Connecting the advertising industry to the creative talent they need.

The advertising industry is losing talent in droves. We designed this little app to change that.

    Every year the advertising industry holds a ridiculous number of award ceremonies celebrating themselves for anything and everything they can think of. All in an effort to win a statue of a lion or a pencil or a dildo or some other dumb shit. It's just some self-indulging weird shit they do.

    But, I saw it as an opportunity to make something cool and set out to take advantage.

    The problem.

    There's a creative talent shortage.

    As a creative industry, advertising's bread and butter is creative talent. But, these days, many creative folks are choosing different career paths.

    The advertising industry is dangerously low on creative talent.

    From startups to Web3-through-5 to going freelance, there are endless choices in front of us and these days creative folks are choosing modern, better work/life balance, and more fulfilling career paths to take.

    The solution.

    Breaks@Spikes

    What if the self indulgent awards events could become real talent scouting opportunities? Micro-chances to discover up-and-coming talent seeking their next big thing through a simple web app for setting up casual one-on-one meetups.

    I was lucky enough to work with super-talented Tommy Korad to conceive and design a new kind of creative careers experience for the Spikes Awards, Southeast Asia's premier awards event for the advertising industry.

    Creating opportunities to connect creative talent with the agencies who need them.

    The Spikes Awards are a week long event in Singapore, attracting advertising's creative leaders across Asia. Throughout the week there are showcases, keynotes, training, parties, and networking events that bring people of all roles and backgrounds together.

    The Experience.

    We decided the user experience of the Breaks app should facilitate in-the-moment connections. We didn't want to create another job board or an exploitative freelancer app. No, Breaks was intended to create real connections in real time.

    I went to work thinking through the strategy and user experience of the product while Tommy explored the creative direction.

    Designing an art piece. Delivering a product.

    Tommy's work on brand design took the concept to another level.

    Seeking to attract and inspire the top creatives in the region meant that the Breaks app had to be an art piece as much as a functional product.

    Tommy brought a creative direction and edge to the UI design unlike any careers app before or since.

    Real collaboration.

    Our design process was a fast-paced blast. I would think through architecture, taxonomy, and interactions while Tommy would conceive and execute on creative and UI design; both of us bouncing ideas off each other to refine and define the concept as we went.

    Making it anonymous.

    Given that the app was to launch during the week of the Spikes Awards, we knew that a lot of people would be using the Breaks app, but they would likely want to do so anonymously.

    Anonymity was crucial to the experience.

    I mean, who would want to run the risk that their boss would see them looking for a new job at an awards event celebrating their work? So we started thinking about fun ways for our users to represent themselves creatively and anonymously in the app.

    Original illustration.

    Creating an original and unique experience meant creating original art.

    It was time to get out of the office to clear my head and get a couple beers.

    I pulled out my notebook and started with some initial sketches to explore the style and tone of the illustration we would be seeking.

    After some discussion and idea sharing, we landed on an exciting direction. We then brought on an illustrator to bring the concepts to life, illustrating a series of avatars symbolizing the different creative roles that our users would be able to choose to represent themselves.

    Creative experiences for a creative audience.

    Knowing our audience, we knew the Breaks app wouldn't be a typical job hunting app experience.

    This product was about connecting the most creative people in Asia with the creative agencies that need them. And the user experience and craft needed to be intentional, edgy, and eye-popping beautiful. We needed to take the design and experience to entirely new levels.

    More so, it needed to be dead simple to use.

    Unlike typical job hunting apps, we chose not to require users to input a lot of information like personal details and resumes. Information they've entered across multiple services and websites.

    Instead, we chose to integrate the Breaks app with third-party APIs and services like LinkedIn for career history data, and Instagram and Dribbble for portfolio and creative visual data. Allowing users to simply tap and select the information they wanted to share in their profiles.

    Results that matter.

    • Conceived, designed, and delivered a smart solution to an enormous business problem for the advertising industry in a matter of days.
    • Developed a transformational strategy for a week-long event for a real talent-recruitment and content creation opportunity for the advertising industry in Southeast Asia.
    • Schooled a traditional advertising agency on an agile process to break through industry barriers of what creative technology can deliver.

    Client

    Havas Worldwide

    Role

    Havas, Regional Director of Experience

    Services

    Product Design UX Research User Experience UI Design

    But wait, there's more

    Check out a couple of other projects we've delivered.

    Let's do great things

    Brand experiences that folks be all like, "holy shit it's magic!"

    We work with future-thinking brands, agencies and startups looking to create the next killer Brand Experience.

    If that sounds like you, get in touch.

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