The background is well known – the outbreak of you-know-what in one hand, and the sudden global transition to remote work in the other. Researchers are having a field day since last march, coming up with a number of statistics about mental well-being and motivation amongst employees.
Work-life balance, ergonomics, conference facilitation… You name it. The amount of buzzwords is almost as overwhelming as an average Culture Manager’s schedule. Employees crave stimulus more than ever. To the very extent that they come up with ideas themselves.
And so, Rituals emerged.
When Dailies Become Mundane
Our team of designers (talented designers, I wish to add) came up with an idea to schedule daily meetings far before they established Rituals. They used to meet up on video conferences, sharing their work progress and some eye-catching designs they stumbled upon. After a fairly short period of time it started to become mundane – the pool of ideas was running out.
The idea was to redesign the process and give it a structure. Every day of the workweek gained its own purpose. Cyclical, but diverse. Exactly what the team needed to boost their engagement levels. We like to call it fuel. Creative fuel.
“It was all about using our own creativity, but differently to how we utilise it on a daily basis. Rituals were born spontaneously, overnight. The purpose was to stir up the mornings by diversifying the formula”Paweł Wypych, Product Designer
No, not really trademarked. But flashy nonetheless.
We had a great concept on our hands, and what was equally exciting – a new space for artistic expression. When Paweł and Jarek came up with the idea, they strongly agreed against fitting it into an Excel table. Every day was illustrated and spiced up with some motion, which found its way to a micro-website built for presentation purposes.
The page evolves and changes its appearance monthly – each designer has a go at conveying their own aesthetics to the concept of Rituals. 100% freedom. Everyone who has ever completed a marathon of commercial project designs knows the relief of having a space of their own.
But it’s the substance that matters. Behind each graphic stands a unique meeting, which kicks off every “Creative Team” member’s day. The fun begins at 8:45AM.
Lights, Camera, Action.
The only day we show our faces (which are fresh as ever after the weekend). Mondays are a space for free talk, we discuss what awaits us in the coming week. We all enjoy staying up-to-date with the projects others take part in.
Simply: tips, plugins, new features, workflow patterns for Figma, Sketch, Adobe CC, and many other tools used daily*. Most of us work on different platforms, utilising different skills. The UI designers get to understand animation, and the Figma hypers get to show the thousands of plugins they use.
*I’m a writer, but I don’t showcase the magical possibilities of my notepad and Google Docs.
This is a field for the marketers. Wednesdays are a short break from design, leaving space for analysing advertisements, campaigns and other intriguing cases from the marketing industry. Bonus points if aesthetically pleasing – there’s never enough design.
Case Study Thursday
Thursdays are all about sharing some fascinating cases that caught our eyes. Discussing someone else’s work somehow seems to be easier than your own.
One for the bravest. Friday’s the day when you bring your own work to the table, asking others for feedback and opinions. A day that can be instrumental for one’s well-being during the following weekend.
“It’s just a short while (let’s face it – 15 minutes is never enough) which lets you take your brain out and put it next to your laptop. I find it so valuable to have an opportunity to clear my head of all the exhausting projects and listen to others talk about our industry. Exchanging insights and experiences is a great boost for creativity and overall the best investment of 15 minutes I can think of”Dawid Maroszek, UX/UI Designer
Where Marketing and Design Combine
The aforementioned “Creative Team” is a perfectly balanced mixture between designers and marketers. “Perfectly balanced” not only because both fields are closely connected but also because everyone is different. Each member of the team has their own interests and areas of expertise, so each meeting is completely unique. That’s the creative fuel.
“Inspiration is such an overused word, but it does work. It works for me! Looking at and discussing original designs, smart marketing campaigns or beautiful art (whether it’s film, visual arts or architecture) just. is. inspiring. It makes me want to create pretty stuff too!”Nina Paczos Lopez, Media Content Designer
The concept of Rituals is also invaluable for newcomers, both those experienced and complete newbies. Integrating new people into the team is much smoother this way, and the website is a great guide for them to get to know our routines and culture fit.
But possibly the biggest value is absorbed by Juniors, which get to listen to and learn from more experienced teammates. No YouTube tutorial beats the chance to watch someone present their work, being ready to answer questions.
“I especially rate Tuesday Tools, as I enjoy getting familiar with plugins and techniques I can later use myself. The whole concept is so valuable, as it's an effortless way of absorbing knowledge. A compound package of knowledge and inspiration for further self-development.”Ania Skrobała, Junior Graphic Designer
Challenge Yourself Daily
You may have heard of this design trend called “Daily UI Challenge”. It’s essentially about motivating people to build a routine of designing different interface elements, pushing their creative boundaries, and diversifying their portfolio.
It’s an idea we’re exploring in order to develop the concept of Rituals. Once every month or so, we’ll be looking to give our Creative Team a space to join forces over a mutual project. That’s basically what creative dailies are all about – team bonding with a hint of creativity boosting. And all that wrapped up in an opportunity to experiment and express oneself.
Especially valuable when working on projects with strict guidelines over the course of the week.
Although our Rituals serve many purposes, building a relationship and being on the same page within the whole team is by far the most valuable. When it comes to later cooperation on projects, we all benefit from knowing each other so well.
Team bonding is very often undervalued and overlooked as an element of everyday work. It doesn’t have to be solely focused on design – pretty much any group can form their own Rituals. Hey devs, Bug-Solving Monday and 404 Friday are up for grabs!