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ARQ Collabs with Queensland Youth Orchestra and Active Eight

ARQ Collabs with Queensland Youth Orchestra and Active Eight

Values with volume create sound.

Amplify that sound with collaboration, and you have an ensemble of meaningful impact.

An impact where creativity meets inclusivity.

And that’s exactly what ARQ’s Producers Tim Kuusik and Hannah Pearce did for the Queensland Youth Orchestra (QYO).

Combining the artistic excellence of Queensland Youth Orchestra with the dance talent of Active Eight and the digital expertise of ARQ Group in a collaboration of The Swan by Saint Saens.

An opportunity for giving back to the local community by supporting the magical performance of the Active Eight performance troupe, showcasing the diverse talents of the children dancing to the Queensland Youth Orchestra’s rendition of The Swan.

SMARTER TOGETHER

ARQ provided storyboarding, videography support, content logistics and productions in collaboration with the Queensland Youth Orchestra and the Active Eight performance troupe.

“Traditionally our digital and design experience is seen in government and enterprise solutions, so this was a welcomed opportunity to make meaningful impact to a community cause we love.”
– Tim Kuusik, Producer, ARQ Group.

YOUTH SUPPORTING THE YOUNG

Queensland Youth Orchestra nurtures and inspires a diverse community of talented young musicians from 7 to 25 years of age.

“Young musicians in the desire for perfection – practicing hours a day – are sometimes unaware of the extraordinary impact their musical talents have upon on others. I’m hoping this collaboration helps them discover what a difference their musical ability makes.”

– Simon Hewett, Director of Music for the Queensland Youth Orchestra.

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Luke Melonas couldn’t be more excited about helping digitally transform his clients

Luke Melonas couldn’t be more excited about helping digitally transform his clients

Luke Melonas joined Arq two months ago as a Business Development Manager, bringing with him over 15 years of industry experience developing growth strategies, managing customer relationships and helping his customers solve their biggest problems with the use of technology.

In this interview Luke tells us why he chose Arq, discusses exciting projects he’s currently working on and what he hopes to achieve in his new role.

What appealed to you most about Arq when you were looking for a change in your career?

I feel like everyone says this, but for me it really was all about the organisation’s culture and everything being human centric. I was excited what this meant – not only personally for me and the teams I work with – but also how the internal culture would translate to a positive customer experience.

No matter your role in Arq, or who you deal with as a customer of ours, you’ll always interact with people who are passionate. We avoid buzz words and industry jargon when we can help it – and instead – focus on building trusted relationships with clients by focusing on the business problem that matters most and solutions that make a difference in people’s lives.

For my role specifically, I was confident Arq would provide opportunities to play a crucial role in business transformation projects, which is an area that really interests me. Throughout my career I’ve seen many talk about “digital transformation”, however when it comes down to it, the true focus is on traditional ICT. 

For Arq, it’s all about aligning to our customers’ business objectives, making positive change and applying the cutting edge advancements available in digital, data analytics and cloud. Most importantly having an organisation behind you that can deliver on the transformational projects.

What do you hope to achieve as Business Development Manager?

I’m based on Queensland, so naturally my focus is on our customers and offerings in the Sunshine State!

My short-term focus is all about re-educating our long-running customers (along with my personal network) on who Arq is, and what we can do for them. 

In just a few years Arq has gone through some exciting and significant changes that will positively impact our customers. I want to ensure everyone knows who Arq is, deeply understands what we do, where we’re going as an organisation and what that means for how we can service our customers. 

I thoroughly believe my name is my brand. I want the people I work with knowing I have their best interest at heart.

Longer term, I hope to emulate the long-term partnerships I see with Arq and their largest and most well-known clients with my own clients and professional contacts that may not (yet) be a customer of Arq’s today. 

To me one of the indicators that I’ve made the right call in moving to Arq Group is the many examples of client partnerships spanning longer than 10 years. 

During these years the partnerships have evolved and Arq has continued to solve some of their toughest business challenges. I’ve always operated with a longer-term mindset underpinned by the value I personally bring to the relationship to deliver the best of the organisation I work for.

What’s an interesting project you’ve worked on since starting at Arq?

We’re working with a customer currently to develop a mobile experience where today only an online portal for their large member base exists. The brief was to create an engaging mobile experience for a cohort that has traditionally only accessed or engaged with the existing desktop tech, once or twice a year. Quite a significant and exciting challenge!

