Coles Mobile Wallet wins Melbourne Design Award

MelbDesignAwards-2014

Coles Mobile Wallet has won another award, cementing its position as a leading product in banking and finance innovation.

The app received a Silver award in the Digital Experience – Mobile category of the 2014 Melbourne Design Awards.

As part of the global [city] Design Awards program, the Melbourne Design Awards celebrate creativity, courage and innovation in design. Melbourne has its own design focus and culture– the [city] Design Awards program provides a unique opportunity for a city’s design community to join together in celebrating their design diversity and the city’s top designers and commissioners.

At Outware, we believe that designing a great user experience is just as important as the engineering behind the scenes in producing a quality mobile app. We are very proud of our partnership and work with Coles Financial Services on the Coles Mobile Wallet and delighted to see the industry recognising and rewarding our hard work.

Well done to all those involved in the Coles Mobile Wallet project. Great job, let’s keep it up!

The OMPodcast – Resolution Revolution

MarcEdwardsEpisode 30 of the OMPodcast is now available for download from iTunes, via direct feed, or direct download (audio file).

In this very exciting podcast, Pete Talbot (Visual Design Lead) is joined by Keith Smyth (Android Team Lead), Danny Gorog (Director/Co-founder) and special guest, Marc Edwards from Bjango, to discuss the challenges involved in UI design for a rapidly growing number of devices.

With so many new devices on the market, from the iMac 5K to the new iPhones, Apple Watch and Nexus 6, Marc talks about his experience working through these changes over the last ten years, gives us some tips about the best tools on the market, and even shares his thoughts on the Apple Watch. Marc also talks about an exciting new tool that they’re working on.

A transcript of this podcast is also available.

Marc is the Director and Lead Designer at Bjango and a regular podcaster himself on the Iterate Podcast.

If you like what you hear, please review us on iTunes!

Outware in the BRW Fast 100

fast-2014-plus-BRW-300x188We are delighted to announce that Outware Mobile placed 8th in the 2014 BRW Fast 100 list.

Strategic growth has always been part of the plan for Outware. Over the last five years, we’ve seen our team grow from three to over ninety-five. We’ve worked with some of the biggest brands in Australia on some of the best apps on the market today in Banking and Finance, Sports, Health, and Government. We’ve moved offices three times to accommodate not only our growing numbers, but to provide better facilities and a more productive working environment for our team.

Our vision is to make a difference through creating mobile experiences that are intuitive, effective and engaging.

We are proud of our work and our achievements over the last five years and would like to thank all our clients, partners and the team who have been a part of the journey so far. We look forward to continuing our work together and having fun while doing it.

OMPodcast – Apples or Lollipops?

om-podcast

The latest episodes of the OMPodcast are now available from – iTunesdirect feed, or direct download:

Last week was an exciting week on the OMPodcast. First our panel of iOS fan boys reviewed what real world usage of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus has been like. Pete Talbot (Visual Design Lead) asks Danny Gorog (Director/Co-founder), Daniel Lawrence (iOS Developer) and Stephen Yao (iOS Developer) to share their experiences so far using the bigger (and better) phones. Is big better? How do you transition from one to two-handed usage? Do custom keyboards like Swype and SwiftKey really make a difference? And has the 6 Plus potentially become an iPad replacement? We talk about all of this and more and review a list of popular apps which have (or haven’t) updated.

With Google’s latest announcements about the release of Android 5.0, the Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9, Keith Smyth (Android Team Lead) rounds up some Android aficionados, Kieran Fleming (Android Developer), Jonathan Causevski (Android Developer) and Kelly Jennings (UX/BA), to discuss how they feel about all the new Androids. The crew talk about Lollipop and what it means for developers, the rise of the phablet, the Nexus Player (Android TV) vs Chromecast as well as Material Design.

Tune in and make up your own mind: Apples or Lollipops?

Innovation beyond the Hackathon

Recently, we held our Automation Hackathon, where all Outware employees were given the opportunity to work on projects of their own choosing, with the theme of automating a solution to a problem. Using the skills and tools available in the team, we saw really creative and inspiring prototypes being produced over the course of just one working day. While this event was a great success, innovation doesn’t end when the hackathon is over.

The mistake that many companies make is thinking that innovation can be time-boxed to one-time events like the hackathon and hoping for immediate, tangible business benefits to simply happen. The truth is, hackathons are only one small part of an overall innovation strategy. So how do you get the most out of your hackathon? You need to think about the following questions:

What types of innovation are important to your company?
Innovation, at its broadest definition, is about change that adds value to your organisation. Depending on your company’s core business, different types of innovation will add different types of value:

  • Product Innovation – Do you need to improve on existing products and services in order to stay ahead of the competition and keep your customers happy?
  • Process Innovation – Do you need to increase efficiencies and reduce costs in your processes?
  • Disruptive Innovation – Do you want to disrupt the market with new products or categories that will change the way people do things?

There are many other types of innovation. Most importantly, think about how your business can benefit from change and how this change will be valuable over time. Once you know this, you can focus the theme of your hackathon around these types of innovation activities.

What is your innovation strategy and how does the hackathon fit into this?
Hackathons should always form part of your broader innovation strategy. You need to ensure you have a formal innovation process in place that your team understands so that ideas can be directed through the appropriate channels in your organisation. Danny recently wrote an article for BRW about how to encourage innovation in your organisation. It describes three important themes:

  • People – The right attitude and a feeling of empowerment can be very motivational in driving positive change
  • Process – Keep your innovation activities effective and efficient, and communicate clearly
  • Continuous learning – Nobody remains an expert forever. Develop your team’s skillset and keep feeding their curiosity

If you get the balance right, your team will naturally be motivated and enthusiastic when the hackathon comes around. More importantly, you need to ensure you are clear about the purpose of the hackathon. Is it a breeding ground for new ideas? Is it a time to implement ideas that have been brewing in the team? Is it an opportunity for team members to upskill or work on something different? Plan the hackathon activities around this to get the most value out of the time you have set aside for the event.

