Building a Design Culture

by Jon Fukuda & Maria Taylor

Human-centered design is a way of life at Limina. In the same way we help our clients put human beings front and center to design software and technical systems, Limina designs its company culture and working environment to be human-centered. 

If you forget about your people, you can forget about your culture. Money, benefits and perks are certainly attractive—we offer good healthcare, paid time off and profit sharing—but they have their limits inspiring true creativity, collaboration and commitment. Business is a truly human endeavor and having a positive workplace culture makes for happier employees. We believe that happy employees will have a profound impact on Limina’s success. 

Our company mission is to simplify complex human-to-computer interactions by designing more intuitive, online user experiences that enhance human potential. We apply this mission to enhance human potential for each other too. As we hire employees and determine our next steps to grow the business, we’ve put a lot of care and empathy into designing a workplace that makes our employees’ lives easier and resonates emotionally with employees to make our company successful. 

We polled our employees to see what they value and what they think makes Limina’s culture unique. Here’s what we’ve learned are the top 10 characteristics that make us different from other companies, and most importantly, make our employees happy. 

Top 10 Qualities That Make Limina’s Employees Happy

1. Flexible work schedules

All Limina employees are able to work from home Mondays and Fridays. And, if your kid has a soccer game or you need to take your mom to the doctor, we get it. We trust our employees to get their jobs done without rigid restrictions around time.

2. Fit body, fit mind

Limina offers free yoga for all employees every Tuesday at 2pm in the office. We stock the fridge throughout the day with free food, healthy snacks and drinks. Our favorite cold and healthy drink is Waterloo, a sparkling water that contains true-to-fruit flavors and 0 calories, 0 sugar, and 0 sodium. Our co-working space offers coffee and has a kitchen with all the amenities of home, including a microwave to heat up tasty leftovers for lunch.

Nutrition counseling is also covered by our health insurance to help employees improve their diets and stay healthy.

3. Creativity and Collaboration

Among UX strategists, designers, developers, content specialists and clients, we value and foster collaboration. We don’t let things like distance or time zones affect how or if we collaborate. Working across the table, from home or via GoToMeeting across multiple time zones, our creativity and collaboration enable us to do great work.

4. Ergonomic Workspace

Limina really cares about the employee work experience. That’s why we invest in inventive designs and technology to improve the human experience wherever our people work and create an environment for focus, creativity and collaboration.

For example, we provide workstations with Herman Miller chairs, standing desks, locking drawers that double as stools for collaboration, large Thunderbolt monitors, an “E-Beam” that captures whiteboard sketches digitally, a very large Wacom tablet for drawing digitally, Jabra conference call speakers for presenting work over conference calls, Sonos speakers for playing music in the office, Bose headphones, and any peripherals employees need. Plus, employees love our absurdly large TV that we use as an extended monitor when we present work to each other in the office. 

5. Growth Mindset

At Limina, professional development is important. That’s why we fund continuing education. We want our employees to attend conferences and trainings to master new skills, grow in their roles and network with other UX professionals to feel a sense of community. 

Our team members also speak at industry conferences, author blogs, contribute articles to industry magazines like UXmatters, Flarrio and GovLoop, produce our own events for World Usability Day, and sponsor design tracks at local events such as Longmont Startup Week where we also held a design battle

6. Keepin’ it Fun

 Everyone on the team has interesting hobbies, passions, and preferences—whether it’s books, shows, movies, video games, taco shops, workouts, beer or Amaro—making it fun to get together after work for employee social events. We do a lot of fun things together outside the office, including hiking, finding a way out of an escape room, visiting a winery, attending award events, eating at Benny’s Tacos and enjoying happy hour at the brewery downstairs from our office. 

At work, we amuse ourselves by having a Kano Valentine’s Day and the occaisional April Fool’s Day prank

7. Continuous Improvement.

Limina takes pride in building an effective continuous improvement culture, not just executing a few process improvement projects. When a client project concludes, we hold an internal retrospective meeting to discuss what went well and what didn’t during the engagement. Everyone is welcome to share their opinions and ideas. We take note of opportunities for improvement, and update our processes, tools and standards accordingly. Our continuous improvement culture lets our employees know their ideas are listened to, and acted upon. 

8. Sustainability

 In the diverse spectrum of digital creatives, there’s a tendency to design towards the new flashy trend of the day. As history proves, trends are short-lived – and come and go. This is wasteful and generates thrash while working against sustainable design and user experience (UX) longevity.

As a team we work together to reduce vaporware and harvest our designs and solutions for reuse.  Our Sketch wire frames evolve into pixel perfext page mockups and compontent libraries. In acting this way, we continue to mature ideas with as little waste as possible.

We also reduce, reuse and recycle in the office in the more traditional sense. Most of our work is paperless so we only print when necessary and we recycle everything possible. We even wash the dishes that come when we order takeout Chinese food so we can recycle them. 

9. Accessible Leadership.

Limina has a flat and lean structure. As Limina’s co-founders and owners, we work alongside, and are part of, the team. We genuinely care about each employee. We are very open, approachable and communicative and want to build meaningful relationships with each team member. Employees report to us and have access to us when they need help. We work just as hard as everyone else and that goes a long way, positively impacting the team’s focus and productivity.

Our philosophy is the more our employees know, the better equipped they’ll be to do their jobs and help grow their own careers as well as grow Limina.

10. Change Making

It might sound simple, but we offer interesting and challenging work that our team feels passionate about. Some people might interpret our internal conversations as relentless debates, but we are constantly working to solve complex UX problems and designing the best experience technology can build within the scope of the product.

Our team has equal parts “idealist” and “realist” roles on every client project to ensure we design products that are useful, structurally sound, delightful, and extensible. We aren’t just making things, we are making a difference in how businesses operate. Design isn’t just about putting something pretty on the screen, it’s about providing a stage for collaboration, communication and efficiency. The user interface styles are a big deal, but there is a broader purpose to our work. Part of our culture is that we are working toward a common goal and aiming to provide meaningful value to our clients and the world.

Summing it up

Great UX work takes a team who revel in the journey and who know the value in loving the problem, not the solution. Our creative, collaborative and entrepreneurial team loves to drive innovation by challenging the status quo, asking hard questions, and reaching fearlessly into the unknown. 

 

We’re always looking for stellar UX and technical talent to design and build innovative solutions. If our work culture matches with yours, we’d love to hear from you. You can connect with us at https://limina.co/join-the-team/.

What’s life like at Limina? 

  • Unless we are working on-site with clients, we are typically a pretty casual bunch 
  • We collectively drink a lot of coffee
  • You can almost always find one of us at Benny’s Tacos around lunch time
  • We’re a nerdy highly-intelligent team of hard workers and self-starters
  • We always find lighthearted moments and laughter amidst the hard work
  • We have good taste and everyone has interesting hobbies, passions, and preferences.
  • Every now and then we get together after work, having a drink, talking, and relaxing, because everyone is so interesting and likable.
  • We are a company of more than 50% women! Not on purpose, but it’s pretty rare in tech, so we have a different vibe than most companies