Prototyping in an agile team
I prototype new module and add-on ideas to incorporate into PowerHub’s Lithium platform. Often, when a new feature is suggested, originating from internal or external feedback, the design team ideates how we might be able to bring it to life and quickly put together a basic prototype to be used as a visual point of discussion between the product and development team. These prototypes are used to whittle down ideas and expand on element and interaction details. Following the agile model, the design goes through multiple iterations from feedback, prior to and after release.
Our feedback comes from both clients as well as team members and we use all information to build requirements for new features or to improve on existing ones. The product team, which includes the design team, develop a user flow prototype to test our customer service representatives (and sometimes existing clients) before bringing successful ideas to the development team to configure.
Most recently, I have led design on the Plans module. It introduces a brand new and more visual way of interacting with tasks, an essential point of value for existing clients in renewable energy project management.
PowerHub is a leader in renewable energy asset management and is often represented at industry conferences worldwide.
Closely collaborating with the marketing team, I design banners, handouts, and other print material for event use that aligns with business needs and company branding.
Design considerations: eye-level of audience (for the copy content), average table height (to avoid copy content if the banners were placed behind tables at conferences), as well as logo placement for consistent visibility.
Design challenge: lack of stock photography meant for large scale print designs. With some research, I did find images with a 300 ppi resolution (instead of the usual 72 ppi for web) but it was near impossible to find hi-res files at banner size (33"x85").
Resolution: PowerHub mainly uses real and natural images in most settings, with some vector illustrations to highlight key points so it was very important that I avoid a fully vectorized flat background for the banners. I used hi-res photos, that while too small in size, I gently vectorized to mask their pixellation when blown up to banner proportions.
I've redesigned our company website to stand out from our competitors. Our marketing team's research found that all of our competitors in the field of renewable energy asset management has the exact same layout with slightly different stock images and with one of the biggest industry conferences in North America coming up in our schedule, we wanted to launch a redesigned website in a few short weeks.
While working with the marketing team as well as a group of web developers, I redesigned our site for both mobile and desktop. While our research showed that more than 80% of our clients use desktop primarily, we felt mobile was important in getting new business. We are working on the same for our cloud-based software, the mobile version of which will hopefully release sometime in 2019.