I believe everybody who consider themselves as a creative has got already MakeDay in their professional or personal live. You know the feeling – you want to do something but it shouldn’t take long, it shouldn’t cost that much and it has to prove the concept or idea you aiming for. Also you don’t make it only for yourself – that will be silly and no fun. Most importantly the challenge will be gone – so you take your idea and talk to your colleagues, get the idea spread it.
We can see these phenomenas of MakeDays growing around at 99%, Google, Ideo, Frog Design and many others inventors companies and studios. What is actually interesting is not taking office “productive time off” but it’s bringing the benefit of open collaboration, and the power of open leadership within a small teams and short time.
This always show hidden qualities where some individuals enable potential of under-discovered passion that can be used in many different ways.
When the company leaders in head of Russel Davis announced the #RGAMakeDay entire company get exited and start thinking about the concepts or projects which they want to introduce to the world – how can we do this and how we can bring this to the life in a day, how about if we try this, oh it wouldn’t work – amazing consistence of all professional passioned about their own little “baby” projects start rumbling arround. As you can imagine there was a real competition, oh yeah in deed and many people and their teams were locked in small meeting rooms over a whole day to achieve their goals. How they did it you’ll see on the end. I’ll try to supply the list of the links if they are available online.
Luckily enough this year my team was stuffed by geeks who pushed my daily imagination in to many different direction and this get decided that even on a MakeDay we will get together again and show our colleagues what they couldn’t see anywhere else only in R/GA.
I knew that Ant (Anthony Baker – Solution Architect) was crazy about W8, METRO style and all connecting services with other plaforms – don’t ask – sometime he can have a monologue about dynamic libraries for an hour and doesn’t really care if anyone understand. But on the other had he is the guy who make things happen – oh yeah he does. If you are UX guy and you want your “stuff” work you better get him on the board.
Danny (Danny Lee – Software Engineer) he is always in the code – literally he is the guy who always read between the lines. He never says no – always suggesting solutions improving UX and SEO forward. Luckily enough sometime he get me understand a bit of code – in a pieces – so I’m not getting greedy that fast.
And finally Mr. “NO” (Sebastien Jouhans – Sr. Flash Developer) well I believe if there is any piece of code written in artificial language this French guru is probably the one who will understand that. He is the guy who make a Camera talk to you – wired isn’t it.
So we have team, we also choose the technology, collect all the guidelines, frameworks from all major platforms in to one research knowledge. All gadgets showing right values – what we actually missing now, is how do we tide this up in to a something which is actually useful.
I don’t want you to believe that I came up with entire solution or concept even sometimes I have my moments – we all did and that’s what I love on every single project with these guys we challenge each other. We all sat down and bring all the puzzles on the table and make it work for one single purpose – serve us to make a better and more efficient work.
If you are geek and you want to know which W8 library, METRO & MSQL or what Open framework we lined to please jump straight away to blogs of my colleagues and get yourself wild with future development. I’ll be focusing more on the concept, user cases we covered and W8 Framework we used for our build.
Every growing company in our industry experience expanding communication patterns and difficulties to keep focused on work without any distraction. Many people primary PM – project managers in fact running around and looking for someone in particular time and place. For your meeting, sign the contract, show another idea, department meeting or just your regular daily Scrum – you’ve heard that “where is James, have anyone seen James”.
Particular challenge was eliminate any physical action like swipe, or check in or other techniques. Bring all collected information to a source without real effort or act of collecting it. On daily bases we overwhelmed by tuns of interaction – and bring another one will harm the process and whole idea to create unique knowledge “where the people are?”.
Other challenge was present full integration with existing framework and services show the capability of cross-platform sharing and communication. Be able to scale this system for all R/GA offices. Show the real power of integrating platform as a global challenge.
Bothered by the people running around the office to looking for those who matter at that time – we came up with the idea of R/GA Locator – simple colleague finder within all R/GA offices.
The tool or platform (however you want to call it) capable to capture your face while you entering the office and automatically to sign you in. As a immediate respond you receiving all notification of your day or other information which matter to you (flexible to the user settings) you can see the upcoming meeting, your holidays, holidays of your peers or just simple feeds of the news from the company or industry – what ever you prefer. All tailored with global and local information for you. Local weather, transportation update as well as a mail and calendar.
No more rumbling around to find your colleague because by checking your diary you know he is in the office and he is already on the meeting you are just late for. Your smart-phone, your laptop even your touch screen all devices and all platforms connected through one simple solution.
You coming to the office – while you passing entrance desk the screen welcome you and show you information related to your current working day. You’ve noticed that colleague of your who supposed to be on the meeting with you has got holiday and he is not checked in – so you wouldn’t expect him to be at present. On the other hand your other colleague is checked in you see he is in different office – so it’s better to chase him up – system generates SMS message which is sent to a specific mobile number – and your colleague is on the way.
Finally you are late ad you changing the time of your meeting – other colleagues receive notification but also massage when you reach the office that meeting can start in about 10 minutes.
All time based event can be organized by the user, as a creator you giving a privilege to see you calendar by others.
Let me just quickly mention METRO style from first UX observation. While ago I worked with amazing MSDN team using Sitecore framework. That time I have great teacher .NET Solution Architect who was opened to share with me all MS UX resource – a bit geeky but it was quite engaging. This time I had a get lucky again – before we start Antony shared his resources and videos. Those make my life significantly easier. I’m not “MS fun” but I’ll gladly accept any challenge for W8 and same team.
Hungry for a result! – well we didn’t won, let’s say we didn’t have this sparkle on the top, but even so we receive the most generous feedback wort of any victory – from people who lead their industry and who really matter.
… was great & I believe it gave us all better understanding what we are capable of – not only as a team but as a entire company. The family spirit of R/GA London is flowing around and you better watch out, because there are many “bad asses” and Im sure we’ll hear from them soon.
Personally in this 2 solid days I learned more that I’ve learn from anyone at any commercial pitch project – how bizarre. If you like to know more drop me a line bellow and we can discuss your current challenges. Do you like the idea? – well then, ask boss and if s/he is wise enough you might experienced same vibe as we all do at R/GA!
- Steve Kaneko on unification and Metro
- Building “Windows 8″
- Windows Phone 7 Design Resources – UI Guide and Design Templates
- Windows Phone Templates V3.0