Posts About ZURB
We're pleased to see Foundation continue to grow by leaps and bounds. And as we're poised to launch Foundation 5, we're happy to announce that we've added a new ZURBian as our second Customer Advocate who'll be working with our Foundation fan base.
Without further ado, we'd like to introduce you to ...
Rafi Benkual, Customer Advocate
You can blame Rafi's great passion for cutting-edge technology on his dad, a hardware engineer. Rafi was born in Israel but spent much of his life growing up in Silicon Valley. His love for technology really blossomed in high school and he never looked back!
Before joining ZURB as our new Customer Advocate, Rafi managed people, stores and small organizations. You can say that Rafi has been helping customers for a long while now. In fact, he's quite passionate about it. And he's happy he's found a place at ZURB, which shares his passion for customer advocacy.
I have learned so much about design recently and love the industry. I can't wait to be involved in exciting and challenging projects at ZURB!
As a Customer Advocate, Rafi will focus on Foundation. He'll answer any questions you have about Foundation and solving any problems you might encounter. You can chat him up on @foundationzurb or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rafi keeps himself occupied outside of work. He claims he's never bored. That's because he's always active. He plays soccer, and when he's not kicking goals, he mountain bikes and rock climbs with his fellow ZURBians. His favorite movies are anything to do with science fiction or espionage. And he's quite a handy fella, building computers, portable speakers and furniture.
So please everyone give a warm welcome to Rafi!
Today we updated our Studios website. For those who hadn't noticed, we changed the generic name from "services" work to Studios this past summer. With the evolution of our business, it was a great opportunity to highlight our core competency and reinvigorate our team.
The video that greets visitors to our new ZURB Studios site.
Why the Name Update?
We're four years into the evolution of our business strategy. As we push to build out the remaining parts of this strategy, it's important to focus on what got us to this point. "Services" didn't quite capture that. Studios does. It better reflects how we think of our work. Why? Because we're collaborative and creative, working alongside clients at every step of our design process. We don't do big "Mad Men" reveals at the end of projects. Services doesn't imply that close, collaborative, creative relationship. But Studios does. It's where good stuff happens.
At ZURB, we enjoy tinkering with technology, exploring paths that could lead to the next big thing, like our upcoming responsive email framework. A studio is where you toil over your passions like we do. It's where great things can happen. Where a chance conversation can ignite sparks. And a studio feels small, more intimate, which mirrors our project dynamics. Our consulting projects are typically teams of two people — a lead and a designer — and rarely have more than three.
But the biggest boon of the name change: it reflects our ability to get stuff done. A studio implies focus, and that is central to our growth. As we grow, we want the focus on this ability to remain a lynchpin of our business. And Studios, as a name, just felt right.
We got positive reactions whenever we talked about the Studios name internally. The name evokes a place as much as it does a concept, and that's important. That's because unlike some businesses that push for remote workers, we opt for a place where people want to visit and collaborate. A studio you can visit. Santa's studio, a recording studio, a movie studio — all are magical places where great things happen.
Finally, it allows us to clarify our consulting and differentiate it from our training and education, which is now called ZURB University. As we grow our Foundation business, it helps to differentiate design projects from the support and implementation help we give to customers.
A Site Update That Further Gives Identity to Our Consulting
With the site update, we wanted to make clear what we do as a Studios service. We wanted to highlight how our process works and outline what makes our projects strong. We gave new polish to our case studies, which we haven't been good at keeping up-to-date. Since product design can be a bit messy, our new case studies reveal more about the sparks our work creates.
We've also put a ZURB face to the work we do. Sprinkled throughout are quotes from our team, bringing out the human quality in our consulting. A video montage captures the mood and feeling of our Studios, so you can get a sample of the magic we create.
With the update and the new name, our consulting service has solidified into a place as much as a concept. A place where great things have happened and will happen for years to come.
This summer we were thrilled to have an amazing group of design and engineering interns. But now, as September approaches, many of them have gone back to school. One or two went on to full-time jobs.
But sometimes our interns won't go away. They keep working on projects, happily showing up each morning and staying after hours. Their time at ZURB ends but they still want more. That's when we stop calling them interns, and start calling them ZURBians.
Eric Morris, our newest developer, is such a dedicated new hire. Born and raised in the snowy expanses of Upstate New York, Eric migrated to California in search of a place where he could build things and change the world with product design.
Prior to arriving at ZURB, Eric had worked as a designer, a developer, a social media marketer and a freelance photojournalist (not all at the same time). He loves building things and solving problems — almost as much as he loves working with people.
While at Cornell, Eric helped run POPSHOP, an entrepreneurship co-working space serving the Cornell community (he also designed their website, which is featured in the Responsive Gallery). His fascination with entrepreneurship extended to working for a few startups, as well as helping to found one.
When he's not programming, designing or dreaming of a better future, you can find him hanging upside-down off a rock wall or biking — but not too far. We need him to carry on the project he started in May.
Design is in the DNA of our newest designer. She was pre-destined to be a designer since her pre-school days when she was awarded "Most Cheerful and Dramatic Artist." Of course, she told us that she would get in trouble for drawing and doodling rather than paying attention in class. Now, as a full-fledged ZURBian, she doesn't have to worry about sketching. After all, it's part of the job.
