 2014

Dream Project: I'd love to be part of a project to enable individual-based farming of fish where the fish is treated on an individual level, not as part of a group.

Fun facts:

Favourite fish: If it’s for eating, I must say salmon.

Analogue or digital: Analogue.

Coffee or tea: Coffee!

Best fishing spot: I won’t share it! But I can say that I prefer fishing in a lake to the sea.

The Metaverse – yay or nay? Nay.

Sounds interesting?

Håvard Sjøvoll

You should talk to Creative Leader Digital Design
Håvard Sjøvoll
+47 911 53 543

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. If you continue to click on this page, you accept the use of cookies. Read more about our cookie policy and our privacy policy.

Got it!