Posts About ZURB
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!
We've learned a lot over the years about how we can better connect with people. We've come to realize that we reach people in many different ways. We talk with customers every day, utilizing chat to answer quick questions or hop on a call to dig deeper into a person's problem. Whether it's through email, communities such as Forrst or face-to-face, we like talking to people and finding solutions to their needs.
A mosiac of our Twitter fans whom we reach every day.
As our Customer Advocate, you'll be the voice of ZURB and, more importantly, the voice of our customers. You'll play a vital part in the development of our product suite because of the valuable insights you'll receive from our customers. At the end of the day, you'll help the product designers who use our tools to achieve great things. Connecting with customers isn't limited to emails or chats. You have the opportunity to give them feedback directly on their work through our community of 50,000 designers and developers, Forrst. You'll also get to meet customers face-to-face through our meetups and events, such as Soapbox.
Working for ZURB is rewarding and exciting because you're solving problems daily and creating new opportunities at the same time. Our holistic, grassroots methods of connecting to people is empowering. We're looking for that person who can find new ways of bridging the divide with our customers, who'll be just as dedicated to them as we all are.
Want to learn more? Check out the complete Customer Advocate description and apply today!
We've been doing a lot of arithmetic around ZURB HQ lately. So much that we've lost count of the number of new ZURBians we've brought on board. That's why we added an accountant to the team to help us keep count and help us calculate the last digit of Pi. All kidding aside, we brought her on to make sure our numbers added up.
So without further ado, please welcome …
Afton Giles, A Redhead for Numbers
Afton has lived most of her life in Palo Alto, but she was actually born in Tehran, Iran. She's got a knack for crunching numbers, holding a degree in Finance and spending her career in one accounting role or another. But numbers aren't the only things that gets her jazzed. She's really fascinated by technology and how fast its changing.
Before becoming one of us, Afton worked with IT geeks and engineers who she thought had much better toys to play with — like remote control hovercrafts. She says it was one of the coolest jobs she'd ever had. Before coming here, of course. That brings us to a little fact about Afton and one of the reasons she's come to work with us.
Her biggest pet peeve? Bad design. As she says:
Never dreamed I would be lucky enough to work with designers and see first hand what makes good design.
Another interesting tidbit about Afton is that she's met Mr. Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy, who she says is very tall. However, she's also more of a "Star Wars" fan, so she'll fit in with the majority of us who are. Oh, and she'll fit in with those of us who are Trekkies as well.
So everyone say "hello" to Afton, our newest ZURBian.
Remember when our class of 5th graders stopped by the office last week? We can't stop thinking about how much they grokked design thinking, showing us how it's never too early to learn those concepts. It's also never too late to learn those concepts. That's why every year we hold a 24-hour marathon to help out one lucky nonprofit over a design hump.
We're happy to announce that we've opened submissions for our sixth ZURBwired, which will take place Aug. 8, 2013. We'll help one nonprofit solve a design problem from start to finish in 24-hours. We'll work side-by-side with the members of the nonprofit and go through every step in the design process from ideation to prototyping to implementation.
From our work with dozens of nonprofits over the years, we've seen the kind of operational paralysis that can stymie an organization. Many are programmed to get every last detail right before taking action. They focus on closing down problems, not opening them up. This can lead to operational fatigue where nothing gets done. During ZURBwired, we coach a nonprofit through the design process to get them unstuck and moving forward again. Afterward, they not only achieve their design goals — they learn how to do it for themselves.
Design Thinking the Gift that Keeps on Giving
Last year, we worked with the Elves at Family Giving Tree, who ensure the holiday wishes of children in low-income neighborhoods. They also provide backpacks filled with school supplies to kids across the Bay Area. 2012 was a special year for Elves, who celebrated helping a million children. In 24 hours, we crafted a marketing message for that milestone, created posters and we redesigned their entire website, which helped them celebrate their achievement in a big way.
But they were also able to take what they learned from working with us and apply it long after the event. As Communications Elf Cristi French puts it:
We learned a lot about what the look and feel of our campaigns say about our organization. Having the ability to really focus on "impact" instead of "instructions" by implementation design changes, helped us connect to our supporters in a more meaningful way. We continue to use elements from our time at ZURB today, and have received an overwhelming positive response to the new look!
She also has some advice for this year's luck nonprofit, whoever that may be:
Get ready for a truly unique experience! Be prepared to look at your organization from a new perspective, and be open to exploring new methods of getting your message out there. Bring a diverse team that can maintain the integrity of your mission while working with "outsiders" that will challenge your status quo. Transformation is fun ' even at 3 o'clock in the morning!
