OpenGravity

Reinventing the way project teams work together

The Future is Freelance

Ever since industrialization and the rise of the service economy, working a salaried job at a single company for the entirety of a career has been considered the norm. However, over the past decade, a culture shift powered through advances in technology has emerged, where people are pursuing freelance opportunities for the freedom and flexibility they provide.

Companies now rely on freelancers to quickly fill gaps in their project delivery teams with innovative and dynamic experts. However, transitioning from a traditional industry model to contract teams carries the challenge of matching complementary skills and personalities of freelancers, while maintaining transparent communication with the client.

OpenGravity is on the forefront of facilitating independent work. Blackcreek and OpenGravity are designing the future of work by helping organizations build, work with, and manage distributed teams, without losing the transparency and accountability of in-house talent. Together we are reinventing the way project teams work together through data, analytics, and AI.

what we did

Digital Strategy, Creative & Visual Development, User Experience Design, Campaign Development, Enhanced Data & Analytics, eCommerce Development, Enterprise Infrastructure

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The story

Design Thinking and personal creation

Companies now rely on freelancers to quickly fill gaps in their project delivery teams with innovative and dynamic experts. However, transitioning from a traditional industry model to contract teams carries the challenge of matching complementary skills and personalities of freelancers, while maintaining transparent communication with the client.

OpenGravity is on the forefront of facilitating independent work. Blackcreek and OpenGravity are designing the future of work by helping organizations build, work with, and manage distributed teams, without losing the transparency and accountability of in-house talent. Together we are reinventing the way project teams work together through data, analytics, and AI.

The approach

Developing an efficient and powerful workflow behind the scenes

From the outset of the project we identified three different personas:

- Freelancers who want new opportunities working in a friendly, enclosed setting for monitored projects
- Clients who want to take the stress out of finding a team while having a one-stop hub to easily access everything they need to know about a project 
- Administrators who want to navigate freely amongst clients, freelancers and everything else.

We now had to tie all three personas toa cohesive, and friendly user interface.

To develop a more efficient freelancer on-boarding system, we conducted research to find sites that successfully guided the user through questions with ease. Calm (meditation app) and Nike Health were prime examples. 

They focused on personalizing questions,  displaying clear progress bars, and breaking up the survey to avoid overwhelming the user. We made each page minimal and created lots of space around each question. This gave the user space  to focus only on what’s required: their progress and their current question.

Design choices were purposeful to create a holistic experience.. Light colours were predominantly used while darker or solid colours were selectively added   to indicate importance or call to actions, creating a natural visual hierarchy on the page.Taking on a new product that's been developed by external parties can have its challenges. To overcome knowledge transfer and potential technical debt, we were closely involved with OpenGravity to audit the inherited codebase and identify any potentially problematic areas that required refactoring.

By managing the technical debt in parallel to building out new features, we ensured that the personality insights and predictive analytics features we were developing were not impacted by underlying bugs or unexpected behaviour. We also implemented 100% unit test coverage for all new features, helping mitigate technical debt from accumulating in the future and resulting in a robust final product.

Using advanced personality profiling OpenGavity is able to automate team assembly based on talent working archetypes, skills, and project objectives. To achieve this, we utilized third party predictive analytics and utilized unique data science approaches to map out their data models and pipelines.



the discovery

Innovating the on-boarding User Experience

To develop a more efficient on-boarding system for a freelancer, research was done to find sites that were able to successfully guide the user through questions with ease such as Calm and Nike Health. They all focused on personalizing the questions while showing you a clear progress bar and breaking up the survey. With this, we lightened up each page and created lots of space around the question allowing the user to focus only on what’s needed: their progress and their current question.

Design Thinking

Creating a centralized hub for administrators

A major pain point was the sheer amount of tasks that an admin had the option of doing. We mapped out the ideal workflow where an admin would have easy access to their frequent tasks in the dashboard, allowing them to skip clicks and immediately get to the most important actions they would take in that session. Working closely with OpenGravity proved invaluable as they were able to lend us information about their users, and even work directly with administrators to get their immediate feedback on our ideas. Building specific sets of behaviours for each modal and component was a huge help to both our end users and our developers.

Creative & UI

Creativity & Consistency

Creating a holistic experience can be linked back to a project’s overall design choices. With OpenGravity, an emphasis was placed on space with light colours. Any time darker or solid colours were used, they were to indicate importance or actions, creating a natural visual hierarchy on the page. The logo’s mix of purple and blue was our primary inspiration here and led us to build the brand guide off of it. We also made sure that all sharp edges were rounded consistently throughout the application, keeping in line with the friendly and light overall brand.

The technology

Move Quickly and Fix things

The initial build of the platform was done as a minimum viable product and had significant tech debt. We worked with OpenGravity to audit the inherited codebase and identify problematic areas that required refactoring. By managing the technical debt in parallel to building out new features, we made sure that the personality insights and predictive analytics features we were developing were not impacted by underlying bugs or unexpected behaviour. We also implemented 100% unit test coverage for all new features, helping mitigate technical debt from accumulating in the future and ensuring a robust final product.

To expand on OpenGravity’s use of data science for insights and analytics into team psychology, we utilized Google Cloud Platform to strategically map their data models and data pipelines. By using third party predictive analytics services while doing R&D on unique data science approaches to skills & personalities, we were able to provide immediate value to OpenGravity users without sacrificing our long term goals.

Design placed on an ipad
OUR IMPACT

As part of a multi-phased product roadmap, we have worked with the OpenGravity team to launch their  newly revamped admin and freelancer experience. Enabling us to create project based teams, onboard new clients, and further expand their integrations with third-party services.

the takeaways

What we learned along the way

Looking back on the project, there's a few important takeaways to note:

1. Consistency and organization at the beginning of a project go a long way to save time at the end.

2. A client’s wants and needs are often different; sometimes the answer they’re looking for doesn’t even come from a question they asked.

3. Not to be afraid to shake things up sometimes with new ideas or fresh takes. The worst thing someone can say is no.

4. When faced with a tough decision, ask yourself: “does this decision improve the end user’s experience”

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