Using my powers for evil
I accepted this contract assignment without knowing who the eventual client was, a strategic move on the part of the agency based on what I believe was their experience with other designers who would rather not work for the petrochemical industry. I wasn't super excited to be working for big oil, but the project was intriguing. They wanted an app that was more than what seemed to be the trend in those days, glorified brochureware in an app wrapper. They wanted to build a tool for their reps in the field that would allow them to do complex and very specific calculations regarding the performance of their products as applied in real world situations. There was a significant math and science aspect to the tool that I found exciting to work with.
I had to design a modular system that would support a wide range of equations and factors with a simple interface that was easy to understand and use. My understanding of the math and science behind the equations was critical to my being able to execute on the task successfully. Looking at it now, the interface does feel very 2008, but there's some thinking and information architecture there that I'm still quite proud of. One of the things I really like about some contract assignments is the ability to play a one-man team: assessing the request, making a plan on how to solve the problem, and then getting my hands dirty designing.
I understand that in the intervening years the company was absorbed by Halliburton, so who knows what became of my pretty little calculator.