Can you please provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?
I work for Verizon Wireless, in the western area marketing department. My job is to set up meetings and summits for the different leadership groups around the region. These are large-scale events ranging anywhere from 150 to 350 people.
What is the name of your application, and what is its main purpose?
We put our app together and launched it so people could see the conference location and detailed information about the conference hotel. Conference attendees and app users are able to view transportation information, check-in information, key contacts, and the conference schedule. For conferences with vendors, the vendors can use the app to display their names and contact information. Overall, the app made the conference much simpler because there was no need to print a ton of paper binders.
Please describe your role in the initial app development process and your current engagement with app development or content updates?
I’m fairly tech savvy but this was my first time attempting to build an app. I am the creator of the app and administrator of all the apps we use at our conferences. I manage all information sent through the app, not only loading images, but also content updates that we need to send directly to user’s devices during conferences.
How would you describe your app development skill level, such as beginner, some coding experience, expert, …?
What was the business challenge your company was facing that incited the need for a mobile application, and what was the business goal that you were hoping to accomplish?
What we have done in the past for these meetings is that, when people came in, we had binders with the schedule and instructions for checking in and out of the hotel. The main purpose of the app was to incorporate all of that into the phone, the technology that everyone has.
What app platforms did you want to build an app for? Did it matter to your business whether the app was a hybrid or native app? Which type of app did you build using this software?
The great thing about Yapp is that it was versatile with different operating systems. When we made the app, it worked on both Android and iOS. It also works on tablets now, which is great.
Did your company have a formal selection process for deciding on a mobile app development software? Was your company considering other software or possibly a mobile app development service provider?
We found Yapp through a Google search. I had no idea exactly what I was looking for, but I knew I wanted something that I could build myself. We initially came across two options. We scrapped the other one because it was a little more difficult, not versatile to multiple platforms, and wasn’t as user friendly as Yapp.
Did you initially begin with the software’s free version or trial period? What pricing plan does your company currently utilize?
The only thing we paid for initially was the app name, which was $10. We utilized the free version because we weren’t sure if the app was going to work. There were a lot of added features that were in testing phases that Maria Seidman, the co-founder of Yapp, allowed us to use as testing guinea pigs. We really liked the additional features and have recently signed a yearly contract to be able to use all of the features that Yapp has available.
About how long in terms of hours would you approximate it initially took to have an app ready for publication?
I spent a lot of time tinkering around with Yapp, but we could have had an app up in a couple days. However, we had the time, so it was probably after a month of fine-tuning that I was happy with the app we were putting out.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
Can you speak to the available development tools, such as templates and drag and drop? Were they intuitive and easy to use?
The tools were very well-designed as far as being able to manipulate the different menus with one click of the edit button and just dragging and dropping. It’s very quick and easy to use. As soon as you hit done and update, I could check my phone and the change would be reflected. There was no delay between my computer and my device. I feel like anyone could have done what I was doing.
Does your app utilize any of the available location-based features? Are you satisfied with their functionality?
We didn’t utilize anything location based features, but we expect to in the future.
Can you please speak to the content management system, how do you upload new data or make changes? Have you found the process simple and accessible?
The fact that we had full control of the content management system was great. As an app admin, it was maybe a two-step process to change a feature, and then have the change recognized on the user’s device. It was ridiculously easy to use. If something was added by a user that was inappropriate or unwanted, I could remove it right away.
Are you satisfied with the social media, push notifications, and gamification integration options available?
We integrated social media features at our last conference. Pictures taken throughout the event could be quickly uploaded by the users to Twitter and Facebook. The push notifications were great, if event details changed last minute, I could update all of the app users on the fly through a push notification.
Have you found it necessary to consult any of the company’s available support resources? Was the support useful and accessible?
Maria Seidman, the co-founder of Yapp, and the Yapp team have been great. I had a lot of questions in the beginning phases of development. They were always there. They’re amazing. Maria recently asked us for user feedback. I always felt like Maria and her team were listening to what we were saying, to make Yapp better. Many of those items we suggested are happening. They were always so responsive. They consistently checked in to see how we were coming along, offered suggestions, and coached us to make sure we were utilizing everything Yapp had to offer. The Yapp team went above and beyond to have all the pictures that were taken through the app at the conference extracted and sent to me so I could use them in other formats.
Looking back on the development process, were there any software features and tools that you were really impressed by of which potential buyers should be aware?
The whole system was amazing, and I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t costing me anything but $10. For me, it was the speed at which I could make changes and the versatility of it. If we needed to move a break, change a room for the next meeting, or notify people that the buses were leaving 10 minutes earlier or later, we were able to do that. Trying to contact everyone and relay information would have presented a huge problem without the app.
Were there any areas of the software that you felt were not intuitive or that you feel could be improved upon?
We had a great feedback session with Maria Seidman [CEO and co-founder at Yapp] and her team after the event, and a lot of the wish list items that we had have come to pass. We wanted to have a live quiz, and pages that were more versatile as far as adding pictures and text, and that’s been done. The only thing left is having multiple administrators on apps. Now that we have full access to everything that they have, I’m excited to see how we can make it look better. We’ll be able to customize the borders, and the layout page, and just make it completely our own.
We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for ease of use in the development process?
What would you give the software for quality of features available?
For support, as in responsiveness, communication, and resources available?
For cost, as in value for your money and the time dedicated to development?
Five. Even now that we’re paying for a subscription, several departments of our company are using it and had great things to say about it. You don’t have to pay a huge amount to get a customized app. You can create an app on your own that does nearly as much as a professionally developed app at a much lower cost. I still can’t believe it. What you can do for free is incredible, it still blows my mind.
For overall usability and satisfaction with the software?
How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague?
Five. I talk about it to anybody who will listen.