Almost six years ago, Gagan Diesh and I started talking about renting office space together. We'd originally met back in 2006 when I was his TA for a User Experience class at Vancouver Film School's (VFS) Digital Design program. After watching each-other's careers grow in different directions for a number of years we noticed a few similar themes in our work and thought there would be a mutual benefit in sharing space. Around the same time we both met Kim Oxlund, a student in the Digital Design program, and were taken by his depth of expertise and raw talent. After many chats in coffee shops, SketchUps, swatches, and visits to IKEA we moved into our office space on March 1st, 2012.
On November 25th of this year we won our first awards together at the VancouverUX Awards. As a crew at DesignStamp we have serious "cobbler's shoes syndrome", as it goes "A cobbler spends most of their time fixing other people's shoes and pays little attention to their own". It came as a great surprise to win both of the categories we entered and a welcome relief to be acknowledged by our peers after working on both of these products for the better part of two years. We're in great company and attribute these wins to the organizations who we were able to work for/with and continue to help in extended roles.
We're not much for reflection at DesignStamp. We take great care in every project we finish, but generally, once we finish something we're on to the next challenge. As such, we have never entered our work into competitions before and frankly, would rather do other things. I'm the sentimental one of the group and feel it necessary to point out how proud I am to work with this crew. We've come a long way and have overcome some pretty spectacular obstacles together. In the early days we spent a lot of time figuring out "how" to work together and where our respective strengths and weaknesses lay. It's for that reason we've been able to find "lateral hand-offs" in projects that ensure we cover a lot more ground than some teams five times our size. We started working together as three separate companies and acknowledged the strengths in forming a team. It's for each of those individual strengths that our clients enjoy working with us. It's our collective win to have hit stride finessing projects to a balance of business requirements, user requirements, and individual moments of joy (including our own while creating the experience).
We work behind the scenes and don't often hear the words "good job", always making the call about when a thing has fully achieved its goals. It feels great to hold these awards and even better to have won them with talented individuals I respect and consider great friends.