Goosebump-worthy Onboarding

To embody the Spin Master mission of "making life more fun," I created this vibrant culture-building platform to onboard new staff.

Spin Master
Web Design / Dev, UX Research, UI/UX Design, Illustration
Jamieson Cochrane, Former Culture Ambassador

Project Summary

Challenge: On the heels of our success with the Spin Master 20th Anniversary book, I was invited to reimagine the global toy company’s HR manual.

Strategy: Turn the traditional printed guide into an easy-to-search app that was as innovative and fun as Spin Master itself. Generate insights through user research to identify the type of people who are a strong cultural fit for the organization. Then, go beyond communicating company policy and create a culture-building tool.


  • Competitive audit
  • Stakeholder and staff interviews
  • Cultural fit research and analysis
  • High fidelity prototype
  • Custom illustrations
A short intro booklet was provided to staff with instructions for how to access the Thrive Guide app.

Through research and staff interviews, it was possible to identify what everyone universally liked about working at Spin Master—having fun, great co-workers, good benefits. Conversely, it also clarified what was unsurprisingly universally disliked—being overworked or stressed.

None of these perspectives would help us differentiate who was a good fit.

Instead, I identified that the mindset and perspective about these realities is was made an ideal fit at Spin Master. Those people who were most satisfied at Spin Master were those who were drawn to and enjoyed a loose hierarchy, with less structure and organization. This environment provided them with what they perceived as a plethora of opportunities. In contrast, people who weren't satisfied viewed these same circumstances as frustrating challenges.

Using our UX research, I coined those with a strong cultural fit as being “self-motivated go-getters, hooked on creativity and innovation."
A report was compiled to articulate the company culture from the perspective of the people who worked there.

A competitive audit helped spur ideation

It was clear that a law-of-the-land style manual wouldn't inspire this innovative company's entrepreneurial staff.

So, the original HR content was re-organized and re-written to appeal to the people who were an ideal cultural fit. The resulting "Thrive Guide" app went beyond simply communicating company policy. It was chock-full of advice from veteran staff on how to hit the ground running. The online app also had over 150 original illustrations that piqued reader curiosity and captured the spirit of Spin Master.

Outcome: Extremely well-received by HR and staff alike, the Thrive Guide became a permanent part of the onboarding process. New staff could quickly get the big picture of what Spin Master is all about and how to fit in and existing employees could easily search for relevant policy details, as needed. The look and feel was also applied to the interior design of their new building.

One HR employee exclaimed she was “getting goosebumps imagining how great it's going to be for onboarding new staff!”

Suzanne's thoughtfully developed strategy and corresponding design solutions create a resonating connection between her work and the viewer, elevating the work far beyond expectations!”

Jamieson Cochrane
Former Culture Ambassador, Spin Master

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