Our Financial Design Sanctuary
The fairy behind making our dream office a reality is UXDA's cofounder, Linda. Thanks to her sparkling creativity and clear vision of what she wanted to achieve, the office has become a true visual reflection of UXDA's spirit. It represents and transmits the attitudes, behaviors, habits and, most importantly, the whole inner culture of UXDA's creative community working here. As Linda states:
Our goal was to create a cozy second home for every member of the UXDA team, so that they would have a creative place to inspire themselves, one other and the world at large. We spend most of our time in the workplace, so it's crucial for it to really feel like home - cozy and comfortable. Everyone should have their own space to cultivate growth and be inspired to achieve the best possible results.
Founders of UX Design Agency, Linda Zaikovska-Daukste and Aleksandrs Kregers, on the threshold of new beginnings for UXDA.
Linda has been the “mother” of this project since it was born. At first, it was bare, with no floors or proper ceiling. Despite the appearance of a messy construction site, she was able to feel the vibe of the space and sense its huge potential. Linda spent more than a year collecting ideas and speaking with employees to uncover their needs and expectations, gradually crafting the feeling that our new home needed to convey.
During this time, she also juggled several tasks, including coordinating the builders, designers, electricians, tilers, painters and everyone else involved in this massive project.
Linda knew she had to be a mediator between spatial design and UXDA's cultural values, finding the most creative ways to integrate these fundamentals into the workplace. As UXDA is constantly striving to over-deliver and achieve a “wow” effect, the office had to radiate the same feeling.
As a user-experience professional, Linda knew that the best experiences are made with humans in the center of the focus. The office had to benefit the people working here, so they could be their most creative and productive selves. It could not be simply an ordinary office; it had to be bold and memorable, created for the team to feel like a second home.
In fact, everyone had the opportunity to collaborate in the “building” of the space, sharing ideas, inspiration and insights about what the end result should feel like. Linda analyzed the habits and traits of each employee while keeping in mind that the most creative thinking often happens outside the actual workspace─while showering, taking a walk in nature, etc. That's why she integrated these ideas into the initial design of the office. First, it's based on a feeling of being among nature. Second, it's zoned, consisting of two main areas and several smaller rooms that function as hideaways for an instant inspiration boost.
The two main areas are the open workspace for innovation and creativity, and the zone of relaxation, reflection and team-up. Linda intended the workplace to be both literally and figuratively green─not only because it's UXDA's brand color but also to create a “jungle-like” feeling, so every employee could have the freedom of thought and inspiration only nature can provide. That's why the office is full of natural plants─palm trees and ivies graciously hanging from the ceiling. Greenness and the refreshing feeling of being in nature is not only empowering but offers a calming atmosphere that guarantees the best conditions for focus and creativity.
Greens! Yes, that's right, we are green from the inside out, starting with recycling at the office and continuing with a literary green environment that makes us all relaxed and focused.
Openness is an engine for innovation, and this really applies to UXDA's office. The open workspace is designed so that everyone can be in sync with one other and the daily activities of the company. It's spacious, bright and radiates energy and creativity starting from the moment you enter.
While working on this project, Linda was determined that this place must reflect UXDA's inner culture, behaviors and priorities of the people working here. She thought a lot about the best ways for the environment to represent and inspire the cultural values in the everyday tasks of her employees. That's why a huge green wall that's easy to view from any spot was dedicated for this matter. It's a constant reminder of UXDA's philosophy to guide our direction and decisions according to the fundamentals of the company. UXDA's office itself is THE place that embodies our 7 core values - Empathize, Challenge, Inspire, Improve, Overdeliver, Enjoy and Team Up - this wall serves as a constant reminder to follow them.
UXDA's philosophy is based on these seven values: Empathize, Challenge, Inspire, Improve, Overdeliver, Enjoy, Team Up. Our office is the place that embodies these values and is a constant reminder to follow them.
The more extrovert the workspace, the more employees need a private place to think. In fact, creative ideas tend to arrive not only in productive discussions at the corporate space but also in quiet reflection. Linda used this knowledge to create several hideaways to lay the groundwork for creativity to emerge. These are extremely important to provide a complete contrast from the rest of the space and offer employees a break from the high intensity of the open space.
In the main workspace area, there's one isolated room called the “Room of Focus” - a quiet hideaway to collect all the attention needed for a certain task without any distractions. Linda intended it to feel like a cozy getaway that allows you to step back from the constantly energetic “jungle” environment full of laughter and discussions, and steer the energy inward.
