Do you have any statistics or metrics to track improvement from the project?
We were very pleased with their work, and their ability to implement a complex-to-understand app. It's a communication tool between shelter employees, and people to come into shelters or evacuation centers who don’t speak English or have communication challenges of some kind. They are very specific users with very specific needs for the app. They were able to get the work done, and implement it very successfully. Unfortunately, the client we were working with was the State Health Department, and they had never built an app before either. They had been stuck in red tape for six months. The app is just being launched, and we just started uploading it to the different sites, like Google Play and the Apple App Store, this week.
I don’t have any metrics on it, although we and the client were very pleased with the final product. It hasn’t gone to market yet, but I hope it will be on the market this week or early in the 2014.
We got the app that we designed on Nielsen Norman Group Enterprise Apps Report. It was one of 10 apps that were highlighted there because of its design. They asked for a lot of entries. I was at one of their conferences when they put out a call for entries, and we submitted and made it into their top 10. We were profiled in one of their reports, which came out in late summer.
Do you feel that moving to Android from iOS was a good move, or do you think you could have switched the order?
I’m not completely sure. For us, it was easier to start with iOS because it is so structured, and has such a structured set of guidelines. Android is so fragmented that it would have been harder for us to tackle, given our internal process. Process wise, it worked for us. Generally, we agreed to develop an app that would fit all platforms for this client, which was quite ambitious. With the existing process, that was tough. We're doing another app for this client this year, and we decided to make more refined recommendations on what platforms to use.
For example, on the next app, we're just recommending doing it just for tablets, because of the use case and the users. I think we may have been overly ambitious, and it would have made more sense to identify their users, and they should implement the app for that user space. For that particular platform, Android probably would have been best. A lot of staff members have Androids versus iPhones.
Is there anything unique about them that really makes them stand out, compared to other companies?
Their responsiveness was impressive, and their ability to implement something well in a tight time frame was impressive as well. Since that project was completed, we're in talks with them now. We have a small consulting contract with them for this next app, and we will likely ask them for another quote. I like their communication style, and I like their responsiveness.
Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or that you might do differently?
I can’t think of anything. That was the first time we went through that process, so there were a lot of lessons learns on our side. The challenge involved InnovationM being offshore; the timing had to be something we thought about. We had calls early in the morning because that was late in the day for them. That's just the nature of where they're located – timing.