We created a fast and simple UI/UX to facilitate real-time note taking. The assessment scales are implemented as sliders, helping minimize the time required to set values. The navigation menu was designed to help observers jump between forms quickly and easily. Originally designed as a four-screen app, we ended up with as many as 20 screens of light and user-friendly design.
We chose a Django stack on the backend to facilitate rapid development. Django also presents an admin UI out-of-the-box, makes it easy to create a REST API, simplifies the app’s architecture, and provides elegant means to work with ORM databases.
The app allows observers to take photos and videos during their observations; fortunately, we can easily handle the huge amount of data this feature entails. We also used the Boto AWS library for deleting media as it requires fewer requests than the native Django library.
On the mobile side, our team used the native iOS SDK instead of a cross-platform development framework such as PhoneGap or Ionic to ensure optimum performance and access the full functionality of the device. We chose to use Realm instead of one of the typical iOS database solutions, partly for performance concerns, but also for thread safety. Because of the massive amount of media the app would have to handle, performance was a priority for us throughout the development process.
Testing this app brought our QA team back to school in a way they certainly never expected. We paid close attention to make sure the app met the functional and performance requirements, but it was also fun to imagine we were inspecting our own school teachers and administrators!