Project Beat

Increasing workplace transparency by redesigning an internal data hub; the heartbeat of SAP Innovation Center Palo Alto.

May - Aug 2016 | Frontend Development


Design Lead

Design research
Graphic design
Frontend development

Team: T Clokie, J Jung, M Nekkalapudi


Project Beat was long overdue for a rehaul on everything - the interface, the script, and the whole user experience. Along with a team of interns, I redesigned the interface and used my frontend development skills to create an improved information hub, while keeping old features and designing new ones. I led the visual design and implemented AngularJS to create a modular, flexible code environment.

Originally named “Smart Campus”, Project Beat was renamed to reflect its purpose to be the ‘heartbeat’ of the SAP campus. It started off as a mix between a proof of concept for an experimental framework, as well as a way to create a meaningful space for the SAP employees using the Internet of Things. Its goal was to inform the users of campus happenings via implicit user interaction.


Changes

Project Beat was originally developed partly as a proof of concept for an experimental framework called Lively. Developed by CDG, it was meant to help build interactive web applications. However it was not built to handle the frequent live updates that were integral to the project. Therefore, it was unanimously decided that the project should be translated over to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

The original Project Beat was quickly thrown together with little regard for appeal, concept, or interaction. Non-interactive circles with seemingly disconnected tidbits of information populated the screen. The existing features were also very basic, and we were interested in developing new modules and enhancing graphics.


Sketches & Notes


The following is a demo video of how the components worked and came together. This was a direct screen capture of it, not just a mocked-up prototype.


Reflection

Project Beat dragged on for much longer than I had hoped for, and became tedious after a while. But it was also realistic, because I don't always have the luxury to work on projects that I'm 130% excited about. Also, I struggled with it initially because I was thrust into it without much experience under my belt. But I was forced to learn a lot at the same time, and picked up things as a form of necessity and adaptation. This was the first time I designed a modular interface (although it was still a web application), and at the end of the day, I can't help but grudgingly call it my baby of the term.

I designed a traffic module before I left, but I was unable to implement it because I wasn't given the traffic API to integrate into it. However, I heard that my module was integrated and populated 2 weeks after I left. Other goals included perhaps making the tiles draggable and making the code more modular, but I wasn't able to implement those in time.