What do you drink your coffee for?
This mantra, alongside nine other practices, aptly describe how Alec Babala and Brandon Tyson have been running BBBABEL, their full service creative studio. They believe in the business value of delivering thoughtful work and developing long-lasting relationships with their clients, who they like to call as partners. No account managers, just creative heart-to-heart.
As BBBABEL has grown over the past year and a half, they’ve formed more partnerships, introducing more complexity to their work. Going into the new year, Alec and Brandon needed to spend more time delivering creative value, and less time doing the busy work behind the actual work. How could the duo keep delivering high quality work, without compromising their partnerships?
I joined BBBABEL in fall of 2019 to figure out if, and how, I could solve this problem.
Alec and I wanted to be thoughtful as we approached these challenges. We wanted partners to feel confident when working with BBBABEL. The changes we were going to make needed to collaborative, transparent, and empowering. I focused on shaping the processes and tools behind the new experience, while Alec used BBBABEL’s lens to put them into practice .
Over the course of three months of iterating and sharing feedback, we put together BBBABEL’s new partner experience.
The new partner experience consists of two components: a guidebook for working with BBBABEL, and dashboard system for managing projects.
These resources were born out of two, distinct opportunities we identified:
We designed the dashboard to be our partner’s creative companion for BBBABEL.
Before, BBBABEL had been updating partners through Dropbox links in Slack and email. As partners continued working with the team though, previously sent links were buried in emails and lost in Slack threads.
To simplify this, the new dashboard system (built with Notion) functions as an interface for a re-organized Dropbox. Team folders are connected to their corresponding team page. Projects have their own dedicated folder and page. Supplemental information about a partner’s projects are available through the dashboard. And everything is accessible through a single magic link, found in the guide.
Working with studios can be intimidating without having a creative background. Understanding professional creative work requires learning quite a few processes, paradigms, and terminology. So, the guidebook contains a comprehensive collection of concepts to make learning easier. Think along the lines of a pokedex, but for creative terms.
Also inside the guidebook is a process for partners who may need a change of scope in work, for unexpected holiday traffic or a mid-project pivot. In these highly sensitive moments, Alec and I wanted to make sure partners knew what options are available to them.
BBBABEL cares deeply about why people work, and how people can work better. Putting together the dashboard and guidebook are just the first step in thinking about how to be more thoughtful about our work.
If you’ve been thinking about how to work better for your own journey, and are looking for a creative partner to join you in your next endeavor, reach out to us! BBBABEL recently posted a year in a review, where you can see what they’ve accomplished in 2019.