As you may have noticed, things are looking a little different on Roundpeg’s digital digs. Weeks of planning, discussion and lots of hard work resulted in a refreshed look for our cozy corner of the Internet. Without a single page going untouched in the redesign, we took the time to make sure every word and image on the site reflects who we are and what we do.
Since Roundpeg’s personality is one of our major assets, the Meet the Team page was one that received special attention. We were tasked with creating a set of employee bio pages that spoke to our professional skills, personality and unabashed ability to say weird stuff in the office. Here’s how it went down.
Divide and Conquer
Early in the process, a point of discussion was who would write the employee bios. Up to this point, most of the bios were self-written or done by a writer who has since bid farewell to The Peg. Additionally, they were only a sentence or two in length to fit them all on the same page. With the addition of individual pages, that same approach wouldn’t work. We wanted to maintain one unique Roundpeg voice, and most of us have a natural hesitation at writing about ourselves so we came up with a compromise. Leisha and I were each assigned half of the team members. She and I wrote the first drafts followed by a team review session where we workshoped each page to leave no interesting, hilarious or embarrassing stone unturned.
Getting to Know All About You
So how did we decide what would go in each bio? Staging extremely informal interviews with questions ranging from “What do you do here?” (easy) to “If Roundpeg was a club sandwich, which ingredient would you be?” (deceptively difficult) we collected source material for the bios. Most of the information we gathered was obvious, but we gleaned some great nuggets of heretofore unknown trivia, like Peter’s intense aversion to guacamole.
Then other team members were asked questions about each subject to get additional perspective on each person, especially regarding their social niche here at The Peg. These multiple viewpoints helped us isolate the most important and/or interesting parts of everyone’s story, especially important considering our self-imposed limit of around 100 words per person.
Work(shop) it Out
The last step of the bio-writing process was for the entire team to come together and review each piece individually. We murdered trees and emptied red pens editing each snippet – removing the most embarrassing parts of each bio and adding the bits that were somehow forgotten along the way. Like the fact that Rebecca knits, Jenna has a weapon collection (photos only) and Leisha is addicted to coffee.
Once finished, we took a step back and admired our work, but noticed something was missing. Though we had great snapshots of every member of the team as individuals, it didn’t fully capture what the office was really like. Never boring, it’s somewhere on the spectrum between quirky and straight-up weird.
For years, we’d been chronicling the greatest quotes at Roundpeg taken completely out of context via the Twitter hashtag #OHAtThePeg. To give our visitors the tiniest taste of our quirkiness, we picked the best of the best for each team member and branded their bio with their quote.
So why take the time to tell you about this? As writers, it’s typical to have complete control over the content we create, but this small project was different in that every member of the team was involved from beginning to end. Leaving out the typical comfort zone afforded us the chance to learn some lessons and reap some real benefits from the team-wide collaboration:
- Creating a solid voice: As Lesisha and I wrote the bios our different styles came out. Leisha skewed more to a professional voice and I was more informal. Working together, the result was a happy medium reflecting Roundpeg’s personality.
- Workshopping ideas: What one person may have thought of as an insignificant detail may have been hugely important to another member of the team. Workshopping ideas throughout the project made sure nothing was left behind.
Want to see how they all turned out? Check out our new and improved Meet the Team Page. Before you dive into the individual pages be sure to admire the killer layout, courtesy of our designer Cherilyn.
Roundpeg is an Indianapolis web design firm.