Our 2018 Review
2018 has been a healthy mixture of successes and failures for us, we’ve learnt more about ourselves and the business during this period than I think any other year yet.
It’s been ~16 months since our last post, where we mentioned we were becoming a remote business and moving out of our studio. 2018 started with us on the lookout for new members to join the team, and we spent some time looking and interviewed a few people without much success. Everyone we spoke to didn’t quite hit the mark. In hindsight, I think the issue was on us not really knowing exactly what we wanted, or even who we were. I mean, how the hell can someone meet your expectations if you don’t even know what you want in the first place!
Ben and I decided to put a hold on the recruitment drive, and this gave us time to take a step back and rethink our position. The benefit of being a very small team is that you can move in any direction you want, at any time. I love this feeling; we felt that this was an asset we didn’t want to give up anytime soon.
We’re now adopting a more fluid approach to our business, favouring partnerships and collaborations over fixed team members. Designing products and helping teams solve problems require a real mix of skilled people, and we’ve found that diversity is one of the key factors in delivering results. We enjoy working with different people and like to switch things up. Collaborating with other like-minded teams and individuals who have the skills we need, when we need them, makes so much sense.
The work we do is only ever getting more complicated, and each project requires different skillsets or perspectives. It’s much more challenging to add value when you’re the same six people day in and day out. We’re looking forward to seeing how this develops for us and a key objective this year is to meet more people and grow our network.
Where did we go?
We had our heads down and worked hard this year! The biggest mistake we made was neglecting our social media and marketing efforts. I mean, people were asking us if we were still in business? That’s not good! The truth, we’ve been more “in business” than ever before, we’ve just been so focused on our client projects that the social media and marketing didn’t happen. Looking back this is bad, and we need to do much better in 2019 on this.
Starting today! We will be making much more effort in sharing our journey, our ideas, case studies and techniques in order to help others. Make sure you’re following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates.
What did we do?
We had a pretty full schedule with client work in 2018. It was a good mix of small and large pieces of work, all quite varied in their target audience and purpose. A few notable mentions which we’re able to share include:
Designing and building tools to communicate the global prevalence rates of Child Marriage with Girls Not Brides
Help policymakers understand the legal rights of Street Children around the world with the Consortium for Street Children as well as helping them develop their new site and resources library
Helped organise and make display resources for teachers relating to the prevention of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying with the National Children’s Bureau.
These are just 3 of the projects we’ve worked on this year, there’s more to show, and we’re in the middle of developing our case studies which we will be sharing soon.
We work in very challenging, multi-stakeholder environments, carefully handling complex themes and sensitive issues. Much of the work we do is through discussion, problem solving and idea generation — the final product is just a small piece of the puzzle.
It’s our primary objective to share much more of our work and processes with you in 2019.
As well as our client work, we also started to help more causes locally including schools and library services with talks and workshops on running a business, design and employment skills which we hope to build in this year too. Also, we will be making a real push with our local community group — Digital Taunton! More on this soon.
A full year of remote working
I won’t go into detail about this here, that’s another post currently in the works. That said, it’s been our first full year working remotely, and we’ve learned lots about what to do and what not to do. It’s been an exciting experiment.
Developing new habits for remote working isn’t something which happens overnight, but once you have the basics down, it’s proven to be very good for us and our productivity.
Our plans for 2019
Along with a better social media and marketing plan, our goals this year are quite clear
- To establish ourselves as a highly-skilled, flexible team who help build products for some of the leading NGOs, advocacy groups and charities around the world.
- Improve our network of partners and collaborators, from small/mid-size agencies to freelancers of varying specialisms.
- Introduce new services and processes to further build up our toolkit; such as Design Sprints, Rapid Prototyping and other workshops we’re thinking of developing.
If you’re interested in working with us and want to know more, please drop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org