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The Big Green Button

Jul 25 2016

Few things are more satisfying than wrapping a months-long project. Back when the New York office tracked its active projects on a whiteboard in our kitchen, we’d celebrate these completed projects at our weekly meetings. Each team would walk up to the front of the room and—as the rest of the studio clapped and cheered—triumphantly erase their project from the board. It was a small thing, but it was ours, and it was pretty satisfying.

Fast forward a few years and the big whiteboard has been replaced by a nimble digital tool that allows us to track and collect data about our projects, leads, and teams. Fantastic—except we lost the communal hoopla of physically erasing the board in front of our friends. Somehow clicking to archive didn’t have as much pizzazz.

What could we create that would provide that same, satisfying sequence of tangible action and group celebration in our now purely digital reality? Enter the Big Green Button.

Swiss Miss Green Button

The mystery of the Big Green Button garners attention from Swiss Miss (a.k.a. Tina Roth Eisenberg) on Instagram.

It’s exactly what it sounds like—a massive green button that says “Push to Celebrate,” affixed to the wall next to the large monitors that track our projects. When a project is complete, a team member hits the button and a ridiculous animated gif overtakes the displays while music from "The Price is Right" plays over the speakers. It’s not confetti cannons, but it's fun and triggers the same enthusiastic cheering we enjoyed at the whiteboard.

So how did we do it? For more on the Big Green Button, including a technical look under the hood, read co-creator Chris Milne's post this week on IDEO Labs.

  • Chris Milne

    IDEO Alum
    Chris is an electro-mechanical software prototyper. He builds iPhone apps, software mockups, and electronics for clients as well as to serve as inspiration communities around him. His passion is using his unique “techspertise” to act as a bridge between Tech and non-Tech-oriented designers.
  • Anna Silverstein

    Marketing Lead, IDEO New York
    A former actor and improviser, Anna lives for moments of hilarious vulnerability and unexpected candor. She finds these daily as mother to her 2-year-old son.

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