Our vision was to create an engaging and intuitive mobile experience that encourages members to interact with this new technology daily, as they would their banking apps for example. By introducing features like chat bots, automation, and self-service options, will give the user a sense of empowerment and ownership over their member profile, when in the past they felt completely disengaged and disinterested. We focussed on avoiding what we call “blockers” or unnecessary gadgets and widgets that ultimately interfere with experience and functionality of these kinds of apps.

This project is a great example of Arq’s point of difference in the market, deliver value and benefits to customers, versus only delivering on what an organisation thinks is needed. In this process it’s crucial to understand historic and organisational data to provide meaningful solutions and pre-empt user needs and we’ve done just that in this case.

Working with customers like this, as a strong and unified team always reminds me what an amazing and exciting time it is to work in tech, where everyone can be a player.

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Shriman Kalyan on the Value of ARQ’s Design-Led Thinking

Shriman Kalyan on the Value of ARQ’s Design-Led Thinking

Shriman Kalyan is Director, Digital Experience at ARQ. In this role he has been championing a strong customer-centric approach which has delivered outstanding results for clients.

In this interview he talks about the importance of a design-led approach, some of the use cases and changes that he expects to see in the near future.

Can you tell us what the primary focus of your role is?

I provide design advisory for clients and build and maintain relationships with them throughout projects. I work closely with our design team to make sure it is enabled and empowered to deliver the best results.

At ARQ we are constantly building up our internal capability to ensure what we are offering is cutting edge in the market.

Can you tell us about your experience prior to ARQ?

I worked at different global consulting firms prior to joining Outware, from where I then moved to ARQ. Through these jobs I was able to really hone my skills and understand the direction I wanted to take my career.

I worked as an analyst for a European telecom major and that’s what first gave me an eye for a customer’s point of view. This then developed into an interest in the UX stream which I pursued after completing my MBA.

At Outware I led the UX definition for a multitude of projects across mobile applications such as wearables, phones and tablets. This was at a time when a number of major brands were entering this space and we were able to support them in doing so.

How important is design in ARQ’s digital offering?

It’s incredibly important. At ARQ we prioritise design-led thinking. We’re not just looking at the engineering solution, but rather what’s the holistic product solution from an experience point of view as well.

It’s good to see that our clients are increasingly seeing the need for a more design-led approach to transformation and this is actually something being demanded by users as they come to understand what technology is capable of offering.

While design has traditionally been seen as a sub-component of applications, we have successfully moved towards design-led thinking in everything we do.

 

Can you provide some examples?

We developed an app for a superannuation fund and took an entirely member-centric approach when we did so. Through the app we were able to double active engagement compared to the existing website. Superannuation usually has low engagement because it’s not something people usually think about. But the work we did just went to show that when you put the effort into understanding what users want we are able to offer a much stronger product.

We talked to members as part of our research in designing the app and we took a life-stage approach and identified the key pieces of information they would need at different stages and ensure they were easily accessible through the app. The other approach we took was what we called smart nudges. This was more the behavioural aspect with the underlying factor being financial wellbeing. This was about giving the member hints or suggestions based on what they need and we were able to represent this more visually on the landing page.

Another example was an app developed for the online delivery workforce of a large retailer. The app was not mandated for drivers and they could have used their previous systems which were still in place.

However, we were delighted to see that there was almost a 100% adoption rate nationally. We had actual drivers and supervisors sitting in our workshops when we developed the app. That’s what we mean by human-centricity or user-centricity. It’s not just about conducting workshops and taking out one insight from it. But rather it’s about co-designing the product with the end user.

The introduction of the app led to a time reduction of upwards of 40% for the drivers. You can easily extrapolate the amount of savings it brought to the business. And it was a really positive influence on the users who recognised that we were designing for them and not just the business.

As designers we are the bridge between the business and the user.

What do you anticipate being some of the changes we are likely to see in the UX space over the next five years?

As a design community we have become really good at creating seamless, intuitive experiences that are repeatable. I think what lies ahead is an effort at really pushing the limits to offer really smart and intelligent experiences for users.

I think that there needs to be a good degree of synchronisation between what designers can imagine vs what the technology can actually deliver. Given the recent maturity in AI, I think it’s just a matter of investment in the right direction.

The question we need to ask is how are we able to provide multiple moments of joy across digital touch points? To do this we need to deliver both intelligent and imaginative experiences.

This is nothing less than what the user deserves.

Design & digital leader with extensive global experience in designing consumer and enterprise products impacting millions of users. Shipped seamless and disruptive experiences for brands such as ANZ, ASDA, Best Buy, Cabfare, Citi, Coles, Cricket Australia, CSIRO, Department of Home Affairs, First State Super, Google, McGraw, Starwood, Transport for NSW, SITA, Smartgroup and Woolworths.

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