So without further ado, please welcome Jessica Phan to our team!
Jessica was born in San Francisco, but spent her childhood in a small South Carolina town. She came back in the Bay Area for high school where her biology teacher encouraged her to study design and illustration. That's because her lab results weren't great. However, the teacher thought her chromosome sketches were spectacular. With that motivation, Jessica ended up at San Jose State to study design. She briefly worked to get her MFA in Graphic Design, but dropped out because she wanted to expand out of print and explore the wide world of the Web.
She then became a Photoshop wizard and ecommerce nerd for an internet retailer company, but eventually made her way to us. So everyone say hello to Jessica!
Last week we embarked on our sixth annual ZURB Wired — a 24-hour marathon project in which we help a nonprofit to overcome design problems or create great marketing campaigns. This year we helped Rebuilding Together Peninsula celebrate their 25th anniversary. The deliverables included:
- Microsite with CMS
- Promotional video
- Thank-you notes
- Bus ads
- Yard sign
- Vehicle sign
- T-shirt design
Miss out on the action? Don't worry we took a time-lapsed video of it all. Check it out:
The video above captures one frame every minute for the duration. It felt as active as it looks. Now let's delve deeper into what we accomplished.
Microsite with a Big Purpose
We built a website with two sides — a public face and a backend administrator. On the front, the general public were able to learn about Peninsula's 25th anniversary, and to sign up for their celebratory event. The administrator side behind-the-scenes let the non-profit:
- Create and manage events
- Sell tickets
- Track attendees
We Made a Video in 24 Hours
This was the first ZURB Wired in which we produced a video for our partner non-profit. Eight minutes covers the mission and history of RTP. It uses new and existing footage to talk about the donations, the growth, the volunteers, the most memorable projects, and the next 25 years. We sent a team to shoot new footage on-site, and cut all the footage together in our world headquarters.
Printed Collateral: Start the Presses!
Part of our 24-hour project included items that had to be done well ahead of 8am Friday. The print deadline was tight, but we got through it.
Brochure to Match the Branding
Peninsula needed one brochure to rule them all — something that could target donors, volunteers and potential clients. We came up with something that could be distributed no matter the venue, no matter the audience. We designed it with the nonprofit's established brand and website while conveying the theme invented just hours prior.
Invitations to the Gala
With Peninsula's 25th anniversary only a few months away, we designed an invitation that showed the organization's humanitarian side. We showed people impacted by the nonprofit's work, including photography and testimonials from happy homeowners. The look is somewhat more sophisticated compared to the other print materials to reflect the formal nature of the event.
A Theme in Posters
What do we do when people have so many different ideas of "home"? We use them all. Our two poster designs carry the slogan, "Home is where ____". Each variation of the poster fills the blank with a homeowner's testimonial about why their home is special to them — what makes a home more than a building.
Gratification in Thank-You Notes
Everyone loves a little pat on the back now and then. We created multi-purpose thank-you cards for volunteers, donors, and friends of RTP, to express gratitude for their dedication. The design includes a mosaic of photos showing the people touched by RTP's work.
Other Printed Materials That Weren't Printed ... Yet
Our designers don't like to sit idle. When the print materials went to press, they began dreaming up additional items to be printed at a later date.
To be thorough, we applied the new look to letterhead for official Rebuilding Together Peninsula documents.
Yard sign to be placed in the yards of homeowners currently working with RTP, to promote their services.
Relive the Action
We've officially kicked off ZURBwired 2013 with Rebuilding Together Peninsula! Over the next 24 hours we'll publish our progress through blog posts, photos and videos. If you curios about how this will unfold, check out our previous years to see what amazing groups of people can accomplish in 24 hours.
Follow along over the next 24 hours as we race to help this non-profit creating an amazing marketing campaign for their 25th anniversary:
August is just beginning, and we've already added a new designer to our team. Self-described mad man — and forever plaid man — Brandon Arnold is a South Bay native who grew up not far from our world headquarters. His mother was a nurse and his father an engineer; from his mother he took away an empathy for people and from his father a curiosity for how to improve on everything.
For the last decade and a half he's studied both design and improv. One skill affected the other, and he began performing — and instructing — improv professionally with ComedySportz in San Jose.
His love of design lead to a love of advertising. Attending San Jose State's advertising program led to a web designer at an ad agency in Campbell. There he worked on print campaigns, video production and websites with Foundation. A long-time ZURB fan, he says starting his design job here was "probably the best thing to happen for the past few weeks."
The countdown has begun to this year's ZURBwired, our crazy, coffee-fueled, 24-hour design marathon where we help one lucky nonprofit. We're stoked to congratulate our friends at Rebuilding Together Peninsula for being selected as this year's participant! We want to thank all the nonprofits who sent in so many excellent proposals!
The folks at Rebuilding Together Peninsula had the right mixture of high energy, strong mission and clear goals that we were looking for. That, and they have a scrappy team who's willing to lose an entire night's sleep to crush it! We know they're going to come in, raise a bit of hell and accomplish great things in 24 hours.
