Design Disco: Another fun external event at Leapfrog


Leapfrog is more than just a tech company. We are a collective of hard-working individuals striving to make a difference. And as we continue to put our efforts, we most importantly never forget to have fun.

Events are one of the best parts of being at Leapfrog, and we love it. This time around, we organized the Design Disco. 

The purpose of this external event was to showcase how we do what we do at Leapfrog. We wanted to show how every department cross-collaborates to make the final product that customers love.

In this seven-week-long event, Leapfrog’s Design department organized the party! The rest of the other departments of Leapfrog then joined the party and came together to share the work processes and their knowledge related to the topic.

We asked Swapnil Acharya (Creative Director), the moderator, or the designated DJ of Design Disco himself about the event. 

What was the idea behind the name?

Swapnil Acharya – A disco is a place, an open floor where everybody comes together and dances. 

Similarly, at Leapfrog, we have several departments that work together, share ideas, knowledge, and have fun. It is pretty similar to dancing on a disco floor. You come together on the dance floor, show your cool moves, chat with your friends or people you meet at the disco, and have fun.

You cannot imagine a disco without a DJ, can you? A DJ’s the one who runs the show and makes everybody dance. At Leapfrog, the DJ is the design team. 

This sums up Leapfrog perfectly. Every department and team has an equal role to play. But the Design team brings everyone together. From creating a software application to marketing campaigns, the Design team always has to be there.

Hence, the name Design Disco was created. Similarly, the 80’s theme and visual aesthetics were chosen for the event as a tribute to the golden era of disco.

How was your experience at the event (as a moderator and overall organizer)? 

There were a total of 16 guest speakers from different departments. Each of them with their own set of experiences and expertise. 

Swapnil – We had to make sure we extracted the most relevant and valuable aspects of each one of them. 

The challenge was to make sure that every nut and bolt worked properly. The organizers and the speakers went through a couple of pre-webinar sync ups, dry runs, and arranging technical stuff.  

After the session started, the story was different. We had a good number of participants, speakers covered the topics well, and then came the Question and Answer session. The Q&A session was overwhelming but in a good way. The team made sure they covered all the topics and also kept them under the clock.

Swapnil I had to ask for extra hands to help me plan out the questions. Thanks, Bibek Shrestha, Anish Sthapit, and Drishya Bhattrai for being the sport behind the scenes!

There were seven episodes of Design Disco

The main speaker of this webinar series was Swapnil Acharya, followed by guest speakers from different departments in each episode. There were a total of seven episodes in this webinar series. Some of the departments at Leapfrog shared their work process and personal experiences about collaboration with the design team to make a complete product.

Unfortunately, we will only be able to provide an overview of the webinar series on this blog. To get details about each episode, watch the recording of the session on our YouTube channel.

  1. Design Discovery

In this first episode, Swapnil Acharya, along with Suja Manandhar (Sr. Business Development Officer) and Manish Acharya (Product Analyst) talked about how designers collaborate with analysts before the project even starts. 

  1. Marcom in the Middle

In the second episode, Swapnil Acharya, along with Pranjali Singh (Events & PR Officer) and Drishya Bhattarai (Digital Marketing Assistant), discussed the Marketing and Communication (MarCom) approach used by the Design, Digital Marketing, and Events teams to grow Leapfrog as a brand.

  1. Designers, Assemble!

In the third episode, Swapnil Acharya, Saroj Shahi (Lead Product Designer), and Sabina Maharjan (Senior Designer) gave an overview of how the design team works at Leapfrog, what drives the team and how they make design decisions. 

Which tools and technologies the team uses to bring ideas to life! 

  1. Workstream Warriors!

Swapnil Acharya, along with Rajiya Rijal (Senior Project Manager) and Saurav Pokhrel (Project Manager), used a real project as an example to showcase the journey of product development from research, prototyping to testing.

  1. Push to Prod

In this session, we cover the development and DevOps culture at Leapfrog. Swapnil Acharya along with Robus Gauli (Principal Engineer), Achyut Pokhrel (Principal Engineer), and Amit Joshi (Lead Engineer), discussed the process of DevOps for building a product, challenges faced by them, and the importance of the design.  

  1. Check N’ Check

In this session, Swapnil Acharya along with Saroj Jung Karki (Senior Software Engineer) and Sabu Koirala (Senior UX Designer) discussed how the team ensures the quality of the product after development.

  1. You’re Hired!

In this final episode, Swapnil Acharya along with Mamita Shrestha (Principal Officer, People Operations), Kiran Kumar Regmi (Manager, Talent Acquisition), and Bijayendra Chapagain (Manager, Talent Acquisition), discussed the hiring and onboarding process at Leapfrog. And also about the impact of design to shape Leapfrog’s culture.

