Technopark is a joint educational project by Mail.Ru Group (one of the two largest Internet companies in Russia) and Bauman Moscow State Technical University. The goal of the project is to teach and train qualified web-developers and system architects. This is a two-year educational program and it is a truly vital life experience for young experts. It includes not only lectures and seminars but also requires participation in Mail.Ru Group real projects.
Abstract theory is not taught in Technopark, the priority is given to practice. The project is unique due to its hi-tech feel, practical knowledge orientation and that special geeky freedom spirit that students are known for.
Technopark targets a very wide audience; in particular, prospective students and university students, Mail.ru Group staff and interns, as well as the diverse industry community. Among many prospective clients we have determined two key target groups: university students and expert audience. Both groups have chosen the same profession and similar paths which means that despite all the differences they must have a lot in common; furthermore, beginners and experienced professionals in this case have similar interests.
We have conducted audience research, and the results allowed us to prioritize all the possible reasons web-developers choose their profession. It turned out that the main motivation for taking up this profession is very simple: the pleasure of searching for solutions.
Professional web-developers have synthetic mentality. They analyze phenomena, disembodied data and form clear, effective solutions. This is the most interesting and important part of the job. Technopark students are creative rationalists, not just the result but the process itself is very important for them. In Technopark students learn to optimize their work, make the path to the result shorter and find the right solutions while benefitting from the search.
While studying, the educational project students solve different tasks trying to do it in the most efficient way. Perhaps in a way Technopark can be called a switch that helps optimize work and find the most productive solutions.
We presented problem solving process in the form of an algorithm that is graphically displayed with the help of flowcharts. They illustrate the processes, events and situations that occur to students while they are learning. Any content connected with the project can be displayed using the charts; for instance, each student’s career growth, project development strategy, the content of various study courses, event posters, etc..
Logical algorithms and their visual representation in the form of flowcharts are the main components of the corporate identity. Out of the standard set of flowchart elements regulated by All-Union State standard we chose the most suitable ones for the description of almost any processes and presented them in a strict graphic stylistics.
PF Isotext Pro typeface styled on drafting fonts is used for typing texts. It was chosen intentionally because similar fonts are designed for creating construction documentation, including logical flowcharts.
The visual solution of the project is very ascetic. Logic and data submission architecture prevail. Monochrome color layout creates a familiar to every programmer environment similar to code lines that developers see every day.
For the logo we chose an element that in flowchart language stands for “conditional function”. The logo is monolithic and easy-to-use. It can be integrated into the algorithm scheme as one of the logical blocks, yet the form changes depending on the block’s function. The project is constantly developing and growing, and the logo’s moderate variability reflects the positive changes that take place in Technopark.
Technopark guideline represents the basic principles of using visual identification system. The main block is devoted to unification of flowcharts creation rules. Certain sections describe work with color and font charts, composition principles and layout rules, as well as permitted cases of pictograms and foto usage. The guideline includes different cases of applying Technopark corporate identity. Currently, the project is supported by Mail.ru Group staff designers according to the rules indicated in the guideline.
Interactive agency Nimax developed the website of the project in accordance with the final visual representation. They created the ranking of all the sections of the website, structured the most important information blocks and designed them using algorithmic diagrams. The reason for a very thorough development of the website interface elements was the ban to use additional colors.