2016: A Year in Review
It’s my absolute pleasure each year to write this review and reflect on the year just past. This year however there is a substance and scale to our progress that will mark it as a watershed year.
There were signs early on that we were exploring new territory when we embarked on a series of innovation and service design sprints with the Queensland Government’s Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (DSITI).
We were soon engaged in helping to solve complex communication challenges in a collaborative environment, using an agile process. The experience we had recently had in design thinking and service design for a new DreamWorks concept in the US, spanning late 2015 and early 2016, meant that we were able to apply fresh thinking and continued with that approach all year.
It’s fun and effective to collaborate and we enjoy immersing ourselves in our client's and partner’s businesses. We get into the weeds with them, sit at each others desks and tackle the issues that are going to move the needle in their sector or industry.
Working on the second iteration of the remarkable MindMatters project for beyondblue and the Federal Government, meant that we leveraged a broad footprint in content development, service design, behaviour change, education and technical development throughout the start of 2016 that we maintained and expanded throughout the year.
2016 was a very successful year for the Liquid ‘pool room’ and we received many industry awards, both national and international, for our work on the highly-regarded Isuzu Ute Australia website and the MindMatters project. These projects are very different but share strong and binding properties through design and development processes, underpinning our ability to apply sophisticated and elegant solutions to complex digital challenges.
The industry is full of challenges and opportunities. It’s a time of digital transformation in the economy and interesting projects rained down in 2016.
We were soon in re-development of the ESSI Money game, a project we originally built 10 years ago. The long-standing and successful game is a staple activity of over 1,300 Australian schools and that teaches students about finance and managing their money. Supported by Suncorp and the Financial Basics Foundation, the project will launch in early 2017 and was developed using an agile development process that integrates the technical and design solution into a cohesive, scalable, robust and compelling experience.
Propelled towards solving more complex challenges we widened our national presence with key appointments in Melbourne and were soon working with Victoria Police, and Fairfax Media through our extended team.
The new Airtrain was ready to take centre stage and with the new mobile site already kicking goals an integrated service design and UX solution pulled the entire experience together in ways that improve outcomes in a short space of time.
Our team is tasked with solving increasingly complex business transformation and behaviour change projects that demand innovative thinking and detailed engagements. Increasingly this means embedding or immersing our teams into our clients’ businesses onsite and collaborating and consulting in agile sprints to develop impactful solutions that can be implemented quickly.
As our expertise in deploying Sitecore rapidly escalated, RSPCA Queensland and Monier came on board with ever increasing layers of complexity to unravel and solve. In record time and to some surprise we launched several sites in quick succession that drive personalisation and reinforced our technical and design capabilities.
2016 was also the year of the dashboard at Liquid and we expanded our team on the back of advances in our own dashboard product Dakota which aligns our substantial credentials in strategy, design and technology with sophisticated data analysis by capturing insights, providing real time analytics and influencing user behaviour through integrated teams of analysts, psychologists and engineers.
The MindMatters stage 2 launch added specific content to the site around serious issues contrasting starkly with the outrageous and remarkable success of the Mr Rental Facebook page which has become a cult success story and proves how important good creative content can be in influencing and engaging audiences.
Characterised by agility and ingenuity in 2016 we took advantage of the maturing industry and our position as experienced leaders. Recognised by our peers and forging new partnerships we also embraced structural change and invested in our people.
In October we officially turned 10 years old to mark our independence from sister company Liquid Animation. We celebrated with close friends and supporters at the wonderful Museum of Brisbane. Against the backdrop of the 100% Brisbane exhibit which we helped design and build with the development of an interactive wall, and atop City Hall, we partied and showcased new technology and ideas that will propel our industry in the future.
We are increasingly propelled towards complex consulting solutions prior to engaging in the complexities of – service design, marketing strategy, education and behaviour change. Built on the foundations of a historically strong technical and design capability and mature processes, we can deliver the outcomes we promise and this was recognised again towards the end of the year.
In late 2016 we collaborated with local agency Speedwell to pitch for and win the development of the Federal Department of Health’s new Digital Mental Health Gateway, an extraordinary project and achievement for us both and a humbling recognition of the substance and quality of our work to be granted such an important project.
With our national footprint growing we continued to expand the Melbourne office and delivered significant behaviour change project for the Australian Public Service Commission in Canberra.
2016 was a remarkable year even by our standards and one we hope to build on this year through the vigour passion and engagement of one of Australia’s most talented and dedicated teams.