For three months nearing the end of 2013 I was invited to Athens (Greece), to tackle the problems faced by the aquaculture industry
Aquanetix is a cloud-based solution for monitoring stock, productivity and feeding on your local farm. Mindless overfeeding is the number one reason your fish population might be dwindling. So giving your workers a way of documenting how much feed they've dumped into the water is highly desirable if you want to stay competitive.
The user-facing part of the platform comprises of an Android client and a web-based admin interface. The two interfaces needed to be designed with different user groups in mind.
The native Android app was used for data entry and receiving critical updates in real-time. It would be used in broad daylight, perhaps even in the glistening sun, but likely on a boat. This calls for dark, high contrast visuals and simple, imprecise interactions (you might be wearing a protector that straps the device to your arm). For additional difficulty, imagine your staff did not speak the local language, so scrap all text buttons and use descriptive icons instead.
The admin interface is what I spent most of my time on. Its users will likely use it from the comfort of their office chairs, entering tabular data and reading through reports and forecasts generated by the system all day long. The visual design for the Aquanetix Admin allows for extended viewing sessions with its lower contrast, clean type and (almost brutalist) off-white presentation. The extra clarity, which was gained from the removal of unnecessary cruft and a generous measure of white-space was utilised to make you feel empowered and in control when managing your farm from a distance.
A round-up of my custom form elements - fully accessible and mobile-friendly
The application backend hosts a beast of information that wants to be unleashed on the screen. In order for the user not to get lost, I put a three-tier hierarchical navigation in place. Instead of having a menu entry for each type of data (e.g. employee, feed types, pond), all views are presented in a context-sensitive way. This enforces, that where you want to go or what you want to achieve is always just one (or two at most) clicks away and the navigation serves as a mere orientation aid.
A semi-modal view would allow easy access to all actions available to you
Not only has this job been my first project post-graduation, it's also been my first time mentoring another person. I guided the young illustrator Nikos Skoulikas through his first job designing for mobile and got him to develop the iconography for both products under my supervision.
I wish Diogo and Stella all the funding and success in the world.
An atmospheric live background for an abandoned prototype