argo in Review: 2020
Reflections on a year we won’t soon forget
Looking back on a year that challenged our modes of work and collaboration, and even the optimism that is fundamental to our approach, the strength of our culture shone through.
As a new year dawns and we celebrate the 7th anniversary of argo’s founding, here’s some of the work we produced with forward-looking clients who continue to invest in the future. We celebrate their vision and shared optimism.
A unified digital future for Salesforce
Salesforce came to us with a massive challenge: combine the myriad tools across the Salesforce landscape into a single source of truth for every employee and customer — but also personalize it. After collaborating with, and driving alignment among, 27 stakeholders in the company, we produced a unified, self-sustaining platform, a dynamic new homepage with over 7 billion potential variations, and a complete personalization playbook for Salesforce designers to use for years to come.
Shaping new worlds with Magic Leap
In the midst of a tumultuous year, our long-time partner Magic Leap underwent its own evolution, focusing its mixed reality innovations on the enterprise. As a design team uniquely equipped to understand mixed reality, argo pivoted right alongside them, providing research and strategy around potential markets, and re-defining their core capabilities in support of an enterprise focus.
A multi-year vision for United Rentals
For the world’s largest equipment rental company, moving online has been no small task. We choreographed a unified digital experience for its customers, dramatically streamlining the rental process and laying the groundwork for transforming an industry. Our high-level planning process outlines a strategic roadmap for realistic and progressive builds leading to an overall vision, as well as a collaborative and flexible product planning system that allows for rapid adjustments to changing customer needs.
Reinventing motion picture production with DreamWorks
Our work developing a code visualization tool for DreamWorks was the first step on a road toward solving one of the most complex challenges in filmmaking: building the world’s first cloud platform for animated film creation. In the year ahead, we’ll work hand in hand with the company to design a seamless system that coalesces workflows around 50 million renderable assets per film.
Architecting AI platforms with Cognitive Scale
Cognitive Scale was our first client, so we’re especially gratified to see the company through its next evolution: Cortex 6, an AI automation platform enabling collaborative builds of powerful and trustworthy AI applications. By combining the expertise of humans and the scalability of AI, CognitiveScale is arming the industry with a new breed of AI tools to safely and securely incorporate data-driven decision intelligence across business applications.
Digital intelligence for the daily commute
NS/Dutch Railways moves 1.1 million people daily through The Netherlands, and its long-term partnership with argo has produced personalized digital service for each and every commuter.
As we continue developing the product line over a long-term relationship, we’re integrating third-party capabilities into the NS Lab app, allowing commuters to find shared transportation options in their immediate vicinity.
Making Sam’s Club customers happier by optimizing internal operations (also cake)
We continued our multi-year relationship with Sam’s Club in multiple ways in 2020, all geared toward creating a seamless, end-to-end experience for its associates and Sam’s Club members. argo extended the recent rebrand to digital, through a redesign of samsclub.com, and defined a new consumer-facing design language system. We also moved beyond the digital and into the physical, redesigning the flow experience inside the clubs, as well as creating a hero system of outdoor signage for Sam’s Club Curbside Pickup. The cake-ordering system now being rolled out in clubs was especially fun (and delicious).
Marrying IBM and Red Hat for easier app development
The design of the Multicloud Management tool — with key features to support vendors, enterprise account holders, and DevOps teams — positions IBM head-on against behemoth competitors in the marketplace. Integrating Red Hat capabilities with IBM features was a complex design challenge; one we were primed to take on. Articulating and advancing the vision through design artifacts, argo led the collaborative team through requirements definition, product strategy, and detailed design innovations to produce a best-in-class solution.
AI-for-the-masses toolset from Blaize
We’re one of the few shops in the world with comprehensive experience around dev tools and interfaces for AI. So it was a no-brainer to sign on with burgeoning startup Blaize, helping them design an interface that democratizes AI development. The resulting environment truly makes AI accessible to anyone, allowing non-experts to quickly get up to speed, while also scaling for machine-learning experts who want to drill down.
What a year! While challenged on several fronts, argonauts found inspiration in tackling some of the world’s most interesting puzzles. We can’t wait to see where 2021 takes us.