Easier to use for the citizen
The first thing the user notices is a simpler and more intuitive user interface. We know from user testing that residents use the app more often and more deeply when they find the various swipes, but we also saw that some user groups were not familiar with the solution. Now the user can find special feeds, sensor and message overview, integrated web services or partner pages on clear buttons at the top of the page. This makes it easier to access content and services, and makes the citizen app even better as an overview tool. The buttons are easily added by the municipality itself and can be changed in seconds.
We also introduce dynamic menu buttons at the bottom of the screen. Our thumbs haven't been able to keep up with the increase in screen size, so this is a long-awaited move for many. The municipality itself decides the number of bottom buttons, between 2 and 5, and what these should point to. In line with Innocode's philosophy, the development work is guided by freedom and simplicity, and we look forward to seeing how this is used in practice. Like all changes in the app, icons and services will also be able to be changed in seconds and require no programming or updating.
The content feed has also been modernized, something the feedback from younger users in particular points towards. Headings have become clearer and make context and understanding easier. We introduce several types of content presentations, and refresh the activity presentation. The content from volunteering and cultural life becomes even easier to find, which means a lot for local visibility for sport, culture and volunteering. The foundation stone has also been laid for even greater freedom for the use of the municipality's colors and profile, which will now be able to be changed from the administration tool Superlocal. This means that, for example, a festival week can be reflected in the citizen app with a new basic color and top logo while the festival is in progress. Admin will be able to make these changes themselves in minutes.
Personalization is important and helps to make the citizen app relevant and useful for different user groups. Now onboarding menus have been improved and made clearer, along with menus and overview pages. The citizen app will also be able to be set up to give different user groups a completely different experience, both with regard to color, logo use, and content. We look forward to seeing the first municipalities make use of this extra option in the platform.
Full WCAG 2.1 support
Municipalities understandably have a lot of focus on universal accessibility for all their digital services. The citizen app passes the WCAG 2.1 requirements with flying colors and makes it easier for all types of user groups to use the citizen app as a tool to stay up-to-date and use the municipality's services. The app supports different font sizes and can also be used in light or dark modes.
The biggest changes are the ones we don't see
Of course, it is the design, presentation, and user interface that users will primarily notice, but we at Innocode are most proud of the work that has gone into modernizing and streamlining the technology under the hood.
- Code updated to best Apple/Google practices and the technology stack is consistently upgraded to the latest available version. It doesn't tell us non-technical people much, but it makes it faster and easier to further develop on the platform, among other things. It also means that we can more quickly make updates to new versions of operating systems as they arrive.
- Improved stability and robustness. The old version had few reported crashes, but we see extremely higher stability when stress testing the new version. We strive to make the app completely crash-free, and so far that's what we're seeing. Another welcome improvement is greatly improved app performance and responsiveness, although we consider ourselves to be best in class from before. 😉
- Modular app architecture. This means that new functions/settings/modifications of existing functions can be easily done without affecting other parts of the app. Among other things, it provides a shorter path to integrations, special services and a lower threshold for local innovation and new creation of services and content.
- Updating the API to new versions makes it possible to support a number of new functions. First up will be support for video playback right in the feed. We have a long list of exciting features that we are looking forward to presenting, including several different content types and integrations with new, popular social media.
- Significantly improved build times and far more efficient compilation process. That means we can deliver apps even faster to new customers.
What happens, and how does the upgrade take place?
It is not long until users get the new version on their smartphones. Users have it easy, as the upgrade will be rolled out automatically to all residents who have turned on automatic updating.
For the municipalities, some changes will be made to the administration tool Superlocal, among other things, new menu items will be added together with suitable icons. Innocode has developed a template of structure and app solution for inspiration. Anyone who wants it will get help from us to make the desired changes. Furthermore, we believe many municipalities and cities will use the opportunity to change the structure of content and services in the app, and perhaps we will see new logos and use of colors as well? We will continuously send out demo apps to municipalities for changes and adjustments before launch. On Wednesday 25 January, we invite you to a meeting with customers and interested parties. Then we present the solution and review how new menus and functions are used in Superlocal.
Do you need help with a new app campaign?
Innocode eventually has good experience in assisting municipalities with content, material, and management of campaigns on relevant channels. We see that such measures greatly increase downloads and use, and thus make the channel even more important for residents and the municipality. If you want to hear more about this, contact us!