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2018 - A year in review

With the year almost over, I thought I’d take a look at some of my favourite things that have happened at Kind this year.
Mat Hayward

Founder and Partnerships Director

We started 2018 working with the ODI to launch their Open Standards for Data guidebook. This is one of my personal favourite projects as it not only satisfied the UX-geek in me who appreciates the simplicity of design and ease of navigation, but it came in on time and slightly under budget!

In May, we were appointed as digital consultancy for Sheffield Hallam University and have since been working with them to enhance the user-experience of their digital properties through creating a holistic design system and a standardised front-end.

In the meantime, we’ve also helped them with short-term projects such as their Clearing hub, which achieved great results, and the first phase of their student intranet refresh. We’re looking forward to sharing more of this work with you in 2019.

Positive impacts 🔗

One of the key reasons Tom and I had for starting Kind was that we wanted to be able to make a positive impact with the work we were doing.

This year we’ve continued to ensure we’re always focusing on that by reducing and offsetting our carbon footprint (not perfect, but progress nonetheless) and becoming a Living Wage Employer. Not for our permanent staff who quite rightly earn more than the living wage, but for interns like Sophie.

In November, we sponsored the 1% for the Planet European Summit in Amsterdam and took most of the team over to the Netherlands for a well earned break from the day-to-day grind.

We have been so inspired by that one day at Patagonia’s European Headquarters, that we’re looking at ways we can help promote the message in the UK and how we can change the nature of our business to create a bigger impact.

Our learnings from the 1% Summit

New faces 🔗

Kind is a small business. That was always the plan. But as we grow, we need additional time and skills to help us achieve our objectives.

In September this year, we were very pleased to welcome Michelle to the team as our Head of Marketing & Strategy. Michelle joined us from the ETI, our longest standing client, so she already knew a thing or two about who we are and how we operate. Since September, she has helped us to improve our marketing output (you may have noticed our social media accounts are much more regularly updated!) and, more importantly, focus our efforts on achieving our objectives through documenting and sharing our strategy with the team.

As we continue to grow, we’re still on the lookout for Senior Developers to join our team in 2019. If you fancy a change in the new year, it could be you.

Flying the flag for Craft 🔗

It’s no secret that we love Craft CMS. It’s our CMS of choice for most projects and has been since Tom and I first laid eyes on it in 2012 (even before we founded Kind). That’s the reason we co-founded the Nottingham meetup, Craftin’ Notts and why we were selected as one of the first agencies in the Craft Partners programme.

In September, Tom went off to Berlin to attend Dot All 2018, the Craft community’s yearly international conference, and came back enthused and inspired, not just about technical advances in the platform, but about Growth, Responsibility and Inclusivity too.

Planning for the future 🔗

The events of the past few years, the political landscape we find ourselves in and the announcement that we have just 12 years to prevent climate disaster led Tom and I to ask ourselves some tough questions. Why are we doing this? What are we trying to achieve? Is money and success really the end goal?

While we’ve always known in our heads why Kind exists and that we only care about money as a necessity to our team’s health and well-being, we had never worked to outline this on paper (or a Google Doc). So we updated our business strategy to outline our focus on strategy-led work and our commitment to working exclusively with socially responsible and environmentally sustainable organisations, like those in the Arts & Culture or Education sectors.

Next year, we’re planning to do more and we’ll be measuring our success not by the profit we acquire, but by the positive impact we help to make.