Canva Design Week 2019

As designers, we spend most of our time working closely within our product teams. Design week is an opportunity to dedicate time away from distractions and focus on bigger opportunities, through collaborative work with designers across the organisation.

The plan was simple; 25 designers, 3 days, 1 beach house, and a million post-its. What could go right!? Lots of things it turns out.

Before day one, we assembled as a team of 4 designers to tackle a specific problem.

Day 01 – Pick a target

Day one felt more like a festival of post-its, rather than design work :). Following a loose Sprint methodology, our goal for the first day was to create a map of the problem and identify a target to focus on for the rest of the sprint.

Pick an ambitious goal
Canva users rely on templates to jump start their design process. Many of them often want to create multiple designs with a consistent style and brand. Currently, that experience isn't great, as they have to apply their branding to individual templates. What if they could apply their brand to a group of templates easily and effectively?

Create a map
With our goal in mind, we created an experience flow that mapped out all the steps of the current design experience; Discovery, designing, publishing, and everything in between.

Pick a target
We decided to focus on the experience of customising and editing multiple designs in a collection.

Day 02 – Ideate & iterate

Canva Design Week 2019

On day two we traded our post-its for some pen and paper, with the aim to generate and refine as many ideas as possible. To generate these ideas, we utilized How Might We questions;

  • How might we discover designs of a similar style?
  • How might we replace all instances of a logo at once?
  • How might we apply a brand style without using the editor?
  • How might we preview a brand style without using the editor?
  • How might we edit all designs in the same document?

With this list of questions, we sketched as many variations of an idea as possible – going for quantity over quality, as we knew we’d narrow down our focus afterwards.

Day 03 – Prototype & present

On the morning of the 3rd day, inspiration was at an all-time high. We had bundles of sketches and an entire day to turn these ideas into prototypes. I worked on the idea of editing multiple designs within the same document.

Like many UX/UI designers, design and prototyping is often the funnestb easiest part of the process. This is where all the hard work really comes to life.


Overall, design week was a great way for us to focus our energy towards solving big problems. For me personally, there were three main takeaways;

Rallying a team of diverse designers helped us widen our scope for solutions and explore designs that cut across our individual product areas.

Working in a different environment helped us step out of our regular cadences and habits. We made a conscious effort to step away from our screens, which encouraged constant collaboration.

The best part of this experience was to work with designers I don’t often have the opportunity to. Sharing perspectives, ideas and opinions helped strengthen our relationship, and made the whole thing alot more fun!