Hero Labs

Product Innovation

HERO LABS is a specialized group within HERO Digital, focused on product strategy, design and development. Combining the creative firepower of an agency with the speed and agility of an internal team, we work with organizations of any size to deliver market-leading products. Our iterative design process and agile methodology deliver fast results and enables us to work in lock-step with your product team.

Interested in learning more? Read about the products we helped design for Looker and CircleCi.

Services Provided

Research
  • Competitive Analysis
  • User Research
  • Usability Testing
  • Persona Development
  • Customer Journey Maps
Design
  • Information Architecture
  • Interaction Design
  • Interface Design
  • Visual Design
  • Data Visualization
Prototyping
  • Click-Through Prototypes
  • HTML/CSS/JS Prototypes
  • Mobile Prototypes
  • Pattern Libraries
  • Interactive Style Guides

 

Team

Jef Bekes
Vice President, Design
Photo of
Photo of Jef Bekes
Jef Bekes
Vice President, Design

Being in a band is good practice for working with creative professionals. I played bass in a ton of bands all throughout my teens and twenties, mostly indie and punk rock. The dynamics of a great band are very similar to being part of a great design team: you need to have a point of view, be able to derive order out of chaos, and play well with others. For both music and design, the most interesting discoveries are when you cross traditional boundaries and break the rules.

I took the roundabout path to being a designer. I started off as a math major in college, because I was good at math. But I didn’t really like it, so I switched to something completely eclectic and impractical and went on to get an MA in media studies. This is right around when the Web was  just taking off and that looked far more interesting than anything I studied. So I locked myself in my room for a week and taught myself HTML, moved back to the Bay Area, and sweet-talked my way into my first web design job. I’ve been doing this now for over 20 years and can’t imagine doing anything else.

Hero is entrepreneurial at heart. I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur. But after being part of several successful startups, starting my own agency seemed like a natural progression. Joining forces with Hero, we found a group of people with a similar history and culture. Being practitioner-led creates a unique focus and work ethic that you don’t find at a lot of agencies. It also fosters a strong connection with our clients, many of whom are also building something completely new.

Photo of