Your friends at Viget present Flourish, a Viget News & Culture Blog

Boulder Startup Week 2015 for Designers

Each year for the past three years, Viget Boulder has been proud to organize, and sometimes even speak at, a design-centric event at Boulder Startup Week. Boulder Startup Week is a five-day celebration, with 120+ events held by the Boulder startup community, for the community. For many startups, UX, UI, and branding are often given low priority, ignored all together, or left out simply because young, focused startups don't know where to begin when it comes to design. Our design-focused events over the years have aimed to make design and its value part of the conversation and give startups practical, actionable guidance for how they can take their product to the next level with solid design.

This year one event wasn't enough! We've worked with Boulder Startup Week to coordinate and curate an entire design track. Seven design-tastic events every day throughout the week will take place at a variety of downtown venues. The events themselves will range from a casual happy hour, to panels featuring some of the best designers around. We hope to see you at at least one event next week! Be sure to register for Startup Week here. Here's the full breakdown:


Summer’s Coming. Start NEXT Summer’s Internship Search Now.

A college sophomore recently sent me an email entitled  “Student Seeking Long-Term Advice.” Here’s an excerpt that gets to the gist:

I would love to apply for an internship with Viget next year (probably for Front-End Development). This summer, I’ve already planned to go to Florida to intern there as well as work with a missions organization, so I waited to get in touch with you until after your internship rush died down a bit for your sanity’s sake! I would love to get to know your company, and gain an expert’s critique of my portfolio and resume.

Smart email, smart timing. The internship recruiting rush was indeed dying down, so I had time to do the following:


Getting to NO LUPUS by Getting to KNOW LUPUS

At first, I was just tired all the time. Really tired, but just tired all the same. Then the joints in my fingers were swollen and sore when I woke up. Pretty quickly, the joint pain and fatigue escalated so much that the mere thought of walking up the stairs to my room brought on tears and a five minute shower had to be followed by a 30 minute nap.

I had no idea what was going on. Neither did my doctor. The endless array of tests didn’t bring results, but they came with plenty of disbelieving looks. Looks that said, “Your pain isn’t real. It’s in your head.” It wasn’t.  

A Frustrating Diagnosis 

The truth eventually came out — I had lupus. And I had it bad. I didn’t know how to react to the news because I had no idea what lupus was. As one of my friends said, “It’s that thing that they always think patients have on the show House, but they never actually do."

That’s the problem with lupus. Most people have at least heard of lupus, but few know any real details about the disease. That lack of understanding makes it difficult to wrap your head around when diagnosed and even more difficult to share that news with others. Over time, I realized that if I want people to have a better understanding of lupus, I need to be willing and able to speak about the disease myself.

An Opportunity to Help

Fast forward four years and when the chance for Viget to work with the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) on a pro bono project arose, I was thrilled. Lupus is a mysterious disease and LFA is a national organization devoted to solving that mystery — while improving the quality of life for all people affected by lupus through research, education, support, and advocacy.

Along with a series of nationally televised public service announcements, LFA wanted to launch an interactive website that would help educate the public about this mysterious disease. The campaign is based around the idea that in order to create a future with NO LUPUS, the public first needs to KNOW LUPUS. We were able to partner with them to create a campaign site that helps increase awareness about lupus, educates the general population, and raises money to support research.

A Fun, Educational Campaign

Naturally, this was a project I was personally invested in, but my colleagues were very engaged in the mission, too. Viget’s founders, Brian and Andy, like to support worthy causes to which we are personally connected and they were happy to lend a helping hand to LFA. A team of folks including Blair Culbreth, Doug Avery, Ally Fouts, Anjali McKenzie, Ben Travis, Mike Ackerman, Kevin Powers, and myself all pitched in to make the project happen.

We created an educational, yet fun, card game, built using React, that lets site visitors learn interesting facts about lupus while encouraging sharing. As they play the game, we keep track of game completions.  Each time the game is completed, a partner makes a donation to lupus research.

Visit lupus.org/know to play the game for yourself and help out the cause.  For more details on our work, visit our case study.


A Day with Tigers: Volunteering at Carolina Tiger Rescue

One of the many perks of being a Viget employee is the opportunity to give back to the local community; Viget supports two community service days a year for each team member. 

Last week, a number of us in the Durham office took full advantage of this opportunity and headed to the Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro, NC, to help out. 


How to Survive Working from Home

When I started working here five years ago, we had two offices: one in Falls Church, VA and another in Durham, NC. Now we have a third office in Boulder, CO and a handful of employees, including myself, working remotely. Being set up the way we are, we are all used to interacting with remote team members, but the majority of the employees work in an office.