When you think of the phrase “complex financial information,” what do you think of? Odds are good that you’re picturing an overwhelming jumble of numbers and graphs. IHS Markit Digital is trying to fix that association by designing elegant ways of displaying complicated information. Put simply? Numbers have never looked so good.
There’s a team behind those easy-to-understand interfaces, and we sat down with them to learn more about working on the digital frontier at IHS Markit Digital and how a love of design, collaboration and laughter can lead to success.
EMPLOYEES: 480 total; 425 in Boulder
WHAT THEY DO: Markit Digital is a digital agency within IHS Markit that specializes in constructing digital strategies and consumer experiences within the financial services industry.
WHERE THEY DO IT: Boulder
PERK UP: The company offers generous parental leave policies, as well as immediate vesting and 401(k) matching.
DATA, SIMPLIFIED: What was once a scrabble of numbers and lines swimming on a web browser is now, more often than not, something elegant and intuitive. There’s a team at Markit Digital responsible for that.
Stephanie Paasch, UI Designer
Stephanie is currently the design lead on a website redesign project, but defines her role as fluid. In the dynamic world of design, positions are constantly evolving, providing plenty of opportunities to learn new skills and to keep up with trends.
How would you describe the culture at IHS Markit Digital? What about your team specifically?
Our team in Boulder still feels like a small company even after going through a merger, and the leadership team has worked diligently to maintain that. For the design team, we have so many culture-centric initiatives, like our puzzle table for when you need a break from your screen, Friday morning meetings and our yearly review celebration, the Sparkies.
It’s important for us to make sure people feel they’re being heard and that their suggestions for improvement are valued.”
What aspects of IHS Markit Digital’s culture do you try to amplify at work? Why do you think this is important?
Work is where people spend a good part of their time, so it should be a place they enjoy. We take feedback and suggestions from everyone and really work to deliver on them. It’s important for us to make sure people feel they’re being heard and that their suggestions for improvement are valued. We’re also trying to create a sense of ownership around workplace culture so that it doesn’t just become a leadership initiative.
What about your work inspires you?
Technology can be overwhelming and sometimes frustrating or confusing, especially when it comes to finance. My goal is to make people happy through design and to create solutions and improve upon existing products to make life easier for users.
Ashley Hopkins, UI/UX Designer
Ashley leads design projects for one of IHS Markit Digital’s international clients. Her team works remotely with the company’s design, business and research teams to redesign the investment portion of their site.
Talk to us about your road to IHS Markit Digital. What made you decide to join the company?
I learned about IHS Markit Digital as a student at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. After college, I moved to Maine where I freelanced full-time as a graphic designer, but my now-husband and I couldn’t stay away from Colorado. I was hoping to expand my horizons as a designer, and the UI position here ended up being a great fit — I’ve been a part of the team for almost four years!
We are able to push each other to innovate, brainstorm and critique together, and to overcome any red flags early in the process.”
What is your favorite office tradition? Why?
I am a big fan of the design team tradition, “This, Only Better.” It’s a talk show held in our design space, where someone from our company is chosen to be featured as a special guest for that week. We get to learn about them individually and how other teams in our office function. It’s permeated with humor and playful quizzes that fill the show with laughs and audience interaction.
How important is collaboration at IHS Markit Digital? In what way can you use other departments as a resource?
Collaboration here is part of our normal workflow. Not only do we have access to 40+ designers working across a number of client projects, but we also have subject matter experts like financial analysts, developers, client solutions architects and more a short walk down the hall. We are able to push each other to innovate, brainstorm and critique together, and overcome any red flags early in the process. I find it valuable to have so many resources at my fingertips.
What is one item on your to-do list that you look forward to every week?
I look forward to our weekly design team meetings. They happen every Friday morning, and we get to participate in an array of different subjects: five-minute presentations on new team members, design news insights, brainstorm sessions, trivia — anything and everything is on the table.
JoAnna Pappas, Senior Executive Assistant
JoAnna is a senior executive assistant to Markit Digital’s CTO and lends a hand to the company’s talent acquisition team.
How did you find this position at IHS Markit Digital? What excited you about the role?
I moved to Colorado about a year ago after having worked as the COO of a very fun, quirky startup called BrandNewNoise in New York City. I was looking for a way to combine my creative skills with my knack for all things operations, and my sister suggested I apply for this role at Markit Digital. She has worked with the company for 20 years and has always spoken very highly of her colleagues, so it was a true honor to join the team.
What is your team culture like? Is there anything unique about your office space that fosters camaraderie?
I would say that everyone is very dedicated to their work, and it’s a company full of genuinely friendly people. You will often hear laughter in the halls, see colleagues playing a game of cornhole in the parking lot, chatting by one of the many food trucks outside the door, or high-fiving a fellow team member coming out of a meeting.
With the new renovation so close to completion, there will be more community areas to socialize in and a Zen room where people can go to meditate, do yoga and have a place to reset.
I would say that everyone is very dedicated to their work, and it’s a company full of genuinely friendly people.”
Tell us about an office tradition you particularly enjoy. How does that tradition shed light on IHS Markit Digital’s culture and values?
I have only been at Markit Digital for about ten months, but so far my favorite tradition has been the St. Baldrick’s event that the company has been doing for years. It was beyond inspiring to see so many of our colleagues not only donate to the St. Baldrick’s cause, but also shave their heads in support of cancer research! It really showed the heart of our culture and brought me to tears.