The second main area of the office is a spacious and relaxing mind-stimulating zone. Again, the vibe is focused on positivity, inspiration and nature. Raw materials like wood were chosen for the furniture. It's bright and encourages a feeling of positive energy. Close attention was paid to details such as lighting, textures, sounds and color throughout the zone to create a safe and inspiring ambience.
A crucial detail of this zone is UXDA's so-called “Hall of Fame.” There, all our trophies and photos of the awarded designs are displayed, reminding employees to be proud of what we have achieved and look forward to all the inspiring challenges we are excited to undertake.
UXDA's Hall of Fame reminds us to be proud of what we have already achieved and inspires us to look forward to all of the significant challenges we are excited to tackle.
There's an open “chillax” zone to have a little brain-stimulating rest between the tasks with a great coffee and an inspiring book from our library. UXDA's bookshelf located here is full of “must-read” books about user experience, design, leadership, teamwork and other topics that convey UXDA's values. Gradually, the library will be updated with books from UXDA’s Academy Book Club, a monthly event that gathers all of the employees to discuss a collection of carefully selected books intended to shape the minds of every financial UX designer. The Book Club will take place in the main open meeting space. It will also be used for guest lecturers and other study courses the team takes on regularly to improve their skills in financial UX design, psychology, anthropology, cognitive sciences, etc.
This might be the sunniest and calmest spot in the office. It is actually reminiscent of a terrace because of the huge window opening up to a wonderful view of one of Riga's most beautiful landmarks─ the river Daugava. It's a lovely spot to sit on the sill furnished with cozy pillows and smile back at the sun. In fact, we're waiting for the summer to try sunbathing here.
Then, there are the two isolated soundproof rooms. The aptly named “Re-charge zone” is quite self-explanatory. It's a peaceful room with silent lighting for a small group of employees who need to discuss a project, or just for a single employee to have a call with a client or simply re-charge his/her batteries in a quiet yet inspiring place.
UXDA's "Re-charge" zone to ease a running mind and regain focus.
For a positive energy boost, there is a wall of UXDA's best memories in pictures - celebrations, events and greetings from employees’ vacations all around the world.
When you enter the main closed meeting room, the "No Limits Area," your inspiration spirit kicks right in. There's a huge world map on the wall that serves as a constant reminder of the many places all around the world where UXDA has already set the change of the finance industry in motion. Our UX consultants used the chance to mark the locations of our current and previous clients for whom we’ve delivered financial design solutions.
When you enter the "No Limits Area," your inspirational spirit kicks right in.
The whole office is saturated with quotes, photos and artifacts that remind us of great memories together with the team. Linda intended the whole office to be a constant reminder of the power and significance of our jobs. Indeed, it has worked out brilliantly, as employees are able to switch among their workspace and any other zones to recharge their inspiration. All throughout our office, details of every size function as powerful doses of creativity.
The office walls are constant reminders of our mission that motivates us to put our best foot forward in everything we do. If you ever feel stuck, all you have to do is lift your gaze and take a look at one of the quotes, posters, greens or a smile on the face of a colleague to feel motivated again. The space already feels like home, but it will continue to grow and develop alongside UXDA, preserving our best memories and being a daily reminder of them.
We know that finance rocks, that's why UXDA is here to deliver inspiration.
Though often consulting with the team, Linda tried to keep the project of the new office a top secret, so that every single member of the team wouldn't have a clue what to expect. Even the CEO and Founder of UXDA, Alex, was kept in the dark so he could have the truly exciting feeling of entering a new era. Needless to say, his first words when viewing the office were, “Oh! My! God!”. Of course, this made our first foray into our new home an unforgettably exciting moment with our second family.
Moving to this office is a huge and significant step, but it's only the first one in a long path toward shaping a new world of finance. UXDA is now intensively working on expanding our team of top-notch UX professionals to deliver more delightful and astounding financial designs than ever before.
Four "engines" driving the main force of UXDA, our awesome, inspiring and bright board members Aleksandrs Kregers, Linda Zaikovska-Daukste, Alberts Pumpurs, Andrew Yeliseyev.
Our new home is the space where inspiration, great ideas and success are made. It's a constant power generator that fuels UXDA's employees to strive toward a financial industry that's 100% focused on the user.
Our new office is a living proof of UXDA's spirit and values. We believe that if you are crazy enough to change the world, you will become the one who does. That's why we hope this article and our story towards growth empowered and inspired you to dare to be bold and make a change in the world.