#Tink25 "I’m surrounded by a team of experts at the forefront of their fields"

December 3, 2020

To celebrate Tink’s 25th anniversary, we will be sharing a series of testimonials from employees who have grown with us—over the past 5, 10, 15, and even 20 years—in an ever-changing industry. Today, we hear from Isabelle Lafetière, who’s been at Tink for 18 years.

In 2002, sites were integrated directly through the design. Everything was both simpler and more complex, recalls Isabelle, who began her adventure at Tink in January 2002 as a web designer/integrator. Her background was in print and media, but the transition to web design back then was very different than it is today. Things were simpler, says Isabelle. We were developing images in one format, one resolution. We didn’t worry about responsive web design. But we did do everything by hand, from integration to icon design.

The challenges of web design have definitely changed over the past 18 years. It’s not an issue today, but back in the early 2000s, content was much less accessible, says Isabelle. Images and fonts were hard to find!

Today, an image is just one of many web design elements, interchangeable with a thousand others thanks to companies like Getty Images or Shutterstock. But image selection used to be a big part of client specifications. The approval process was more involved and the visuals were edited differently, to create relief or gradient effects. And the cost of a photo—whether it was produced by us or the client, or purchased—was much higher, says Isabelle.

screenshot of BritRail's website from 2006
Website designed by Isabelle Lafetière for Tink in 2006

Within a few years, Isabelle transitioned to art direction, where she could work directly with clients. I love meeting with clients, brainstorming, understanding and meeting their design needs, and suggesting solutions they never would’ve considered. While Tink has a technical background, namely in the development of complex web interfaces, the company has always offered valuable consulting services to guide clients in an ever-changing industry.

Consequently, the technical, creative, and commercial teams are expected to keep up with the latest technologies and market practices. For several years, I was one of the company’s only in-house creative resources, but we were able to handle the projects we received, says Isabelle. As time passed, UX started to play a more important role in web creation and would sometimes even supersede design and UI. At that point, Isabelle approached Tink’s management team, and they demonstrated a willingness to adapt and listen. With the support of my supervisor, Emilie Valcourt, I was able to transition into a hybrid UX/UI position. This was an important step in my career, as I wanted my skills and experience to stay relevant. But it also changed how I interacted with clients. I was able to see projects in their entirety instead of only focusing on the artistic elements. The change benefitted not only Isabelle, but also her clients—a win-win for Tink.

Screenshot of caisse scolaire website
The Desjardins School Caisse website, one of Isabelle’s latest projects

Many other employees just like Isabelle have been at the company for 5, 10, 15, and even 20 years—and that’s because they still find their work rewarding. The reason I’m still at Tink 18 years later is because I’m surrounded by a team of experts at the forefront of their fields. We’re also fortunate to work for a company that’s attentive, compassionate, and always approachable—just like our managers. Of course, in the past 18 years, I’ve sometimes wondered about the future of my career. But Tink is a welcoming place. The company is evolving with the industry, but makes sure its employees are growing with it. We’re always taken seriously, and I know how valuable that is!

You can also read our interview with Maude Laurin, digital production and support manager, who recently celebrated 20 years at Tink.

Communication, Marketing and Social Media Counselor