Building a guidance app – from complex to simple
2022 Creation of a guidance application
The need for a clean and cloudless platform
People often underestimate the difficulties of managing their internal platforms if many locations worldwide are involved. A powerful tool that might help with the bureaucratic chaos brings tremendous value to the whole organization and allows a more effective and productive way of working and updating. Every employee, as well as the employer, can benefit from such an application.
This was also the case for our client, who needed support with their internal structure of a guidance application. As a big player in the pharmaceutical sector, efficient and accessible processes are essential in requests for information.
As our client has already developed a pilot project for this, our further development includes its analysis and how existing technology could be used for the new concept.
02 Sneak Peek of the Outcome
Complexity has never been so simple
The now-created Guidance App is a newly transformed information database, providing access to industry-specific-professionals engagement and grants, sponsorship and donation (GSD) guidance for cross-border activities. The application, therefore, fulfills the purposes of:
providing quick and easy access to guidance a user might just need
enabling users to calculate the accurate compensation for a or multiple specific engagements of individuals
creating awareness for compliance-sensitive activities throughout the organization
The Guidance App is now sustainable and long-term scalable with a simple and fun way of use. As it is a central point to access information, it, therefore, marks the starting point for any engagement of individuals or GSD activity.
Let's have a look at how we got there.
03 Discovery Phase
Too many formats and hard-to-access information
Every project manager knows that a detailed analysis is the foundation for every new project. So, to meet our client's needs and further develop the application, we studied the pilot version and meticulously analyzed the project in our so-called discovery phase. This gave us a more in-depth view of the initial situation, system landscape and different stakeholders. Thus, we located many problems that needed to be addressed in the design of the new solution.
We noticed that information was tough to find because it was stored in multiple documents, and depending on the issuing country, the papers have many different formats and structures. Thus, data could not be compared easily, as the forms and systems differed from country to country. Additionally, the users could not be sure whether the piece of information they accessed was still up-to-date and therefore accurate. This led to the complication that users had to update themselves about changes in guidance and compensations models.
Additionally, the accessibility was restricted. External users, such as business partners or agencies, could not access the information, making the cooperation inefficient and complicated. Moreover, it was challenging for internal coordinators to grant external business partners access to the needed information.
04 Ideation Phase
After the elaborate analysis of the problem statements, we followed through with the ideation phase: The creation of a solution concept and the first planning of the MVP* were established.
From there on, we could work out the following high-level requirements:
The Guidance App must contain three main functionalities: Firstly, a calculator for the fair market values; secondly, a grants, sponsorship and donation (GSD) guidance finder and lastly, an individual guidance finder must be present.
The Guidance App should only be accessible to our client's internal network and allow admins and authors in the application's back office to manage the content of their own countries. Hence, they are autonomous in updating and creating content.
The app will be used on different devices, and thus, it must be well usable on desktops and mobile. It goes without saying that the features should be easy and intuitive in use and compliant with our client's brand guidelines.
The analysis of the key requirements is a crucial step for developing the information architecture, sitemaps and app navigation and cannot be skipped.
*minimum viable product
05 Implementation Phase
The MVP was the first step toward the implementation phase after the concept and strategy were approved. The Minimum Viable Product is a consciously stripped-down version of the vision of the product in which the FMV Calculator and GSD guidance finder are already included:
Fair Market Value (FMV) Calculator to estimate the service fees for engagements for individuals
guidance finder to look up specific guidance for a / multiple countries or numerous guidance for numerous countries
Help Section with an onboarding guide, glossary, FAQs and contacts