1. What makes you interested in Bus.com?
From what I can see, Bus.com as a product solves a critical problem with accessibility using a community-based focus. With a people-based focus, not only can you create spaces for real connection, you create platforms for human-centered approaches to problem solving – I think that since we experience problems as people, we must solve them as people. This ethos is what guides me both as a person and as a designer.
Also, doggos! Wow!
2. Please share any bus story that you may have – any experience that comes to mind, from school time travel to Greyhound experiences.
During Startup Open House 2017 just a few months ago, I was waiting for one of Bus.com’s big yellow schoolbuses to go from Mile End to downtown. Another girl was waiting at the bus stop when I got there, and we struck up a conversation about what we were each attending the event for, how we were feeling about how the afternoon was going, and what we were hoping to get out of it. Networking events such as SOH can be a little intimidating especially when attending alone, but talking to her calmed my nerves a little as I realised that other people felt the same nervousness as I did.
We continued talking as we hopped on the bus along with one other passenger. He stood out immediately – he was slightly older than the typical SOH attendee, dressed like a more traditional businessman, and introduced himself to us as the founder of a company that researches a method to shoot lasers at wind turbines to clean them of ice. As the bus journey went on, he told us about how he had come up with this crazy-sounding idea to solve a specific problem that existed on an industry-wide scale. I ended the bus journey with his business card in my pocket and more information about wind turbines and their ice problems than I ever would have learned on my own.
Imagine if I had hopped on an STM bus downtown and spent the ride shutting out the world with my headphones!
3. Who do you aspire to be?
I aspire to be as empathetic as I possibly can be.
On a human level, that means that I try my hardest to understand how someone else is feeling and how my actions could affect another person.
On a work level, that means that 50% of what I do is learning how to be the best team player possible (the other 50% being refining my craft!). I firmly believe that even if I was the Best Graphic Designer In The Known Universe, it would be worth very little if my handoffs are a pain in someone else’s butt.
4. Describe a marketing campaign or project you were part of. Was it a failure or success? (Bonus points for failures.)
When I was part of Fokus Film Festival in 2015, I worked with a social media coordinator to come up with a Facebook campaign for the event. We chose Facebook as our platform of choice since the Facebook page had the largest following by far (~2k likes) of any of the social platforms that TVM, our hosting organisation, was on.
We came up with a timeline of posts for the Facebook event page leading up to each key stage of the event. The logistics of the event were a little complex to keep track of, as there were multiple dates for different audiences to know. The first stage was advertising the deadlines for film submissions, which was geared at the student filmmakers. The second stage was advertising the event itself, which was geared at a much wider audience that included anyone who had an interest in film.
Each graphic contained minimal text that had a singular purpose: we didn’t try to advertise film submission deadlines and ticket sale availabilities on the same graphic. This enabled us to post the same graphic into a few different targeted Facebook groups, and also allowed us to pay for wider reach on key posts such as the one advertising that film submissions were closing in 48 hours. (Facebook advertising rules at the time decreed that only a certain percentage of the image area in sponsored posts could consist of text.)
To be completely honest, this campaign had mixed results. We wanted the event to stay fresh in people’s minds, as we knew that McGill students are inundated with cool events to go to every weekend. To do this, we scheduled a fairly aggressive timeline where we were posting every few days, and leading up to key dates, posting every day (ie. “Film submissions are closing in 3 days! / 2 days! / tomorrow! / today!!!”). In hindsight, it was too aggressive – it may have kept us at the forefront of people’s notification boxes, but it took focus away from actually converting people to buying tickets to the event. If I were to do this over again, I would pull back on the frequency of posts and also focus on reducing the friction of ticket-buying by using an online sales platform.
Thanks for the opportunity – hope to hear from you soon!