apps for desktops, Android, iOS and Windows for
Viewpoint works internationally with child and adult social care services, helping to improve the engagement of those in care, in how their care is provided.
Viewpoint uses individually tailored online questionnaires to gather feedback from those in care.
Viewpoint's existing technology was inflexible and partly built in flash, making them difficult to on many end-user devices. The brief was us was to develop a series of applications that would work across multiple platforms, from desktops to iPads, Android devices and Windows Surface tablets. All apps had to deliver questions and store feedback in both offline and online modes. The applications needed to be engaging to encourage users to complete the series of questions, and they had to offer a high level of accessibility for any visually or learning-impaired users.
We have been working with Viewpoint over the past 8 months to develop a range of Apps, so that questionnaires can be delivered across devices and with both offline and online access.
We set out to build apps for desktops, Android, iOS and Windows. The desktop app delivers a fully Interactive questionnaire, a version which includes symbols for questions and answers for those with learning difficulties and a Lite version with limited graphics for locations, particularly in remote Australian regions, with poor Internet access.
To encourage end-user engagement, the Interactive version includes background images and animated characters (as displayed below). Characters are animated, so they will appear to be speaking if a user requests the question to be read aloud.
To improve accessibility, questionnaires include text to speech for those respondents with reading difficulties. The app will 'read aloud' any test on the page, including the question and each response. There is also a control panel within each app, enabling respondents to change the character displayed, to change colours and to record notes.
Other functionality includes the ability to exit a questionnaire at any point and resume later at the same place, for specific backgrounds and characters to be assigned for each individual user, and a text messaging service that enables Viewpoint to send an SMS message to ask a user to complete their questionnaire.
These apps are built using some of the latest technology available to us. We're using Portable Class Libraries to enable us to share code across platforms. The latest async functionality with .Net 4.5 and the sub-division of tasks across all available device cores, enables us to provide a quick and responsive front-end, giving a great experience for the end-user.
As a company, we always focus on the end-user experience and in this case, this has meant working hard to ensure the application is responsive and quick for users. To this end, we have used the native UI system for each platform and the .NET code is JIT compiled, or pre-compiled (iOS) to native code.
On the web platform, AngularJS is used to provide a fully dynamic UI that in the future will be fully accelerated by the Chrome browser and possibly other browser. AngularJS allows for a much more interactive and data-rich web page. On the web platform we use LESS, which makes it possible to perform more complex styling. On the iOS platform we use a technology called ‘Pixate Freestyle’ which allows for some styling to be specified with CSS commands.