Keepeek is proud to announce the launch of its very first mobile app for the iPhone and iPad! Julien Dordoigne, Head of Innovation and Operations at Keepeek in Rennes, was the key manager behind this project. Here, he unveils the processes behind this exciting venture.
Hello Julien, you’re the man behind the original idea of the Keepeek iOS app. Could you tell us what your objectives were when you first set off on this journey? What was the trigger moment for you?
Clients have been asking us for years whether or not we had an iPhone app. We asked for feedback from them. We wanted to know what they believed would be useful about such an app. We hadn’t identified concrete interest at that point. We didn’t want to simply create a gadget. Web and mobile use are quite different from each other. You can’t simply offer up the same functions as you’d find on the desktop version.
So we put our minds to how it could be defined as a strategic professional tool. We identified a potential client base in sales – sales representatives who are often out on client visits. Simple objective: sales reps should have the best visuals available to them, wherever they are. However, they can often be constrained. Sales reps travel frequently and don’t always have Internet access. With the new Keepeek app, they can synchronize content and pick it up wherever their location. Even when offline, they can still continue to consult and display this media.
What type of functions did you focus on in order to respond to these needs?
We envisaged two types of usage with this app. The first concerns media baskets. From the Keepeek web tool, the sales rep can select what media content he or she wishes to use, place it in a virtual basket and then synchronize with an iPhone. He or she is then free to travel, and the basket plays the role of ‘briefcase’ – a digital and intelligent briefcase! The second function allows the user to create his or her own selection from existing data and to then save it. This new selection is automatically synchronized as soon as the user connects to the app.
What sort of technical challenges did you meet along the way? What one area did you have to focus on the most?
We had to learn the new programming language from Apple: Swift. We also spent a lot of time on the synchronization engine so that the app can be used offline. It’s possible to synchronize media content while continuing to search through the Keepeek tool. We wanted the synchronization speed to be as fast as we could get it. We didn’t want the user to come unstuck at any point, to encounter problems.
We also focused a great deal on the user experience. It boasts the very latest advances in mobile ergonomics. Everything was very well researched. We wanted the app to conform to the expectations of iPhone and iPad users: rotation, double click zoom, long press selection, multi-selection etc… This app has been perfectly integrated into native iOS tools, particularly the file-sending functions.
How do expect the app to evolve?
We are in the process of developing three new functions:
Import with extension add: it will be possible to import media directly from the app or from a photo album via a file share extension. This means that files can be sent to the server via the iOS app.
Media file information with editing function: The user will be able to visualize media file information and edit it directly from the mobile app.
Online/Offline hybrid mode: the app is currently oriented towards offline use. In the near future, we’d like to create a hybrid mode with more functions available when the user is on the network. For example: a search function, an add/delete function for media basket choices… Offline, all basket selections are saved as soon as the app is synced.
We’re impatient to find out what our users think, because it will in fact be them who assist us in making the decision as to what functions we create next.