We had a great deal of fun working with the Elves and can't wait to work with the next nonprofit for this year's ZURBwired!
Other Nonprofits Who Got Wired
Need to Get Over a Design Hump?
If you're a nonprofit that needs help getting over a hump, here's what your proposal needs to include:
- Inspire us with your organization's mission.
- Name three teamwork tactics that will make your organization a perfect fit for ZURBwired!
- Describe a clear goal that your entire organization wants to accomplish.
- Say which team members will be committed to participating all day and night?
- Name one or two people from the team that's capable of making executive decisions on the organization's behalf — there's no time to consult with the board at two in the morning!
The deadline for submissions is July 8, 2013. Over the next few weeks, we'll be reviewing submissions and picking one nonprofit to work with. So what are you waiting for?
We get a lot of visitors at our ZURB Command Center. Today, however, we got a special visit from Miss Phillip's 5th grade class from Sacred Heart School in nearby Saratoga. They've been designers-in-practice thanks to Miss Phillips, a good friend of ours who's been teaching them how they can use design to solve problems. So we were happy to have them drop by for a visit.
We took them on a brief tour of our HQ, then through a quick history of design. They asked us about what it was like to work with clients, what our favorite projects were and even what we liked to watch on TV. It was great showing them how we work, but we learned something from them too. Their field trip reinforced something that we've always known — it's never too early to learn product design and design thinking.
Design Thinking Prepares Kids for Today's Challenges
Miss Philipps has incorporated design into her teaching philosophy because it prepares her students to be successful in the 21st century. As she puts it:
Design thinking incorporates life-long learning strategies. Students collaborate, communicate, ideate, problem solve, become empathetic, and learn to persevere. These concepts are the foundation of education.
It's great to see an elementary school class embracing the concepts of design thinking. Many of us were taught in school that critical thinking was the only way to solve problems. That type of approach is great for closing them down — not so great for trying to opening them up. That's where design thinking comes in, allowing kids to use their imaginations to explore problems. They can go on tangents, exploring different solutions to a given problem. Don't get us wrong, that's not to say that design thinking is a replacement for critical thinking. They should complement each other. Kids who learn design thinking have a valuable skill set to solve any kind of problem, not just design.
Design Thinking Brings Out Hidden Talents
One aspect Miss Philipps loves about design is how it brings out hidden talents. She says it's a joy to see the realization on her students' faces as they discover they posses the qualities of an engineer, artist or problem-solver. As more and more of these qualities come to the forefront, students gain confidence and the motivation to tackle whatever comes their way.
Design Thinking Can Be Applied to Other Studies
Design isn't limited to just design in Miss Philipps' class. She applies it to other studies to make real-life connections. As she puts it:
We have used design in Social Studies to help early American explorers by creating a navigational device that would have helped them through their journeys. We have explored literature during Shakespearian times, and created an organizational device for Widge, a character in The Shakespeare Stealer who always loses things.
Design is Never Ending
Miss Phillips says design is never ending. It teaches students the importance of growing and learning about themselves and others. After all, design is everywhere. Everything we touch is design. But the greatest lesson that students get is that design is about people. That we're solving problems for people.
We'd like to thank Miss Phillips and her 5th grade class for stopping by!
It's also never too late to learn design. We've been teaching our own employees for more than 15 years and have put that into a series of product design courses that anyone can take.
We've been doing a lot of exciting stuff here in our little ol' command center in Campbell, CA. We're looking to expand out efforts for World Domination and are looking to add a brand new Business Developer to help us do that!
We're passionate — we work hard and play hard. We're looking for an equally passionate person who is excited about new emerging technologies, rapid prototyping and connecting with people to join our team. As Business Developer at ZURB, you're one of our first points of contact to the outside world. You are so much more than a closer. You're an educator!
Startups and grownup startups are excited about ZURB and seek us out to help them with their product design problems. We use special tactics to solve problems. We listen and ask questions. We're dedicated to helping clients fill their gaps, provide an educational experience and, of course, solve their problems.
The ZURB experience doesn't stop with our services, that's just the beginning! Our passion goes far beyond solving problems. We're also teachers and trainers. We want to connect with our clients on an educational level. We've created custom training classes for our clients to help their teams become better product designers. We can help our clients with their hiring needs too. Our job board can help our clients find other awesome product designers to join their teams! Education through sales.
Working with the ZURBians is an exciting, addictive experience. When we're excited about an idea, we get a twinkle in our eyes that border's madness. We make our own opportunities — we blaze our own trails. We're movers, shakers and crushers!
Want to learn more? Check out the complete Business Developer description and apply today!