Firefly Conference 2014

Over the last couple of months Firefly’s design team have been even busier than usual. The reason for this flurry of activity was three new themes we’d be working for the big launch at the Firefly Learning Conference.

There’s a full writeup on the Firefly blog, but I wanted to share a little about the process of creating the new themes that we hope will give students, teachers and parents an improved experience while using Firefly.

Since the launch of Firefly 5 last year, we’ve learnt a lot from our clients about what worked for them and what didn’t. We’ve also worked with some fantastic schools, creating bespoke themes, which gave us a wealth of ideas of the features students and teachers really want.

Using this feedback, we were able to distill a clear list of the type of themes schools wanted, along with the customisation options that would appeal. We determined to build three new themes: One a playful, friendly theme; Another, clean and succinct; Lastly, a super minimalist theme.

When I joined, just over three years ago, Firefly were five people crammed into a small office hidden away in a dark corner of One Lyric Square. The design department consisted of me and a pack of half empty Sharpies. Today we’re a forty strong team, with three (soon to be four) designers, with our own office in sunny Brighton. Over the summer holidays we were joined by intern Adam Marsh and, with his help, we set about designing the new themes.

The partners (Joe and Simon) and some of the design team at the Firefly Learning Conference 2014

I’m really proud of the hard work the entire team put in creating the new themes. This is just the start, we’re planning a number of upgrades to these themes as well as several new themes in the coming months.

You can see all the Firefly themes at