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M&C Saatchi Film

How we built a web app to improve productivity

How do you improve workflows with a file sharing solution?

It’s always exciting working with one of the world’s top advertising agencies. Having previously developed a visual identity for Saatchi Film, M&C Saatchi’s television department, this time the agency entrusted us with the complex task of improving their internal workflows.

What they needed was a web-based solution for storing scripts, reference images, work-in-progress documents, videos and more that creative teams and stakeholders would use fluidly during a project.

Although a system was already in place, our goal was to develop a solution that would take Saatchi Film’s asset handling to the next level. The agency asked us to design and implement a strongly branded web app, which staff would adapt to. It had to be easy for them to store material so that they could access it later on for use in presentations as projects progressed.

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Our approach

Merging technical platforms with a beautiful brand

The challenge was to create something that was easy to use across Saatchi Film, and that could quickly and easily handle all the file types that were thrown at it. We analysed a whole array of user flows and user journeys and from there we were able to design a navigational system.

At a nuts and bolts level, we developed the web app using Node JS, Vue JS, and the Vimeo API for upload and playback of video. All of this sat above the Amazon S3 cloud platform for file storage. This technical solution provided the performance and scalablity the client required.

An intelligent two-factor identification system was included for security. This is required only when staff are out of the office, but when they are at work it pop up and so isn’t a barrier to their use of the app.

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Making a difference

Brutal Simplicity of Thought – words to live by

We learned a lot working with the team at M&C Saatchi, and were constantly driven by their Brutal Simplicity of Thought philosophy. Through rapid prototyping we continually refined the interface the project, removing all unnecessary complexity for an optimum user experience.

Taking inspiration from M&C Saatchi’s website and applying it to the web app was one example of that focus on simplicity. Although we brainstormed various other interface styles, in the end we chose an approach that the staff already felt at ease with and that would provide continuity from the main brand. As a result our web app has slotted easily into their workflow.

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These guys are great. We continue to work with the Subism team on a range of projects and excited to see what we can do together in the future!

Bruce McKelvie, Head of Film

The outcome

Functional and a joy to use

As a project, this web app proved to be a great all-rounder for us. It’s got a beautiful look with smooth transitions when you use it. At the same time, it’s very functional and practical, which makes it a joy to behold.

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