There has been great change and growth with the HIC Design team over the past three years. Prior to 2011, the Design team was a one-man show. When Patrick Nakamura joined HIC as Creative Content Designer in August of 2010, image mockups were acceptable deliverables, but "clickable prototypes" was the desired direction. At the time, Ethan Marcotte’s article “Responsive Web Design”1 was just a few months old. By mid-2011, we began developing Responsive web apps.
Growing the Team
In 2012, HIC started, what turned out to be, a two-year process to rethink, revamp, and redesign the Hawaii portal website. This raised the bar for government web design and set a new standard for HIC-made websites and web apps. With tablets and smartphones already surpassing global growth predictions, we knew we had to work smarter and better. Now, as Creative Services Manager, Patrick leads the Design team that boasts two phenomenal frontend/web developers, Corey Rothwell and Jenly Chen.
Meet the Team
Corey studied Computer Science in college and much of his frontend development expertise is self-taught. He truly enjoys coding & learning and has a unique ability to read something and immediately apply the new knowledge. This serves well at HIC as we continually improve our techniques and processes. Corey was instrumental in planning and creating the HIC Web Application framework, and he refined it for his frontend work. Corey is Frontend Developer on HIC’s current Agile teams.
Jenly has a background in Computer Science & Management Information Systems, and he first joined HIC as a WordPress developer on the CMS team. He is constantly learning about the latest tools and techniques. Jenly was a lead developer on our award-winning portal revamp. Then, after teaching himself how to build hybrid mobile apps, he became HIC’s go-to mobile app developer. In May, he joined the Design team as a Frontend Developer. By expanding his repertoire once again, Jenly will play a key role in helping the Design team take HIC web apps to the next level.
Patrick has formal training in several design disciplines. While studying graphic design in the ‘90s, he saw the birth of the Web. Since then, Patrick experienced and enjoyed the evolution of web design over the years. Since he started learning Responsive web design, Patrick has rediscovered a passion for design in the ever-changing "ebb and flow"2 of the Web.
Learning to be Agile
In 2012 and in the wake of the portal overhaul, HIC’s app development was in transition. We asked ourselves, How can we improve our app development approach/process to yield better products and more engaged developers & partners? In 2013, we decided to try Agile. This proved challenging for most who were accustomed to a linear development methodology. During the past year and several semi-Agile projects, we had some growing pains and on-the-fly adjustments, but we saw great results and our partners were happy!
Today, HIC is fully committed to being Agile, and we adopted Scrum as our base process framework. Recent training allows managers to mix their recipe of Scrum for HIC. With some Agile projects and lessons learned under our belts, the Design team is eager to participate in the HIC-specific Scrum. The Design team will continue to learn & grow and collaborate on Agile teams to develop outstanding services. Where are we headed and how far can we go? We believe the sky’s the limit.