Capturing attention and disrupting an industry has never been more difficult, or achievable. With this truth in mind, the team at Autodesk works tirelessly to pioneer new services and user experiences. One recent project being the ‘Our Connected Futures’ initiative. This project not only needed to inform Autodesk’s global audience of emerging technologies, but also aimed to communicate the extent tomorrow’s devices will rely on human integration to function. Our Connected Futures would provide Autodesk with insight into the type of technology the world is most excited about as we look ahead. No basic website would do, innovation had to be woven into the fibers of the platform itself. With this in mind, we got to work.
- Application UI Design
- Custom Web Application
- Product Design
02Background Research & Strategy
As with most Autodesk projects, ‘engagement’ was the defining metric. A few questions directed our strategy: Who is going to use the app, why should they care, and what features will cause them to interact with the platform? We assessed the most popular (active users) social platforms to build a native list of gestures. Familiar user swiping, up/down voting, saving, ranking, and submitting new technology, were just a few of the gestures that would bring Our Connected Futures to life.
03Vision Meets Reality
What began as a simple discussion with Autodesk about ranking different products and technology became an incredible platform. Product feature cards allow the user to evaluate, rank, share, save and learn more about a future technology. An activity feed dynamically pulls social content from an array of platforms into one, concise thread. An intelligent ranking system establishes product hierarchy while providing real-time trending data and insights. Suggested reading helps Autodesk distribute engaged readers to their other, various content platforms for further reading and conversion. Finally, the ‘Submit a Product’ call to action feature is positioned within ‘thumb’s length,’ inviting the user to contribute to the ever growing library of submitted technology.
04Performance Requires Execution
Launching a platform of this magnitude requires more than inspiring design and strategy, it requires expertise at every level. We deployed Our Connected Futures on Amazon’s Elastic Beanstalk to minimize costs while accommodating the user flux an industry giant like Autodesk experiences on a daily basis. Mobile was the dominate ‘screen’ for this project, however, every platform must adapt to the device at hand. Unique experiences for tablet and desktop were constructed to ensure maximal user engagement, on every device. The results of this initiative have been overwhelming as the City of San Francisco is now considering the system to gauge public interest in a number of democratic scenarios.
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