Chances are, you’ve probably heard about thoughtbot. With four podcasts, five of their own products, a dozen books and a 22-page Github repo of open source projects, they know how to share what they do with the world. thoughtbot has ten offices spread across the US, the UK and Sweden. Each office is made up of varying combinations of developers and designers working with clients to design, develop and grow their products. This past December we visited thoughtbot’s office in downtown San Francisco and met up with Lydia Damon, the Design Director of the San Francisco office. We wanted to learn more about how designers and developers work in tandem at thoughtbot, what a typical project looks like and in addition, how the team is able to find time to produce their own projects and products.
When we arrived at the office everyone was just finishing up lunch, which gave us a chance to wander around and explore the space. Upon entering the office we were greeted by a sign displaying an upcoming Taco Tuesday event, a weekly meetup where they invite people in the industry to come speak and hang out. There were no shortage of thoughtbot's robot stickers, figurines, posters and pillows. As we moved through the entrance and into the main space, it opened up into pods of desks where people were starting to head back to work from lunch. There were three main sections to the office, the lounge near the entrance with a couple of meeting rooms off to the right side, the main area where the team worked and then the kitchen and lunch area. Every space had an open concept feel but the way they were divided up gave each area a purpose and its own atmosphere.