We'll start constructing an amazing website and whip up print materials for their upcoming 25th anniversary on Aug. 8 at 8 AM and go until Aug. 9 at 8 AM.
We were impressed by Rebuilding Together Peninsula's overall mission to ensure that everyone, no matter how much money they earn, has a safe and healthy home. They provide free repairs and modifications to an average of 160 homes a year in communities along the Peninsula in the Bay Area. They know how to roll up their sleeves, grab a few volunteers and some tools to get results. And they can barely contain their excitement at being selected for this year's Wired:
We are soooooooo excited and looking forward to our 24-hour marathon with the ZURB Team on Aug. 8! Our organization started off as "Christmas in April" after a homeowner was so touched by the generosity of her neighbors in helping her out with home repairs that she said, "Well, this is just like Christmas in April!" It's so fun to feel the same giddy feeling that our homeowners and community facilities have told us about. On the giving side, we also know that it's a lot of hard work and requires a lot of preparation on all parts and we are definitely up for the challenge!
Cari Pang Chen, Program Director
We're going to work together so Rebuilding Together Peninsula can celebrate their 25 years of helping folks and communities get the facility repairs they need. We'll help them with a brand strategy and designs for their anniversary, including coming up with a new site specifically for the event, a logo, invitations, brochures, posters and other goodies.
Using our design process and goal-oriented teamwork, we'll get it all done in a tight 24-hour timebox. Our philosophy and guiding principle of Wired is that anyone can use design to breakthrough barriers and creating something wonderful. And we'll set the nonprofit up with the tools to continuing building great things for years after Wired.
Become a Volunteer!
We're looking for a few good volunteers to join the Aug. 8 party! Each year, our volunteers inspire us with the work they create during the 24 hours. Volunteering means signing up for the entire 24 hours, showing up on time and committing to help our teammates in a very fluid schedule.
If you're interested in volunteering, email us with the following:
- Your top three skills
- The types of goods and/or services you can offer
- Your best teamwork tactic
- Your URL
- Why you want to volunteer for Wired
We love it when we get special deliveries to our front door, and we couldn't be happier with our latest delivery — two new ZURBians. One came as far as sunny Southern California to be part of our ongoing mission for world domination! So without further ado, let's introduce you to...
Christopher Brownlee, Marketer
Christopher emerged from the wilderness of freelance marketing, blog writing and design to join our team. He's amped to explore the vast cosmos of product design as our new marketer. He's so excited that he's prepared to shout from the highest peak to get everyone's attention. But we'll make sure he has a phone and an email so that he can reach out to people faster.
Despite being born in the far off Andes mountains, he grew up in Silicon Valley and doesn't think he'll ever fly away. He's also a bit of a history buff, digging deep into the origins of many things — even his own name, which means White Soaring Bird. He double-majored in Anthropology and Health Science at San Jose State and was a bit of a self-professed career student. But he's excited to be at ZURB, as he said:
"You know I thought I had a grip on what was ahead for design and technology. Each moment I have here is making me realize I have barely scratched the surface."
When not trying to get the word out about ZURB, Christopher can be found indulging in his favorite TV show — Dexter.
Zeth Oats, Customer Advocate
Zeth was born at UCSD medical in sunny San Diego and raised by a free-spirited mother who thought the name Zethian sounded so cool that she ran with it. Zeth grew up as your typical SoCal kid — skateboard, surfing and the beach. Eventually he made his way into the hustle and bustle of radio.
Zeth won an apprentice competition, besting 5,000 other applicants for the position on a morning radio show. But he didn't toil in the internship trenches for long and moved up the food chain, from producing to directing to DJing. He did it all. Now he's made the leap to the Bay Area, becoming a full-fledged ZURBian as our new Customer Advocate! And he's stoked to be here:
"I worked with a huge monolithic radio company. In coming here and getting to know everybody, I realize that light, lean and productive is the better way of doing it. Hiring people instead of positions. Not what you've done, what you CAN do and I love that about ZURB."
So everyone please give a warm welcome to our newest members!
With a growing ZURB, we've had to double down on the way we connect with people whether it's through our products or services. One person who really believes in making meaningful connections is Roeland van Krieken, who heads up Biz Dev here at ZURB.
Roeland has created connections that have given us the ability to explore new opportunities, reach for new heights and create even more sparks. It is, with much pride and admiration, that we'd like to give a round of applause to Roeland as he steps up as ZURB's newest Partner!
Roeland has been a part of the ZURB family since 2009. He was ambitious, wanting to make a difference the moment he came through our doors. With his nose to the grindstone, he learned all about product design. What he's learned has better framed his approach to our client work. He's helped our business grow tremendously since coming to ZURB and he's not done yet — big plans are afoot.
It's not all work and no play for Roeland. He's incredibly active. You could say he's an outdoorsy kind of guy. You might find him preparing for a triathlon on the weekends, or leading a group of ZURBians on a trek through Yosemite. Or mountain and road biking through the Bay Area. He's also quite the brewmaster, crafting his own homemade beers.
We couldn't be more excited for Roeland. The future is bright and we can't see what he has in store for us. Help us give three cheers for our newest partner!