In our latest interview, Isobar Australia’s Front End Lead, Sam Brunno tells the story of Iso-Inspire, our in-house inspirational platform , highlights his favourite project he’s worked on at Isobar and gives advice to junior developers looking to develop in their role.
Hey Sam, first up. Can you explain the story of Iso-Inspire? (how/why you started it, how it’s evolved etc.)
Iso-Inspire all happened really organically.
It was an outlet for me to share innovative and inspiring websites and digital experiences that I would come across. Developing customer-facing digital experiences is my passion, and I would spend my lunch breaks and my time afterhours hunting for the next inspiring website to share.
It’s first iteration was a set bookmarks for self-reference for whenever I needed a bit of inspiration. I then began sharing these references with the team whenever a new brief would come in. A few months later, it evolved into a weekly email with a spreadsheet containing links to ‘Websites of the Week’.
It quickly became apparent that there was no central repository for developers, designers and creatives in Isobar to explore and be inspired by innovative trends in website development. Soon enough, my colleagues in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth started contacting me asking to be added to the mailing list.
Once this need became apparent, my next iteration of ‘Websites of the Week’ was an EDM that I designed and built in Campaign Monitor. This allowed me to curate the content more efficiently, add commentary and drastically improved the user-experience. Before I knew it, all of Isobar Australia was on the mailing list.
In mid-2017 our then Executive Creative Director alerted me to dozens of requests from overseas Isobarians wanting to get in on the action. This motivated me to think about how can we could make this a global initiative. Soon after Isoinspire.co.uk was born with the help of Brandon Lucas and Nick Bass in UK!
Can you share an example of how Iso-Inspire has helped your team create better work for clients?
It’s a great way for us to share insights on the digital landscape. It helps every craft in Isobar — be it design, strategy, development, client service, delivery — to constantly push ourselves to create better digital experiences for our clients and their customers.
Iso-Inspire is baked into our process with our teams digging into our archives during landscape reviews to understand the opportunity for pushing the boundaries of design and development.
You’ve worked on some amazing projects, what has been your favourite project at Isobar and why?
I’ve had a pretty incredible journey over my 7 years at Isobar and worked on some amazing projects including Holden, Grazia, Meat & Livestock Australia and Australian Institute of Sport.
But often my favourite project is the one I finished most recently, which in this case is University of Canberra (UC). It was one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever worked on, learning a completely new CMS, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), and delivering a digital experience that transformed the higher education experience for students.
What advice would you give to junior front-end developers looking to develop in their role?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. One of the many reasons I love working at Isobar is that everyone goes above and beyond to help. Invariably someone somewhere has faced the same problem as you and probably found the right solution.