The best of the bunch
From starting as employee #44 to merging with the biggest employee communications company, my journey with Bananatag was a fruitful adventure.
In my first week at Bananatag I shipped more things to production than my whole previous year. Starting out as an individual contributor on a feature-specific product team meant I got to do everything from illustrating reaction emoji that thousands of customers use every day to facilitating design sprints and decision jams with the most important key to success: homemade snacks.
The role soon scaled up to encompass multiple feature teams on the flagship product, and I was entrusted to take on my first direct reports as a product design manager too. This move started the most significant change in my career.
Equal parts product leadership and people management, I was now scaling up a team of designers while working on coaching, career progression, professional development, and legitimately fun icebreakers.
I will be forever grateful to have worked with a team that trusted me to step into these roles and provided those opportunities to advance my career. They even turned my dad joke into a real thing: we needed a way to celebrate our product getting SOC Certification, and when I suggested socks, they went all in.
Something I’m most proud of is strengthening the relationship between the product design and marketing departments. By boosting our bond with brand, I was able to bring my marketing background into elevating the “Bananabrand”. Whether it was sketching concepts, consulting on typefaces, hunting and replacing every old logo on the site, or getting to spec sparkly enamel pins, I loved having this creative extension of my design duties.
My third year at Bananatag coincided with the worldwide pandemic, but our design team found new strength in the circumstances as we enthusiastically embraced remote work. This included a new hiring approach, an improved onboarding experience, and some of the best remote team building around. It was a privilege to see the team give this creative energy back to the community, and when our Async Design Sprint was a contender for the “Favourite Team Bonding Templates” category in the Figma Community Awards, getting recognized for it was icing on the cake.
As we prepared to launch a multi-user editing feature to Bananatag, nothing could have prepped us for the remote work renaissance that 2020 would bring. Internal comms became even more critical at companies, and collaboration had to be a core piece of our product. I led design on adding this key feature to the Bananatag Email Designer when our customers needed it most. Upon release, we saw increased collaboration between customers, an addition to average users per account, and expansion within organizations which helped drive new revenue to our higher plan types. We were even nominated for a Vancouver UX Award. And as you’ll see in the video, it remained exactly the kind of user-friendly experience we were known for, but with a perfect fruit punch.
In my fourth year I was honoured to establish the Director of Product Design role at Bananatag. With my colleagues in leadership, I was engaging in product strategy and planning, ensuring consistency and clarity across the platform, and enabling the design team to apply human-centred design practice everywhere. Little did I know my next chapter would be a lesson in acquisitions as Bananatag announced our merger with Staffbase, forming the world’s largest internal communication software company…