Goodby Silverstein & Partners rely on a simple, visual tool to keep their people connected



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Advertising & Design
San Francisco, New York, and Remote

Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P), named as one of the 10 most consequential agencies of the decade by Forbes, rely on Names & Faces to keep their people connected.

Unlike other clunky and less approachable predecessors, this directory tool did get adopted because the company's culture values simple, visual design.

During 2019 Names & Faces was used by someone at GS&P every four minutes of the working weekday.

A visual interface for creative people

Advertising is steeped in good design. It’s what people that work in agencies live and breath, so introducing a poorly designed tool with a clunky UX doesn’t go down well:

In the past our culture has not wanted to adopt things that don’t work particularly well, or don’t look great, or aren’t user friendly. I think that’s why Names & Faces has been a success for us. It’s really, really simple. It just works. I think that’s what you want from technology: you want it to be simple, reliable, and useful.
Jill Sammons, Director of Culture at GS&P
GS&P leadership from left to right: Derek Robson, Margaret Johnson, Bonnie Wan, Brian McPherson, Rich Silverstein, Jeff Goodby, Christine Chen and Leslie Barrett. Credit: Stephanie Diani via Ad Age.

Reliable, always-up-to-date information at everyone’s fingertips

GS&P had built their own functional and decent directory some time ago – and it worked for them – but the maintenance of it was never really owned by anyone and it got very out of date:

When a directory is out of date it just isn’t helpful. I use it all the time, we all use it all the time - it’s become part of the way we are in contact with each other.
Example of a single profile in a demo directory

Solving a connection problem with quick, easy access to information

Especially in a business like advertising where great work being done relies on relationship and connection, it’s important for people to be able to get to know each other and feel like they belong:

Having information solves a connection problem. Any time an organization grows there are moments where people go: ‘Oh gosh, I don’t know everyone in the elevator’. Names & Faces is solving for a feeling of connection, feeling safe, and that you know everybody.
Example of the homepage of a demo directory

In closing

Names & Faces is used every four minutes of the working day by someone at GS&P and has become the primary way their people contact each other and stay connected. The filters and views allow everyone to check on upcoming birthdays and look up when others started so as not to miss key milestones like a decade or more of service.

We serve a growing number of the world’s best advertising agencies with world class directories - including AMV BBDO, King James, and Ogilvy - and are researching features to support their return to work over the next six months.