I’m a senior product designer and product manager at Webra International, LLC, a small company with big brains in Budapest, Hungary.
Over the last few years we worked with government ministries and agencies, municipal governments, higher education institutions, and corporations in the telecommunications, banking, and FMCG sector, to bring accessible, usable, and – at some inspired moments – delightful web applications to life.
2015–2024 · The 12th District Mayor’s Office in Budapest, Hungary introduced new e-government services in January 2016, custom developed for the needs of a local government. Unique features include digitally signed invoices and legal decision documents, high grade encryption and other security measures, CRM integration, and eDM (electronic direct marketing) capabilities (details in Hungarian, PDF). In 2018 this service has been picked up by the 6th District (Terezvaros) and 19th District (Kispest) as well.
My role: planning, product design, graphic design and project management.Zsolt Andrasi
2013–2024 · Mupa Budapest, the Palace of Arts is a cultural hub in Budapest, Hungary, home to the Bela Bartok National Concert Hall and the Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art. It hosts classical, contemporary, jazz, and world music concerts, film screenings, theatre, dance, and cirque nouveau performances, literature events, and art exhibitions. The Palace of Arts turned 10 in 2015 and marked the occasion with rolling out a new website created by Mito, and an integrated CRM-eDM system and a new loyalty program (Mupa+) developed by Webra on behalf of Crane International.
My role: I designed and led the development of an integrated CRM, customer service, analytics, e-mail marketing, and loyalty system that works in concert¹ with the website, the ticket sales provider and an internal event planning system.
2013–2024 · The e-Menza system, an NFC-enabled, cash-free payment solution is available in multiple schools in Budapest and around Hungary.
E-Menza allows contactless payment in the school cafeterias, provides an administrative interface for school staff and an easy-to-use website for parents to order, cancel, and pay for their kids’ lunch.
My role: Product and user interface design (web, tablet).Image Credit: Liszt Academy of Music
2013 · The 140-year-old university of music, founded by 19th-century Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist and conductor Franz Liszt, recently reopened its main building and Art Deco style concert hall after a €40m overhaul and restoration. The immensely talented graphic designers at Allison Group reinvented the visual identity of the Academy and created a matching, powerful concept for its web presence.
My role: responsive templates for the CMS; accessibility and validation; web typography; primary contact to the Client in the first phase of the portal development.
2012 · Webra International was tasked by a multinational financial institution to review and redesign the common front end to their internal systems used in local branches and call centers.
My role: planning and leading usability testing and evaluation; writing a design & style guide for future developers; user interface design.
2011–2012 · Educatio LLC, commissioned by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, developed a custom solution based on IBM’s Datacap Taskmaster to capture about 12 million questionnaires of the 2011 National Census and manage the document imaging process. Among other innovative ideas, the application featured a character matrix to speed up character recognition by grouping low-confidence matches together. The solution was presented at IBM’s Information On Demand annual conference in 2012.
My role: designing the main screens of the application, including the character matrix.
2010 · Webra International uses a home-grown issue management system that also acts as a helpdesk interface to our clients. I designed its user interface and contributed to its functional specification.
2007–2013 · Since its launch in 2004 Kultura.hu – along with its English language sister site Culture.hu – has been one of the most prominent cultural news portals in Hungary. Maintained by the Ministry of Education and Culture, it aimed to aggregate news stories, interviews and opinion pieces in visual arts, music, theater, dance and literature. In 2008 I designed a new visual identity for the portal, created its HTML templates, and in its CSS wrote my first @media rule for the iPhone – about 1.5 years before the term „responsive web design” was coined. My design lasted until 2013.
My role: design, sitebuild, WAI-WCAG accessibility checks and a high-contrast alternate style sheet for vision-impaired visitors, Webra CMS administration and development, continuous technical support and primary contact to the editor-in-chief and managing director.Image Credit: Hungarian Tourism Plc.
2007–2013 · Between 2007 and 2013 a single Webra 3 CMS engine instance hosted the domestic site Itthon.hu of the Hungarian Tourism Plc, the state-owned agency responsible for country branding and tourism promotion, and most of the agency’s foreign language sites on 21 domains and in 31 languages. It still serves the National Tourism Database (NETA), a collection of about 25 000 tourism-related service providers (hotels, restaurants, baths and wellness facilities), sights and events that is fed to partner sites via XML, and is maintained by hundreds of employees of the nationwide Tourinform network.
