The Official OpenRoad Blog


Meet our new Front-End Developer, Foley!

We are very excited to welcome Foley Lynn to the team. Foley brings over 15 years of digital communications experience to OpenRoad. He cultivated his expertise by splitting his time between agency work and running his own web development firm.


Foley with his adorable son Markus.

Over the last 15 years, Foley’s favourite project was working as the Lead Front-End Developer building the mobile web app for “The project moved quickly — and with no dedicated project manager, all team members became experts at communication. It was an exciting, fast-moving development environment that leveraged cutting-edge technology. It was a fantastic experience,” said Foley.

OpenRoad is proud to co-host the 2nd annual VanUX Awards

From a fledging roundtable group of people interested in this thing called ‘user experience’ to a sold-out award show celebrating some of the biggest brands in Canada, the Vancouver User Experience group has grown up over the past twelve years. We’re excited to announce OpenRoad will be co-hosting the Vancouver User Experience Awards for a second year in a row. You’re invited to join us on November 25, to celebrate the most joyful, innovative, and elegant user experiences created right here in our own city.

Congratulations, Emily Carr University!

A big congratulations to Emily Carr University on their new website, designed and built by OpenRoad! Emily Carr University of Art + Design is one of Canada’s premier post secondary institutions, devoted to excellence and innovation in visual arts, media arts, and design. They needed a site that was as vibrant and diverse as the university itself to attract the best and brightest students. We are really excited to have been involved with the project. Congrats again, Emily Carr University.

Take a peek at the University’s newly redesigned homepage:

Emily Carr University of Art + Design Browser

OpenRoad’s 2015 Gastown Grand Prix party

105A0559Every year since 2002, OpenRoad has celebrated the Gastown Grand Prix with an annual party. Some of the best views of Vancouver’s legendary pro-cycling race are from OpenRoad’s second floor offices on Water Street. It’s an enviable spot that was made even better when we shared the experience of great food, drinks, and music with our clients, friends, and the local digital community.

The talented Jef Gibbons photographed the evening and captured some memorable moments.

Onward to the event gallery



Welcome Deborah MacKenzie, our new UX Designer!

11535687_10155654069665176_5703660948535445135_nWe are thrilled to welcome Deborah MacKenzie to the team! Deborah brings eight years of UX design experience, having worked both locally and internationally. Deborah recently completed her Master’s degree in Digital Media (MDM) from Simon Fraser University. “A lot of people went into this program to change their career direction, but that wasn’t my goal,” she said. “I LOVE doing UX design—I wanted to keep doing it, I just wanted to do it better.”  (more…)

Meet our new Senior Project Manager, Joey Bevacqua!


Joey and his Yorkshire Terrier named Zoey

We are more than excited to welcome Joey Bevacqua to the team! Joey is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and brings over 12 years of business management experience to OpenRoad. Over the past 12 years, Joey’s favourite project that he has had the opportunity to manage was the Army of Two: The 40th Day website build for Electronic Arts.

The project scope was to build an online custom mask and armour creator to get users excited about the game’s upcoming release. The tool allowed users to design and share custom masks and armour that would be usable during multiplayer mode. Once users created their designs (more…)

Congrats to the ThoughtFarmer Website Team!

How do you emphasize that an enterprise software product, which is typically stodgy and corporate, is actually fun, vibrant, and exciting? The design team at OpenRoad hit the nail on the head when they redesigned the ThoughtFarmer website in 2014. We are happy to announce the team won four awards for their vision and hard work on the project.

ThoughtFarmer is social intranet software that enables organizations to improve their internal communications and collaboration. The website had been last designed in February 2012, and, with new marketing goals, it was time for a redesign.

The website’s primary audience consists of intranet buyers, who include a mix of corporate communications professionals, HR managers, and IT managers. The goal of the redesign was to 1) increase website conversions, 2) provide content that would help convert opportunities to sales, and 3) support client services initiatives.

As ThoughtFarmer is a constantly evolving product, the design team was challenged (more…)

Goodbye Cyberspace, Hello Code/Space at the 2015 BC Library Association Conference

Every year the BC Library Association gathers its members together to discuss the evolving role libraries play in our cities and communities across BC. This year, I was honoured to receive an invitation to speak at the annual conference.

I’ve always been a big fan of libraries – from a child who visited regularly, to a university student who camped out in the stacks researching and writing essays, to now a parent returning to the children’s collection on weekends. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with librarians: I helped redesign the Vancouver Public Library’s website back in 2007, have done a lot of work in the public legal education and information space with the team at Courthouse Libraries BC, and currently I’m serving my second year as a Trustee of the Board of the Vancouver Public Library. (more…)

We’ve been running the Sun Run for over 16 years.

The Vancouver Sun Run is one of OpenRoad’s longest-standing employee events: we’ve been running it since 1999! This Sunday will be our 16th year participating in the popular 10-kilometre race run.

Post-Sun Run, 1999.

Post-Sun Run, 1999. Nice shorts, Gord!

Since the acquisition of design agency Mod7 in 2013, our T-shirt logos received a big upgrade. We revealed our first ever designer-made logo last year, which our runners wore proudly. This year (more…)

Beyond Competency Tests & Riddles: Hiring People with Real-World Skills


The topic of hiring is frequently discussed in the tech community. It’s a seller’s market, where talent is in top demand. It’s also a position of great responsibility where someone who’s mediocre can become an albatross on the team’s neck. Stories are common about days-long interviews with multiple rounds meeting different groups of people.

When I came to work at OpenRoad, my interview was nine months long, and involved a major project for one of our biggest clients.

Fortunately, it was paid work, and it was ideal from a hiring perspective: OpenRoad had an extended period in which to evaluate me: they received real code from me, they interacted with me as part of a team, and they saw how I handled deadlines and project pressures. When they hired me (more…)