Design team t-shirt design by Drew Gliever

For the past two and half years I’ve had the pleasure of watching our company grow – and that includes the growth of our design team. (Oh, and we’re still growing).

When I joined design, we were a team of less than 10 that covered:

  • Product design
  • Marketing and communications design
  • Front end engineering

Product designers supported upwards of 4 teams, which at the time was nearly half of the platform. Our marcom (marketing and communications) team was in the middle of a huge site redesign while also supporting numerous events and marketing campaigns. The front end design team was looking toward a future that included not only maintaining our website, but also a collection of marketing tools, and our design system, Camp.

There was a ton of work happening and our team was spread thin. As the platform continues to grow, we’re working towards a future that lets product designers support a smaller slice of the platform – which lets them deepen their impact on a particular product area.

On the marketing and communication side, we’ve identified opportunities to templatize materials. This enables our stakeholders to create decks and landing pages independently while also creating common design system elements. And lastly, from a front end perspective, we’ve been able to break this team into 2 teams so engineers can be dedicated to the site, or Camp.

Design assets

A day in the life of the design team: what’s it like?

Whenever I talk to potential design candidates I love to share that while we have multiple design disciplines that fall under our larger design umbrella, we all spend time collaborating, socializing, and strengthening our craft together.

Each week we have a critique that includes both product and marketing designers. Personally, this has been exciting because not only do we get to see what each designer is working on, but product designers can see how their work is being packaged up and marketed to our customers. At the same time, marcom designers have a look at what’s coming and how they might start to tell the story of that product or feature.

During COVID-19 we’ve played a lot of virtual games to keep our team culture alive honestly, — who hasn’t?! After we exhausted the Jackbox suite we tried Codenames, hosted a trivia night, and we put our skills to work trying to draw cartoon characters from memory. Most recently, we started our October all-hands with pumpkin carving!

Virtual pumpkin carving

Today, our ActiveCampaign design team has:

  • 10 product designers
  • 3 marketing and communication designers
  • 5 front end engineers
  • A creative director
  • A design leadership team of 4

Most of us live in the Midwest – across Chicago, Indianapolis, and western Michigan – but one of our designers, Austin, took a leap into leading the remote charge out to Salt Lake City even before COVID-19 struck. Nowadays we’re a fully remote team, with our most recent hires continuing to grow our presence in Indy, and adding another pin on the map – this time in Nashville. Our backgrounds are varied; half of us come from art or design backgrounds, while the other half have found their way to design via marketing, biology, journalism, and more. We have a handful of parents, pet owners, and coincidentally enough, quite a few musicians.

Design team offsite at the Wndr museum

When I look at the numbers above I can’t believe how much we’ve grown in only 2 years, but as I alluded to earlier, we’re not done! The team is growing quickly with no plans of slowing down. If you’re curious about some of the work we’re doing, be sure to check out our website, as well as our Dribbble.

The ActiveCampaign design team is hiring!

Graphic by Drew Gliever

The ActiveCampaign design team is seeking designers that are user-centric, who drive business outcomes, challenge our craft and processes, and that influence our culture and communities. You might have a background in designing for SaaS or marketing products, or maybe you’ve worked at a startup and are looking to join a growing team.

ActiveCampaign is quite generous when it comes to benefits & perks including full medical, dental, and vision, a collection of Employee Resource Groups to get involved with, a quarterly work-from-home equipment stipend, and more!