Being associated with so many offices (40!) and projects (too many to count) is the chance to live vicariously through others. It means sometimes having experience and skills requested in a help email, it means sometimes being able to help test a forthcoming app, and sometimes it can mean actually using an application in your day to day life that colleagues have created.
One way we share these opportunities is through “all thoughtworks go live” emails. These have become a bit of an internal showcase where teams have gotten really creative with how they share their trials and tribulations on a project, their nitty gritty details like tech stack, and of course their pride and joy…the screenshots! In some cases, the product is behind a pay or authorisation wall, but lucky enough for me, I just got an email today about a public go live that I can go check out for myself!
As a traveling consultant (and one who has had their fair share of challenges at BLR), this was a fun app to check out. I downloaded it easily and for free from the app store and started by just getting a lay of the land. I really like that they have taken the approach of loading placeholder images as the rest of the information comes through. It is less jolting to me as the user than to have things just popping up throughout the loading process. I also like that they have prioritised the tracking and wifi icons in the limited space bar at the bottom of the page. Of course those are the most important things to me!
To get my hands a bit dirty I decided to look at 2 things. 1) offline mode and 2) the input fields.
First I wanted to look at offline mode because as a foreign traveller I am often in a position without internet but with a need to get around. I understand that certain parts of the app (particularly flight status searches) cannot operate, but I was hopefully that the map would and/or facilities sections would still be available since those are support more than luxury options. Unfortunately this was not the case. I know that this is common, but was hoping it may have worked for my next trip through BLR!
Second, I of course was interested in some input fields. In particular I took a look at the feedback form since it has a character counter. This is always a bit tricky for people. Do you cut them off at the max or do you let them know they are over the max? How do new lines/spaces get counted? I was particularly interested because I had just found a defect in my own app where people could paste over the max limit. Of course I had to try 🙂 Turns out, if you go over 2000 characters (pasting or typing) they just send you back to the home page without warning. Looks to me like that was a case that is probably not too common (thanks for the high character limit!) so they have it as a low priority.
Just as a wrap up, it is so fun to see what others are working on and want to send congratulations again to the team on a successful go live! Looking forward to my next time to BLR!