Digital Platform Development
Our expertise in implementing effective e-business solutions and associated web technologies is the result of ten years experience of delivering enterprise web applications to some of the UK's premium financial services, media, telecoms and technology businesses. By partnering with Arrk many of our Customers have developed their e-service and e-sales channels to the point where not only are they their primary source of revenue but also a significant competitive advantage enabling them to increase margin and market share.
As web technologies have become the de-facto standard for 21st century application development, so we have helped Customers to launch enterprise web applications in such new areas as online business intelligence, e-learning, enterprise information portals and aggregation technologies. Whatever the application domain; enterprise, dot.com, intranet, or extranet, the fundamentals of developing effective, robust, scalable and secure enterprise web applications are the same.
'Holy Trinity' of web design
We believe that Enterprise Web Applications (EWA), especially those which are design for use by Customers, have a unique set of challenges that consequently bring together three different disciplines:
High-quality creative end user experience design
Strategic and tactical business requirement analysis & innovation
Leading edge technical software engineering
These three disciplines are sometimes referred to as 'the Holy Trinity of web design'. Since Arrk's inception we have worked to develop methodologies, processes and capabilities that today allow us to deliver technologies that unite these disciplines.
Getting the user experience right
Users typically have a preferred way of using and interacting with web applications based on intuition and experience. Building these preferences into a design can strongly amplify brand values and preserve or enhance the profile of the site, creating a strong USP.
Usability, interaction, personalisation and creative design values are critical factors in determining how users will respond to an application. Ultimately they will impact strongly on the success or failure of a given EWA, particularly service-service applications.
To be effective the user experience design must be at the centre of creative thinking for an EWA throughout all phases of development. It must also be continually monitored and optimised after deployment. The most effective way to do this is to ensure that users are involved in the development process from the outset rather than waiting until the end to start usability testing. Crucially technical and creative teams must work closely together to understand each other's perspectives so that contemporary Rich Internet Application technologies can be used appropriately to enhance the user experience rather than limiting it.
Requirements analysis and innovation
Increasingly we are moving away from stove-pipe e-commerce solutions towards fully integrated Enterprise Web Applications (EWAs) which share common databases and business logic with legacy systems and other EWAs. Indeed, our philosophy is to integrate e-business projects fully into the business processes of Arrk Customers. Such integration often results in Arrk engaging with Customers to strategically re-align and re-engineer existing business processes in order to maximise the business benefits of implementation.
Technology design and innovation
The engineering of robust, scalable, high performing, and secure enterprise scale web-applications often themselves tightly integrated with complex data oriented back-end business systems is our bread and butter. We believe in making as much use as possible of the ever maturing set of web standards, frameworks and products for commodity services, so we do not re-invent the wheel or spend time and money which could be better focused developing functionality that delivers a business advantage. We are not wedded to any one product vendor and our experience and understanding of the wider software market allows us to utilise the most appropriate package to fulfil the task, whatever the source.
The key to the harmonious integration of the three different disciplines is a solid and practical integrated Delivery Methodology. Developed by Arrk, this is especially tuned to the needs and peculiarities of each different activity and being focused on web application development, it aims to accelerate time-to-benefits. The advantage of the Arrk development lifecycle to our Customers is that it concentrates on activities and deliverables which are specifically relevant to web application using an iterative delivery method. More importantly it is very easy for the end user to understand, therefore increasing stakeholder engagement and reducing costly acceptance issues following development.