 Then, we asked Sworup Shakya and Pranjali Singh from the events team to get their overall experience at the event. After all, it was all possible because of their efforts.

Can you provide us a brief on the scenes of conducting this event?

Organizing events, whether external or internal, requires a lot of effort. It was not any easier handling a seven-week-long event. 

Events Team: There were a lot of sync-up meetings, dry runs, retrogressive, and many more. The webinar was held every week but we, along with the marketing team, had to hustle every day to make sure everything was aligned to the plans.

How was the experience conducting an external event? 

The purpose of Design Disco was to foster the learning culture within the community.

There were more than 170 people who attended the Design Disco. There were some great responses from the participants. 

Events team: It was an amazing experience. The events received positive responses and the audience loved the topics that were covered. Then, we also continued to interact with our audience through emails and feedback. We believe that we were able to provide them with what they were expecting.

The team would like to thank everyone involved in the event for putting their best efforts and working together to make the event successful.

The speakers’ contribution has helped the event achieve its goal. They shared their experiences in the most relatable form. They also answered as many questions as they could to the audience. 

So, we asked some of the fellow speakers Saroj Shahi, Pranjali Singh, Drishya Bhattarai about their personal experiences at the event.

How was your experience as a speaker at the event?

Saroj: I was a bit nervous but excited to share the stories and processes on behalf of my team.

Drishya: I was nervous as it was my first time speaking at such an event. I practiced and rehearsed a lot. At the session, I picked up the pace slowly and started enjoying it. It was really exciting to share my experiences.

Pranjali: The experience was amazing. I had fun sharing my experience with the co-speakers. 

What were the challenges you faced at the event?

Presenting in an event, whether small or big, is not everyone’s piece of cake. You face challenges like nervousness or technical issues. We asked the speakers if they faced any challenges to present at Design Disco.

Saroj: My nervousness went away once we kicked off the session. I love to share ideas and thoughts about design and the session was good. Since this was a virtual event, I was worried about the background noise cranking in the middle of the session. 

Drishya: Nervousness was the biggest challenge. With the help of a colleague, I managed to calm down, but in the end, being myself and going with the flow helped me out.

Pranjali: The content was overflowing on my end. I had a lot of things to share but eventually managed to highlight the most important topics.

What impact did it have on a company level?

The work process at Leapfrog has always been under the wraps, and the outside world knew nothing about it. Design Disco helped us solve that challenge. And Swapnil agreed with that.

Swapnil – I am happy we were able to share a slice of it. I am sure this will help many people outside Leapfrog replicate our process/style or become more successful.

Likewise, we also had a tremendous amount of new hires in the last year. Given that we are still working from home, many of them still haven’t gotten a taste of how each team works. The event was a good learning experience for the new Leapfroggers as well.

Swapnil added –I also believe knowing how the other team works helps us build empathy and respect for each other. I think that respect for each others work has further elevated.

What was the objective of the event?

Leapfrog has always held the grit to learning. Each of us is keen to learn new things every day from each other. The event was a great source of learning for the pool and the community beyond Leapfrog.

Like mentioned before, through Design Disco, everyone could get a glimpse of the work process at Leapfrog. 

Swapnil – We wanted to show the processes behind the scene, from the initial planning phase to implementation. Not only that, we wanted to share tips and key learnings related to different domains with our audience.

The other things that we wanted to cover were sharing our personal and work experiences. How does the design team collaborate with every other department? 

Did we achieve the objective of the event?

The short answer is, yes! There was a positive response from all the participants. 

Swapnil – We have spent a great deal of time and effort perfecting our process, and we are proud to share this with the world. I think many aspiring individuals learned a lot from the event.

The event also successfully conveyed the message that ‘design’ is not an isolated task. Designers need to work as a team, and every department is equally important to make a project successful. 

And this is what we do every day at Leapfrog, and we hope more companies start adopting this as part of their working culture. 

In addition, Design Disco helped us achieve more than expected. Many participants at the event even registered for job applications. They have mentioned that they were profoundly inspired and wanted to work with Leapfrog. 

Is any new event cooking up? What’s next for the Design Disco?

Yes, we are always up for exciting events. We are planning to come up with an International webinar “Syntax 2021” in the third week of August. 

For more details visit: https://syntax.lftechnology.com/ 

Also, spoiler alert, we will be doing a second round of Design Disco next year. Our motto is to learn from past events and make the next one even better in terms of impact, information, and fun.

 

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