London, United Kingdom

Cognitus

  • #javascript
  • #prototype
  • #uiux
  • #flash
  • #overhaul
  • #accounting
  • #maths
  • #taxes

We were asked to estimate the cost of the overhaul of interactive models used during certified accounting courses. Models were demonstrating the specific money-flow that accountants in the UK must know by heart and have a deep understanding of it in order to provide professional services. The models were heavily outdated, hardcoded and each of them was a separate entity. Editing them was hard and time-consuming and would result in a significant cost for the client. As they were built using Flash, it was uncertain at that point, until when it will be supported. We provided the client with a ball-park estimation and development plan.

Cognit2large
Services provided
  • Web ux ui
    Web UX/UI
    Design
  • Mobile ux ui
    Mobile UX/UI
    Design
  • Ongoing development
    Ongoing
    Development
  • Workshops
    Workshops

Quote

Visuality delivered a high-quality product. They were quick to communicate and address any issues that arose, and their effective project management ensured team focus and coordination. Friendly and professional, Visuality was responsive to needs with solutions and actions.



Matt Bittlestone
Director

Throw-away JS prototype

While waiting for the client’s decision regarding the development we have decided to act and we asked our developer to create a throw-away prototype of the model. What differentiated the new concept from the old models was a simple yet robust JavaScript engine that would be used to power each of the models. With the new engine, we proved that all models can be rebuilt efficiently and at an even lower cost than predicted before.

Preparations

We demonstrated the new prototype of the engine to the client and we got a green-light to continue the research and design phase, this time with the client’s direct engagement. As the client was an expert in accounting and an efficient mathematician, he helped us to write the mathematical formulas that were being converted into JSON files. Such files were then inserted in the engine and as a result, we could observe running calculations demonstrating complex money flows that occur in the UK.

Workshops

We invited the client for short workshops to analyze in-depth the existing models and to be able to develop the new ones based on the JavaScript engine. During 2 days of intense brainstorming, we determined which model should be developed as first and which models should follow. We also discussed the UI/UX of the new model as the Flash models were not only outdated technically but visually as well. The key to success was a simple and clear design that would engage the students and cause no distractions. It was also clear by then that Flash will be not supported anymore from the beginning of 2020, therefore rebuilding the models was obligatory.

Development

After the workshops, we prepared a DoR document, user-stories and a precise estimation that considered all possible scenarios. The client decided to build a complete model that would be the base for the development of the rest of the interactive models. We used the know-how gained during the prototype engine development, therefore we were able to deliver the first model in a relatively short time. When delivered, the client tested it with the students and decided to build the next models. This time the process was even less time-consuming as new models were based on the first one.

Result

New models are sharp, light and can be embedded anywhere thanks to the javascript. Compatibility issues disappeared completely and now models are easily scalable and responsive. Thanks to the engine, the formulas can be adjusted if the tax system in the UK changes due to for example Brexit. The new refreshed interface is more pleasant and easier to use both for students and the teachers

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