2019: No Sleep Till Brooklyn — Studio Rodrigo Year in Review
Foot on the pedal
Never ever false metal
Engine running hotter than a boiling kettle
My job ain’t a job
It’s a damn good time
In truth, Studio Rodrigo is probably a little more late stage Beastie Boys than the loud, brash, vampy yutes of “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”, but after completing our 8th trip around the sun, we are back in the BK, baby.
2019 was another solid year for your favorite indie product design studio. We’re excited to share some of our collaborations, product launches, and highlights from the last year, and looking forward to more great projects and civic activism in 2020.
If you are working on something interesting (or know someone who is), and we can help, hit us up!
NBC & Telemundo Local
We started the year with an ambitious challenge of partnering with Daniel Alvarez’ product team at NBC & Telemundo local stations to re-design a total overhaul of their local news ecosystem, encompassing 30+ stations and websites across the country, for both English- and Spanish-language audiences.
The design process involved a lot of El Chapo and Kim Jong Un thumbnails, along with walking a balance between enabling new editorial formats, richer story-telling templates, new ad sales opportunities, and a more modern design sensibility while still supporting the fast-paced, day-to-day operations of local newsrooms.
Union Square Ventures
Working with Nick Grossman and Bethany Crystal, we took a crack at re-thinking how Union Square Ventures’ website reflects the investment theses and thinking about technology, business, and culture that has driven NYC’s (IMHO) best venture capital firm of the past twenty years.
If you haven’t had a chance, check out some of the writing from Fred Wilson, Albert Wegner, and others as we look forward to a new decade of opportunity and challenges. We’ve been lucky to work with companies tackling challenge across the spectrum of trends that will hopefully define (for the better) our world in the next ten years.
Some times, it still feels like we are fully wrapping our heads around the potential of blockchain. As projects that tackle real world business problems like Hart Lambur and Allison Lu’s UMA Project, we are increasingly encouraged by how decentralized technology platforms (and math we don’t understand!) can create solutions and new opportunities for a truly global world.
Design problems that are unsexy are sometimes the biggest opportunities to make actual improvement in people’s lives. Collaborating with the team at Cedar, we were able to re-think presentation of medical bills on paper, hopefully providing clarity, choice, and ease for patients that use Cedar’s online billing platform to manage their medical payments.
Hospital for Special Surgery
Delivery of health care through digital platforms continues to be an area of potential and opportunity, and we enjoy the challenge of marrying our digital expertise and people-centric UX lens with the clinical expertise of institutions like the Hospital for Special Surgery.
Working with the team at HSS, we helped create a vision for a digital care platform that allows the hospital to extend their geographical reach, and deliver care throughout a person’s journey, beginning with preventative care options through the overall patient lifecycle.
PEN America Campus Free Speech Guide
Our studio has been committed to supporting organizations and movements that are trying to do good in the world. It was a pleasure to collaborate with the PEN America team on their Campus Free Speech Guide with help from our software development partners at Nolte.
Uprise Art, the digital art gallery from Tze Chun and Whitney Shaw continues to be one of our favorite businesses to collaborate with. We were excited to provide some optimizations to the site for holiday 2019 with our friends at Shift Lab and look forward to visiting their new gallery in their downtown loft in 2020.
Context Travel provides private walking tours of cultural capitals with expert guides.We helped re-envision the brand and launch their digital presence in early 2019 with an updated identity system and a totally new, responsive website for discovering and booking private group tours.
As the year progressed, we had the pleasure of continuing to roll the brand out on print and event collateral — and also took a tour of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty with Context Travel guides.
The coming decade will see some interesting sorting out of which corporations are able to make commitments to consumer privacy. As individuals and consumers, it’s not area we are super hopeful about, given the proliferation of devices and platforms that are capturing individual data — and while regulatory regimes like GDPR and CCPA may be blunt instruments for focusing corporate attention on individual privacy, we are glad it’s happening.
We worked with Xfinity to launch their Xfinity Privacy website, just the latest in our long-term working relationship with the UX and product teams at Comcast.
Embedding and Accelerating
We continue to embed with corporate and start-up clients to accelerate the product design, recognizing that the models in which digital solutions get made will continue to evolve. In 2019, we worked with Barclays, Harness Wealth, and Imagia on their EVIDENS platform for AI-driven clinical research.
We look forward to seeing the fruits of that work come to market in the coming months, along with project collaborations we can’t quite share yet, including:
- a cool, new project with our favorite storytellers
- a new app serving lending associates for Aura, with our friends at Very Good Ventures
- a civic engagement project called the Better Arguments project, sponsored by Aspen Institute, Facing History, and Allstate
- a new website for Imagia