Our team loves to build and create, which is one of the main reasons that we created SPACE, our internal innovation program. Sometimes these projects are just for fun or learning, but quite often, they evolve into a product we use every day.

A couple of years ago, our team of builders set out to create a fun and easy way to recognize all of the amazing contributions from our team members. We called it “Kudos” and our goal was to make something similar to an “Employee of the Week” program that people could vote on.

We originally started off with a recurring Google Survey that got sent out to everyone on the team on Monday mornings and we’d each get to vote for someone we thought deserved a little extra recognition for their hard work. The winner would be announced during our weekly company meeting on Monday afternoons.

In addition to the shoutout, the winner would also get to keep a mini Stanley Cup on their desk for the week. At the end of the year, LaunchPad Lab also donates $25 for each week that they won Kudos to a charity of their choosing.

A reminder email that goes out to team members on Thursdays encouraging them to submit their vote.

Making It a Product

Our Director of Product had the idea of turning our Google Survey into more of a custom internal product. Diana Camacho (one of our Developers), Scott (or COO), and I really liked the idea, so, we created a team to help bring that idea into a reality. Our goals were rooted in building an MVP with these guiding principles: 

With these goals in mind, we worked together as a team to re-imagine the user experience for voting. The core features were centered around (1) the voting email, (2) casting a vote, and (3) the results email. The design we landed on was playful (in colors and typography), had fun animations & transitions, custom illustrations, and a friendly voice.

Feedback can visibly be attributed to the team members who submit it, helping to build better relationships and make feedback more personal.

The Verdict Is In: Kudos 2.0 Was a Hit!

We collected feedback from the team on their experience with our “new and improved” version of Kudos to see if it resonated with the team. The feedback speaks for itself:

Getting user feedback from our peers was extremely valuable. It allowed us to validate some assumptions we had going in and also allowed us to roadmap what features we might want to tackle next.

Time to Productize

The team started thinking, “If this product works so well for us, other companies might find value in it too!”. So, we built out a marketing site to collect interest from potential customers to take part in our Beta. Diana worked her coding magic on expanding the architecture to accommodate multi-tenancy, and then we were ready to start onboarding customers. Getting our first Kudos customer was super exciting, we’d go back to them every couple of weeks and collect feedback. This would allow us to understand what things were working well and what things could be improved.

Regardless of team size, Kudos helps you give cross-departmental feedback and reinforce great work.

Continuous Improvements

Over the years, we’ve evolved the product a bit to adapt to the changes in our company. For instance, once our company size grew to over 15 people, we introduced an autocomplete feature to help make the selection process more streamlined (thanks, Conor, for your work on that!). And then when our company unveiled our Constants, we added a dropdown to allow folks to pick which company constant someone exhibited.

I’m also happy to report that, internally at LaunchPad, we’ve been using the app every week since 2018! It has truly become an integral part of our culture and I know folks on the team look forward to those emails and announcements during our company stand. And to date, LaunchPad Lab has donated over $4000 to 25+ charities on behalf of Kudos winners! 

Monique Silva

Director of Design

Monique's interest in design started at a young age, but it wasn't until going to school at the University of Illinois that she discovered her love of UX & UI design. With degrees in both Graphic Design and Psychology, she has developed a strong understanding of how design can enrich a user's overall experience. She also enjoys running outdoors, reading, and baking/eating plenty of baked goods.

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