Facebook Adds Teehan+Lax Designers To Team

Reinforcing its design team, Facebook is absorbing the talent behind Toronto-based design firm Teehan+Lax.

The shop’s partners — Jon Lax, Geoff Teehan, and David Gillis — are perhaps best known for their work on Medium, the content platform pioneered by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams.

While their role at Facebook remains unclear, the designers describe their new mission in the grandest terms. “The things we will be doing at Facebook are amazing new challenges,” the partners explain in a co-authored blog post. “The scope and scale of them are simultaneously thrilling and scary.”

There is no shortage of design work at the world’s reigning social network. Among other projects, Facebook continues to develop its video offerings; launch and improve stand-alone mobile applications; and polish its flagship offerings. Exploring a brand new niche, the social network also just launched a Facebook at Work mobile app and desktop extension.

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Explaining their decision to join Facebook, the Teehan+Lax team said they had simply outgrown their little design shop. “Teehan+Lax was imagined as a boutique,” they write. “We had organized it in such a way that scale (in the way that agencies traditionally do this — more offices, more admin, more offerings) was in conflict with the values of the company.”

Regarding Facebook’s plan for their inclusion in its design strategy, the trio adds: “What they presented to us was smart, compelling and ultimately convinced us to explore deeper.”

In a note on its Facebook Page, Facebook’s design team described Teehan+Lax’s expertise in “user experience,” and credited it with its work on the relaunch of its Atlas advertising platform, including its “website and brand.”

Teehan+Lax did not return requests for comment by press time. Facebook said it had no additional information to share at this time.

Meantime, Medium and its future prospects remain up in the air. Medium did its first sponsorship deal this summer. BMW signed on to sponsor a collection of posts about design, dubbed "Reform" for an initial six-month period.

"Presented by BMW" appears next to each title, and videos from the car marque appear at the bottom of each article. Rather than charging on cost per click, BMW was guaranteed the total amount of minutes spent reading stories on Reform over the period.

Competing for his attention, Biz Stone continues develop new projects under the umbrella of his “app workshop” Jelly Industries. Along with Jelly — which is part question-and-answer app and part search engine — Stone recently debuted another app named Super, which is supposed to serve as a mobile platform for people to speak their minds. After choosing a prompt like “The Best,” “I Am” or “Definitely Don’t,” users can share any kind of opinion, and illustrate their positions with an accompanying image.


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