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2019 Digital Design Hunt Heads to Toronto’s Distillery District

August 21, 2019

Design Hunt participants

Design Hunt crews gathering at the start of the day

When I agreed to help plan a team building event for the Digital Team a few years ago, I never expected it would be so personally fulfilling as well as become an annual event (championed by our CDO, Lisa Durocher!)

The event, known as the Rogers Digital #designhunt is an Amazing Race style experience for about 350 of our employees. I’m Jessica Chan, one of the organizers, and together with Jade Salazaar, Linda Nong and Sayad Bhimani – we’ve dubbed ourselves “The Dream Team”.

In our previous Hunts, participants received clues that took them around Toronto and Montreal and asked them to participate in various challenges and activities. What makes this event different is that we created programming around key Design Thinking Principles – empathy, prototyping and co-creation, along with important team-building skills – communications, critical thinking and active listening.

We just had our third Toronto Design hunt and it was housed in the Distillery District. The theme was “the bigger picture”. Unlike previous years, teams competed in challenges that required collaboration with the larger team.

People painting a mural

Mural station participants contributing to the bigger picture

Our empathy station is always one of our most meaningful takeaways from the day. This part of the day really makes me appreciate everything that I have. I’m also proud to see our team come together to help a great cause.

In our first year, we partnered with the Jays Care Foundation – building bookshelves for the Home Run Scholars and assembling Youth Champ boxes for the James Bay Girls at Bat Program’s annual retreat. Last year, the teams had the most fun building playhouses, picnic tables and bicycles for the Million Dollar Smiles organization.

This year, the Toronto Hunt has partnered with two extraordinary organizations, Ve’ahavta and Ronald McDonald House, whose goal is to help families and communities support one another in their time of need.

Ve’ahavta is a Jewish humanitarian organization dedicated to promoting positive change in the lives of people of all faiths and backgrounds who have been marginalized by poverty and hardship. Our team will be putting together kits to support the homeless community with the necessities we often take for granted.

Ronald McDonald House Toronto serves as a place to call home for families with seriously ill children undergoing treatment. We will be donating backpacks & school supplies for their back-to-school program, to be delivered directly to these families following the event.

Backpacks on a table for Ronald McDonald House

Backpacks created by the teams ready for delivery

I’ve been so thankful for the opportunity and challenge of organizing this event with the incredibly talented “Dream Team” to create this event for the past three years for the Digital Team. We hope that those of you who have participated in the past have enjoyed it as much as we have planning it.

The Montreal Hunt will take place later this year, with their own “Dream Team” of organizers who have been planning tirelessly. Stay tuned for the Montreal post.

I’m Vandana. I love designing for Accessibility!

August 1, 2019

Vandana Jagannathan, UX & Accessibility Specialist

I began my career at Rogers Digital 2 years ago as a User Experience (UX) and Accessibility Specialist, after emigrating from India. Working on the User Experience & Design team here has been an awesome experience. I’ve had the freedom to turn my ideas into real-word solutions that helps our customers.

When I joined Rogers, ‘Accessibility’ was a relatively new term. So my mission here has been to promote a digital experience that always considers people with accessibility needs. One of my first projects was supporting the redesign of rogers.com. I worked to make sure that the newly designed experience complied with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Anyone considering a career in accessibility at Rogers Digital will want to have:

  • Empathy! Have an inclusive mindset and a passion for wanting to help people with accessibility issues.
  • Specialized knowledge. Learn all about auditing tools, assistive technologies, and provincial accessibility standards.
  • The right qualifications. Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) or Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS) from the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP).
  • Industry awareness: Immerse yourself in the Design and Accessibility communities. Check out DesignX, the UXPA, a11y meet-ups and #a11yTO conferences.

Lastly, I’d just like to say always believe in yourself and keep learning!

Collision 2019: Design Thinking Workshop

July 25, 2019

One of the fastest-growing tech conferences in North America, Collision 2019 brought together over 25,000 technophiles and investors from around the world.

Jade Salazaar from the Rogers Digital team led a Design Thinking workshop where Collision attendees could explore and create an ideal future city with 5G technology.

Wesley Thordarson helped facilitate the Collision workshop. Says Wesley, “Collision was such a great opportunity to demonstrate Design Thinking basics to others in the industry. It was also an important chance to show how Rogers Digital has really embraced innovative approaches to collaboration”.

Check out this video of the Collision workshop to see what Design Thinking looks like in action.

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