What happens after the hackathon?
The most important part of the hackathon is actually the follow through afterwards. Make sure you’ve established what your objectives were before the event, in order to measure your success afterwards. Some questions to ask are:

  • How did your team feel about the event? Get their feedback!
  • Which projects will you pursue further and why? How will you fund these?
  • Did you achieve your goals? What can you improve for next time?

This is also a good time to review your innovation strategy. Reflect on how the hackathon contributed towards your broader innovation goals to make sure that it’s adding value in the right ways.

Hackathons are a great way to develop creative solutions to problems, test new technologies, or prove a concept in a short amount of time. But how they are run is different for every company. Ensure you have clear objectives in mind, plan your event and follow through, to ensure the success of the event.

Outware Mobile publishes a weekly podcast, the OMPodcast, where we share our knowledge and talk to industry experts all about the mobile industry. A couple of episodes that might be of interest are:

  • Episode 19: Peter Dalton (Group General Manager of Innovation at ANZ) talks to us about the Art vs Science of Innovation in an 175 year old organisation like the bank.
  • Episode 13: Hugh Bradlow (Chief Scientist, formerly CTO at Telstra) describes Telstra’s innovation processes in 5G in 2020.

Automation Hackathon

On 19 September, Outware held an “Automation” themed hackathon. We asked the whole team to come up with innovative ways to use automation to solve problems. Individuals then pitched their ideas to the rest of the company and formed teams of up to 5 members, to develop a working prototype of the solution in the time-boxed period of just one working day.

Automation

The event was a great success and we saw working implementations of NFC, robotics, holograms and location-based technology being used in creative and new ways that are likely to see efficiency, process and product improvements across Outware as a company and in client projects. Watch a highlight video of the day.

Many thanks to our guest judges, Alessio Bresciani from Coles Financial Services and Stewart Gleadow from REA, for helping us choose the winning teams in each category:

  • Best Execution: OutwareX for their app-based guest sign-in service for the Outware office
  • Biggest Impact for Outware: The Librarians for their NFC-enabled check-in/out service for test devices
  • Most Innovative: YOLOgram for furthering progress towards a 3D hologram version of FaceTime
  • Hacker of the Day: Alice Smart for demonstrating the Outware values of collaboration, innovation and continuous learning throughout the day in her leadership role on team OutwareX

Congratulations to the teams above for their great work and well done to everyone who participated on the day. We are incredibly proud of the enthusiasm, teamwork and creativity that was demonstrated on the day. But the hackathon doesn’t end there.

Hackathons are a great way to develop creative solutions to problems, test new technologies, or prove a concept in a short amount of time. While they’re fun and effective, they form just one small part of the innovation strategy here at Outware. Innovation is a part of our everyday work. We have both formal processes and cultural initiatives in place to ensure that ideas that come out of events like the hackathon are nurtured through a defined process and can be followed through where practical.

Danny recently wrote an article for BRW about how people, process and continuous learning are crucial to innovation success in business.

We are keen to find partners and sponsors to run themed hackathons and work on innovation initiatives together. If you are interested, or would like to learn more, please contact us.

Outware Turns Five

Outwareteam

Outware Mobile celebrated its 5th birthday in September. To say that it’s been an exciting journey is an understatement. We are incredibly proud of our team’s achievements, and our work with our partners and clients. Some highlights include:

Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this journey. We look forward to the next five years of working together!

OMPodcast – Product Development from Conception to Delivery

outware-alessio-bresciani

With Coles Mobile Wallet winning yet another award, we thought it would be a good time to revisit a podcast we did a few weeks ago.

The process of developing a complex business app from conception to delivery is no simple task. Alessio Bresciani, Senior Digital Strategist and Channel Manager at Coles Financial Services joins Keith Smyth (Android Team Lead), Pete Talbot (Visual Design Lead) and Danny Gorog (Director/Co-founder) to take us through the key principles for delivering a successful mobile app, using the Coles Mobile Wallet as an example. The panel discuss the product development process, mobile payments using paytag, contactless payments, and how mobile is changing the way we prove our identity.

Coles Mobile Wallet is the winner of the 2014 Australian Mobile & App Design Awards (Financial Information & Tools) and the 2014 W³ Silver Award for Mobile Applications (Services).

Episode 22 of the OMPodcast is available from – iTunesdirect feed, or direct download.

Outware Apps Win W3 Awards

w3winner_gold_blkWe are pleased to announce that four apps developed by Outware have won the international 2014 W³ Awards:

The W³ honours creative excellence on the web, and recognises the creative and marketing professionals behind award winning apps, sites, videos and marketing programs. The W³ is an international award, and is sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA). Well done to the teams and our clients who worked on these projects.

The OMPodcast – The Swifts

om-podcast

Episode 26 of the OMPodcast is now available for download from iTunes, via direct feed, or direct download (audio file).

In this timely episode, the crew talk swiftly about the ins and outs of Swift from the developer’s perspective. Keith Smyth (Android Team Lead) is outnumbered by three iOS developers, Doug Togno, Bjorn Ho and Daniel Lawrence, to wax lyrical about compile time checking, dynamic types and why square brackets have spawned a love that we all thought could never exist.

If you like what you hear, please review us on iTunes!