fresh connect

  • Services

    UX/UI Design, Android Development, iOS Development, Web Development

    UX/UI Design, Mobile App, Web Development

  • Industry

    SMART OFFICE

  • Duration

    5 MONTHS

  • Team size

    6 PEOPLE

Technology stack

  • Android:

    Android SDK / HTTP Client / Moshi / Room / Koion / Glide / Coroutines / LiveData / Databinding / MVVM

    Language: Kotlin

  • iOS:

    REST API / Moya / WebKit / Core NFC / SVG / Push Notifications / Firebase

    Language: Swift / JavaScript

  • Web:

    React.js / Redux / React-Vis / CSS / SASS / HTML / SVG / GIT

    Language: JavaScript / HTML / CSS

  • Backend:

    Node.js (Express) / MongoDB /Docker / RabbitMQ / Firebase Cloud Messaging / AWS SES

    Language: JavaScript

fresh connectapp is a solution for smart offices focused on finding and booking office workstations via a user-friendly app and NFC chip combo. To occupy the needed space, all you need to do is hold your smartphone near the workstation with the chip placed on the desk. The app helps users to collaborate in a more efficient way allowing colleagues to rapidly find each other on the office map.

About the Client

fresh connect helps companies transform their offices into flexible workspaces by saving office rental and operating costs while improving employee experience. A very detailed understanding of office use makes fresh connect’s approach beneficial.

Business Challenge

fresh connect approached Orangesoft with the idea of creating a sleek and easy to use mobile app focused on booking work zones with the help of NFC chips. Our major challenge was to find an elegant solution for interacting with maps. While all of the competitors use schematic maps, we wanted to reflect the real room sizes, desks’ shapes, and navigation providing users with crucial information about their workspaces.

Delivered Solution

At the heart of fresh connect is a fully interactive office map that allows users to integrate the product into their working routine easily. Our team created a delightful app with outstanding user experience helping companies build their smart offices in an enjoyable and unique way.

The app includes information on the current occupancy of the room, number of seats, colleagues’ location, and by and large everything that could be helpful in a buzz meeting environment.

UX and UI prototyping

Our key guidelines for app design were: — to make booking easy and engaging, — to create visually pleasing and realistic maps, — to make app navigation smooth, — to use the color palette and fonts of the brand.

We were given AutoCAD maps as a reference so we could design a map sample that would take into account all the objects’ dimensions and shapes and, at the same time, make them more appealing to the eye. During the design process, we suggested adding a sequence number on each desk to make the booking and finding process even easier. At this stage, we winded up creating a clickable prototype.

01. Book necessary workspace
02. Pick the date you need
03. Choose available time period
04. Invite your colleagues
05. Enjoy productive collaboration
01. Book necessary workspace
02. Pick the date you need
03. Choose available time period
04. Invite your colleagues
05. Enjoy productive collaboration

For administrative panel, we also used fresh connect’s color palette to align with the mobile app. We designed the panel for two roles, administrator and analyst.

The administrator part was meant to be easy to handle because the administrator had to use it on a daily basis to upload and edit maps, add new employees to the system, manage bookings, and more.

As for the analyst part, we were challenged to create an intuitive dashboard that would include various types of diagrams and tables displaying all the gathered information in a clear and aesthetic way.

Building interactive maps

The major challenge we faced was to design a solution that would make user interaction with maps as smooth as possible. Originally, the idea was to use AutoCAD maps provided by fresh connect clients. However, since AutoCAD is a closed system, and we couldn’t get any data from it, we quickly rejected this approach.

In search of better solutions, we came up with the idea of creating a unique map builder in the administrative panel where each fresh connect client could create their own office map dragging ready-made elements like tables, chairs, and other office objects onto the map. As much as we loved this idea, it contradicted the initial fresh connect product vision of realistically shaped office equipment on the app’s map.

We decided to go back to the AutoCAD maps but change our approach by converting the maps into SVG files. We spent weeks planning and testing various graphic editors that would suit our needs. Eventually, we came up with the solution: to interact with a workspace on the map, we needed to have all its elements as separate objects grouped and placed on one layer. Having SVG elements organized into groups, we were able to assign each of them a unique identifier. We used this feature to build our map interaction logic around it.

Working with NFC chips

To make the booking process as seamless as possible, we needed to figure out the best way to help users choose the working space, book it, and easily find their colleagues on the map. To do this, we decided to leverage NFC technology. Each workspace (work desk, meeting room, lounge zone, etc.) has its own NFC chip with a unique ID. Any employee can book the needed workspace either instantly (by simply placing the smartphone on the NFC workstation) or in advance (choosing the date and time via the app and interacting with the NFC chip on the chosen day).

We designed an elegant solution for the administrator to assign NFC IDs to workspaces. This could be done in a few clicks by choosing the unit, entering its ID and sequence number. After that, the workspace became active and ready for interaction from the mobile app. What’s more, if fresh connect clients wanted to make changes in the office by switching zones, adding new desks or removing old ones, after uploading the altered office map, all the IDs stayed the same. The administrator simply had to make sure that all the IDs were assigned to the right workspaces after the changes.

Project Results

Together with fresh connect, we created a solution for the offices with the revolutionized maps approach. We helped build an MVP app where the main purpose was to reduce office rental and operating costs for the companies and create a collaborative work environment with readily available information.

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