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Archive for September, 2008

Application Facelift

About a couple of weeks back we were talking about giving our application a facelift. After a long discussion we decide to play with the colors and see what we can come up with.

From then till now we gave our FirstPage, Header, Footer and Navigation bar hundreds of colors. Finally day before yesterday we came up with a design that we thought was pretty good, still a lot of work to be done.

We thought now is the best time for all of you to take a look at it and give your priceless comments on the new design.

Click on the image below for larger view.

New Dashboard

New Dashboard


Ancor Video

Language as a method of communication is often trumped by drawings. If we think about the Rosetta Stone vs. the cave drawings found in Altamira, Spain, the latter is definitely easier to grasp. But wait, the Rosetta Stone actually has a detailed explanation of how to carry out taxation and all that, but the cave design probably only depicted a simple story of the hunters and gatherers there.

Luckily, we have video now, and if we wanted to use pictures to show how to pay taxes, we could! Going from still images to video, however, requires one to think differently.

Firstly, is the understanding that there is a timeline. This is the most important part, even for music actually, to realize you have to make the time one will spend watching a video or listening to a song interesting and enjoyable.

Then, you have to understand how to use motion. If a still image is shown for a minute on a screen, I  doubt people will perceive that as video.

Of course there’s a lot of other things to consider, but lets just go over what we thought about when we approached the video for Ancor this month.

At Ancor, the DSPs are in focus. Its a time to honor and remember their great efforts in providing quality support. So, to represent DSPs, we had three options – use actual photographs, OR use the characters we developed for the Therap Training Games (using 3d graphics), OR use the little figures Dhanad has recently created and used on icons for Webinars, Conferences and Seminars. We chose to go with the last option, for numerous reasons – we had few photos, and to show only a few actual faces leaves out a lot of people from the picture. The 3d characters were only few – think we have 4. Then, with the little figures, they were very abstract, but in that lay the possibility to represent a huge number of people with them. They were also easy to create since they had little detail, and they were effective cause even with all its lackings, even children could say it represented people. Also, they are cute :) :

Again, there was a point where we wanted to stress on how DSPs were able to share information with colleagues and even those at a distant locations. Hence we thought of showing people scattered across a town. How do we show a town?! After considering many things like a snapshot from Google Maps, to having illustrations of houses on a street, we thought we’d settle for a floor plan like drawing to mean an organization. However, Rajiv bhai came up with the cross section of a town to use instead, which worked even better (See 4 in the diagram below). Ayesha apa did a fabulous job of having the people appear on the town map and then connections forming between them to signify the sharing of information that Therap enables (see 1 on the image below). Our 3d expert Liton bhai also made 3d versions of the small figures, even put glasses and ties on them and spun them around before sitting them down with some cinematic effect. If someone noticed carefully, they could even catch one of them looking at his GER counts on a firstpage (see 2 on the diagram below).

We also reused the 4 icons S M Asif made for the catalog cover for areas where providers can save using Therap, like travel, thus gas, also paper, and overall… money. Again, we had these dramatically spinning into the screen and the Save button makes one last nudge to get noticed.

Overall, it was a lot of fun to do and put together, and congratulations to Ayesha apa, Liton bhai and Rajiv bhai for the kind of results we were able to get in such a short time.