Design is about doing things deliberately. Art is about doing things intuitively. Our product design methodology was conceived to help us map out the systems in which we operate in order to clearly articulate our vision. Combining strategic thinking, research and artistic exploration we conspire to solve user needs and business goals.
Technology is as much a tool as it is a source of inspiration. We believe in getting our hands dirty from day one to establish the thresholds of current solutions and decide which ones we need to break through. A good engineering process enables you to execute on your ideas swiftly, while laying the foundations for the product of the future .
Our experiential practice makes the digital tangible. Combining art and technology we create purpose led experiences that can help convey information, tell a story, or explore a social narrative. Using fiction and speculative design as a tool we explore new ideas that help us solidify the context that our business and products operate in.
Want to get in touch? Drop us a line:firstname.lastname@example.org
Shoot Hub's mission is to make remote photoshoots a reality. With recent improvements in streaming technology, video codecs and internet bandwidth it's no longer a requirement for everybody to be physically present at a commercial photoshoot.
Planet Ix worked closely together with Shoot Hub's founders to define and articulate their product vision and then built and launched the first MVP product.
The process involved a series of design thinking and co-creation workshops which defined the scope for the initial product which could be tested on Shoot Hub's customers. Planet Ix then built a first version of the photoshoot streaming app on top of Shoot Hub's existing streaming backend.
The webapp's technical stack includes React.js, WebRTC, a serverless deployment and streaming server on AWS which ingests and transcodes RTMP and WebRTC sources.
Product Strategy Tech Architecture Consulting Front-End Development
Landscape is a cloud based analytics and CRM tool for fashion showroom Rainbowwave. It provides two key features that make it indispensable in Rainbowwave's operations: Aggregation of sales data across all clients and departments and a single source of truth for all the company's contact and their details.
Prior to the introduction of Landscape sales information was managed by each team separately in their own Excel sheets. In order to analyse data spanning the whole company a new Excel sheet had to be manually pieced together after requesting the latest files from each team.
By introducing a cloud based approach to data storage and analytics everyone was immediately working on a single source of truth. This drastically increased knowledge sharing and visibility across the organisation and reduced time spent managing contact information and data integrity errors.
Alongside the sales analytics, an integrated CRM component meant the whole team had access to the same up-to-date contact information for clients rather than individually managing their own contact lists.
Product Strategy UX + UI Design Data Visualisation Data Warehousing Front-End Development Backend-End Development
Mercury is the back-end infrastructure that helps rapidly develop consumer banking propositions without re-building the wheel each time.
Built on top of Thought Machine's core-banking system Vault, Mercury provides a suite of components required in any personal finance based project. This includes user identity and authentication, cross platform push notifications and both user-based and service account-based access to banking functionality such as account, transactions and transfers.
Using Mercury, the Thought Machine Labs team was able to easily build sophisticated new app concepts, focussing development efforts on the Unity or React front-ends that differentiated them, and a few micro-services that provided app-specific backend logic.
Concept + Strategy: Lucas Seidenfaden (Planet Ix/Thought Machine Labs)
Back-End Development: Lucas Seidenfaden + Thought Machine Labs Engineering
Core Banking System: Thought Machine - Vault
In a world of hyper-personalisation and customer focused proposition, why are banks still giving everyone the exact same current accounts, loans and mortgages. Vault Rare aims to show that everybody can have a banking product that is "weird and unique" as they are.
Vault Rare is a loan powered by a smart-contract written in Python. The contract enables true individualisation through the use of contract parameters in Vault's smart contact engine.
The vision for the Vault Rare is presented through a beautiful loan user-interface more akin to buying your favourite sneakers online than using a bank's website.
Concept + Visual Design: Thought Machine Labs
Front-End Development: Thought Machine Labs
Back-End Architecture: Lucas Seidenfaden (Planet Ix/Thought Machine Labs)
Smart Contract Development: Lucas Seidenfaden (Planet Ix/Thought Machine Labs)
Core Banking System: Thought Machine - Vault
Nestlings is part game, part savings app. A gang of fun and lovable characters guide you to put away small amounts of money based on your day-to-day spending behaviour in the real world.
The first version of this app was built with a dedicated spending card, but then moved to a BYOB (bring your own bank) model using Open Banking.
Game Design: Cauldron
Unity Development: Glitchers
Back-End Architecture: Lucas Seidenfaden (Planet Ix/Cauldron)
Back-End Support: Cauldron
Altar is a game concept aimed at helping build better habits. In a Greek mythology inspired parallel universe you have to please the gods by spending wisely. Going beyond your basic spending habits you can decide to impress goddess Athena by making a purchase at the local bookshop or join Poseidon's ranks by going for a swim at the Lido.
Game Concept and Prototype: Lucas Seidenfaden (Planet Ix)
Concept Art: Chiba Kotaro
In the UK there are currently 1.2 million people without a bank account, 11.5 million people with less than £100 in savings and more than 12% of the UK do not have a smartphone.
UNBNKD is an initiative to help bring banking products to those who are current unbanked and
underbanked. There are a large number of challenger banks and fintech companies making access to
banking products quicker and easier. Yet the very factors that make these challengers differentiated
and successful such as being digital, mobile-only, offerings also make them inaccessible to a
significant part of the population.
Embracing the fact that technology could be a limiting factor we created two prototypes for the UNBNKD project.
The first prototype challenged the notion of universal smartphone ownership and looked at how a customer without a smartphone and limited KYC options might go through an onboarding process and manage their day to day banking via SMS. Leveraging Twilio for SMS we created a fully working prototype that opened a scoped down bank account on Vault's core banking platform. The limited bank account would give customers a foothold into the financial system while providing a manageable fraud risk for the bank. Once the user is able to complete the full required KYC process they would they account could be upgraded to the same level as a regular current account.
The second prototype aimed to cater to those who find voice interfaces more intuitive and natural to use. Here we aimed to tap into the rise of voice assistants and imagine how they might help customers interact with their bank accounts. Using a Matrix Creator dev board we prototyped a system connected to a bank account that enabled the user to ask about their balance and latest transactions, and make payments to their friends. With privacy being a big issue in banking, and voice assistants as well, we were keen to make this as privacy-preserving as possible. We used a fully-local open-source voice assistant with the only connectivity being made to the bank.
Prototyping: Lucas Seidenfaden (Planet Ix)
Creative Direction: Cauldron
Hardware: Raspberry Pi + Matrix Creator
Mortgage repayments are hard. They are hard for customers because they are hard for banks. There is one happy path in which you pay the exact monthly amount set out for your when you get your mortgage. Any deviation from this and you are likely to end up having to phone up the bank's call-centre and convince them to let you overpay or temporarily pause your payments, and it usually involves a big fee.
Chipper aimed to solve this by tackling the three key issues: creating a user experience that lets the user achieve their goals of paying off their mortgage quicker, creating a stunning and relatable brand, and reducing the administrative burden of mortgages to banks to enable them to give more choices to the customer.
Frontend + Backend Engineering: Lucas Seidenfaden (Planet Ix)
Concept + Creative Direction: