A global technology company had a vision. They wanted to make the innovative work they were doing more accessible to the wider business in order to promote the work they were doing but also to tap into the experience and ideas of the wider business. This presented a couple of immediate challenges. First there was a considerable amount of information covering a wide range of topics and issues. Second some of the information was sometimes complex, highly technical and difficult to navigate. To achieve the vision the site would need to provide an enjoyable, value add user experience, where information of interest to the user was easy to find, informative and easy to assimilate whilst being technically and functionally adaptable, secure, easy to manage, expand and update.
Historically the relationship between software developers and graphic designers has not always been a happy one. This is primarily because they tend to care about very different aspects of a project. Designers quite rightly focus on aspects such as the user experience and the aesthetics whilst software developers focus on software reliability, security, flexibility and scalability. Without mutual respect, collaboration and trust the desires of both parties can come into conflict with one another but when designers and software developers establish close collaboration the magic really does happen.
From the outset we established clear lines of communication with regular weekly catch-ups via Microsoft Teams. We made sure that the design and the development team and the business team shared the same vision. By utilising agile working practices the design and development team were able to incorporate and respond to changes in requirement along the way.
Agile working practices were a particularly important success factor. On any major software development project, changes in requirement are inevitable as the vision flexes in scope and intent. By building on firm development and design principles the team were able to accommodate significant changes in specification as more business areas wanted to come on board.
The relationship between graphic design and software development remained excellent throughout the project because close collaboration built trust and an appreciation of the challenges each faced in meeting shared delivery objectives and project requirements.
Initially this project was the vision of one department but as word spread across the business the project widened in ambition and scope to the point where multiple departments were engaged in signing up to it and contributing to its success. Now that the site is launched it has become a global hub where departments can showcase the innovative work they are doing and share knowledge across departments.