Most Impactful Projects of 2020
As 2020 is coming to a close, it is time to review the most impactful projects Hexis worked on in the last year.
The global pandemic locked the world down, bringing profound changes to the work environments. All of a sudden, in addition to the usual challenges which accompany each new project, we also had to accept a paradigm shift – remote work became a new standard in the industry. Business deals, scoping workshops, development planning were all moved to online platforms, a development that introduced new complexity to communication.
But, we didn’t let these dire circumstances stop us in our tracks. With immense effort from designers, developers, and quality assurance teams, along with skillful management and coordination, we managed to continue delivering custom-made software solutions to our clients.
From statistical tools to websites focused on user experience, each project required a different set of skills, technologies, and organizational methods. Whether we started from scratch or implemented open source solutions, we managed to build every aspect of our projects according to the highest standards.
Now, let’s have a look at some of the projects which we released in 2020!
Refugee Population Statistics Database and complementary mobile application
Refugee Population Statistics Database enables humanitarian workers, decision-makers, researchers, and other interested parties to quickly access data and information on affected populations. The available information spans across almost 70 years of statistical activities and covers populations such as refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons as well as stateless individuals.
Relevant figures are updated twice in the calendar year. The annual statistical report is available on World Refugee Day, June 20th, and it covers the past calendar year (Jan 1st – Dec 31st). The mid-year statistical report is published in the middle of December, and it contains figures for the first six months of the calendar year.
It was a great privilege to contribute to the World Refugee Day activities with design and development of such a significant statistical reporting tool.
Released in February 2020, resettle.org is a public-facing website that represents the Sustainable Resettlement and Complementary Pathways Initiative or CRISP. CRISP is a joint initiative of UNHCR and IOM which aims to support states and other crucial stakeholders to establish, expand, or renew resettlement programs and advance complementary pathways of admission.
One of the challenges we faced working on such a joint initiative was project branding. We had to define a new color palette, side-stepping official UNHCR and IOM colors, which was not an easy task.
The target audience of this platform includes government officials, practitioners, service providers, receiving communities, partners, donors, as well as IOM and UNHCR staff.
Promoting resettlement and complementary pathways is a key humanitarian effort in the year in which we’ve had the greatest number of refugees and migrants since 1950 (when UNHCR was founded). A special section of the website is dedicated to donor states, which is especially important considering that donations are a lifeline of humanitarian efforts.
Another job for the UNCHR was the Opportunities Project, which is basically a platform providing refugees with information about available scholarships supported by education providers from all over the world.
UNHCR approached us with the idea of a one-stop-shop for all information regarding scholarships targeted at refugees, asylum seekers, or stateless persons.
We immediately started with UX research with help from UNHCR’s UX consultants, who provided user research documents. The main focus of the work was on search functionality, which includes currently available scholarships, with users being able to narrow down search results using several criteria.
This website was released in October 2020, and early results suggest that the target audience embraced the new platform, understandably, with help from the UNHCR personnel. With such positive feedback, UNHCR is already looking into commissioning phase II of the project!
We all felt privileged to work on such a helpful tool that provides access to complementary pathways for refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons.
Marko Buljan is a real estate developer working primarily in the San Francisco Peninsula, who contacted us to design and develop a new website for his business. We immediately recognized the opportunity to develop a custom-made website, powered by the Goldfish booking system, which was customized to fit the needs of a real estate website.
The design was a particularly interesting phase of this project whose target audience is very specific – business owners in the Bay area. The search engine was also a specific challenge, with visualization of spaces for sale or lease in the same interface with the map view. In order to implement our design solutions, we had to customize our Goldfish booking system. Input and editing of shown spaces for lease or sell were changed in order to accommodate their appropriate display, depending on the “sell” or “lease” label.
It was a pleasure working with Marko, as he was very helpful with professional insights on every step of the way. His knowledge of the business side was key to making a great website which for Hexis meant stepping into a new market and industry with a highly customizable and technically advanced content management system.
Let us summarize
It was hard to pick the most impactful projects in the year behind us, as we’re proud of each and every one that we did. Whether it is a simple one-pager or a custom-made enterprise-level system, we follow the same approach: observe and hear out the customer, then tailor a solution around his specific needs and necessities.
As this year was out of the ordinary and tough on many industries, we’re especially proud of having helped our clients to develop digital solutions which have made their life easier in an era of social distancing, and from which they will derive benefit for the long term.