My role: administrative user interface design; technical support during and after development and migration; WAI-WCAG 1.0 accessibility, Google Maps v2, KML layers, geocoding and driving directions, Google Local XML feed.Mechanical Turk, by Karl Gottlieb von Windisch (Wikipedia)
2005–2011 · The collection, which received several rounds of funding from the Ministry of Education and the European Union, started with digitizing the most urgently needed and most popular university textbooks. Hosting hundreds of e-books, scientific journals and multimedia, it quickly became one of the largest online projects using DocBook XML.
My role: LCMS design, specification, development and support; e-book technical evaluation (DocBook XML, MathML, Dublin Core and MARCXML metadata validation).
2006 · I designed the admin user interface and specified a significant part of the functionality (HTML editor, SEO-friendly URLs, serving multiple domains from a single installation, automatic thumbnail generation from uploaded images, a browser based image editor, automatic conversion of video files to a common video file format, valid and accessible HTML output) of the Webra 3 CMS. It was one of the first content management systems that prominently featured asynchronous HTTP requests in auto-completing text inputs, table sorting and tree components. Since then XMLHTTP or Ajax services have become quite common in web applications.
2011 · I designed a simplified admin interface for junior editors that focused on the very basic functionality of a CMS, with enhanced cross-browser compatibility and more advanced UI features like drag-and-drop arrangement of menu items, news articles or photos.
2005 · Pannon GSM (later Telenor, now Yettel), the second largest mobile operator in Hungary, introduced an affordable alternative to satellite-based vehicle tracking systems. The service used the location of active GSM phones and provided acceptable accuracy (the size of a network cell, from a hundred meters in densely populated areas to several kilometers) by putting the GSM cell tower the phone connected to on a map — in ancient times when GPS positioning was expensive and Google Maps had been just announced as an early beta.
My role: user interface design; HTML, WML (WAP) templates; Autodesk MapGuide Viewer client side programming; project management and technical support.
I have suggested and led the transition of the website of the Ministry of Youth, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities to accessible templates that follow the WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act. The site became the first government website in Hungary to pass automatic accessibility checks and properly cooperate with screen reader software.
I have provided technical support and webmaster services to the Mayor’s Office, participated in building the website of the Office at Hegyvidek.hu and the mayor’s personal website, and designed websites for education and social institutions in the District.
2006 · Students in Hungary carry a credit card sized photo ID. About 500 thousand are printed each school year, and to streamline the process of requesting, error handling and manufacturing the cards we have developed a central management and tracking software for the Ministry of Education. To speed up the process students of Hungarian higher education institutions have been able to register and initiate their request online by entering their personal information, uploading their photo and selecting their school. The cards have been sent to printing after the schools’ approval.
My role: using an early version of Intel’s OpenCV I created an online photo management tool that in the first step detected signatures and faces on the uploaded photos, and then allowed further enhancement (cropping, rotation and adjusting brightness) of the images.
1997 · In the late 1990s the Ministry of Education launched the SuliNet program to provide Hungary’s schools with computer hardware and free Internet access. Between 1996 and 1998 more than 1500 primary and secondary schools joined SuliNet and the ministry decided to offer grants to add content to the educational network. While working at one of the grants’ recipients, SZÜV Inc. (a Hungarian IT company with a rather long and eventful history) I participated in creating such an educational content package titled ˝Life and Death˝ dealing with death, abortion, suicide, euthanasia, organ transplantation – no easy subjects.
Lessons learned: this was an early project of mine and I learned a lot from the mistakes
that are really glaring in hindsight:
• Do not tie your work to a single browser, even if at the moment it is leading in market share. That can change rather quickly. The project worked only in Netscape Navigator 4.
• Standards compliance. Netscape introduced a number of proprietary HTML tags and this project used <layer> elements heavily, which meant that it broke later in standards-compliant web browsers.
• Canvas mode. Netscape 4 added canvas mode to support kiosk applications by displaying pages without any browser toolbars, menus, or borders. In this project it was completely unnecessary, removed basic navigation tools like the Back button and presented several security prompts to the user.
• Lens flare effect. Yes we can, but don’t necessarily have to use every effect built into Photoshop (or Corel PhotoPaint in this case).