Nowhere

Case study: Developing an iOS application for a book series to provide an enhanced reading experience

$50k - $199k
Project size
2015 – Ongoing
Project length
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Nowhere

Background

Since the 90’s Nowhere helps develop corporate culture by improving communication within a company and creating all conditions for a productive and creative working environment. Nowhere has published multiple books and brochures to help build and fine-tune efficient company procedures.

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Objective

Nowhere wanted to provide these solutions in a digitized form and has chosen Exyte to transform their knowledge into a responsive and interactive form. The main task was to create a clean and functional book viewer with an emphasis on two things - pixel-perfect UI and seamless user experience.

Nowhere case image 2

App Features

The digital form provided new opportunities for Nowhere to enhance the format of their books by changing the structure of books from one-dimensional (turning pages left or right) to two-dimensional, as well as embedding video files right into the pages of the brochures. This unique format raised multiple developments challenges:

  • Turn the design into a pixel-perfect UI with a fair amount of custom elements
  • Develop an efficient way to create and store these 2-dimensional books
  • Implement a high performance book viewer with effectively infinite two-dimensional scrolling
Nowhere case image 3

Challenges

Book viewer

The book viewer was the biggest technical challenge of the whole app and went through 3 major iterations during development, with countless performance tweaks and user interaction enhancements. We ended up using the stock CollectionView element from Apple and heavily customising it. Using the modified stock UI elements helps us future-proof the application and expect less app maintenance.

2-dimensional Book Formatting

Nowhere provided the books as a PDF file, so we wrote a script that extracted separate pages and created a file that mapped each page to its position and defined any special features of the page (like an embedded video).

Pixel-perfect UI

The UI ended up being pixel-perfect in the strict definition of the word. A huge help was Nowhere having a clear vision of their final product and providing their designs in Sketch, as well as giving their feedback on every available build. Our method of choice for checking the state of the UI is making a semi-transparent screenshot of the app, then putting it on top of the the design view for the same screen. It may take some time to check all the screens, but it gives us confidence to call our implementation "pixel-perfect".

Process

Nowhere made it clear that the quality of the product is most important here, and some things are subject to change after they can actually try it out on a real device. To suit their needs we set up a build distribution system to make sure the latest app version was always available and had frequent discussions about the current state of the project and their wishes and concerns.

We still employ this way of communication for our current projects to keep the development process transparent and ensure fast reactions to customer requests.

Review

«After receiving the assignment and asking relevant questions, Exyte executed excellently in matching the design plans, creating properly-functioning products, communicating effectively, and being available for ongoing consultation.»

Nowhere review image
Boz Kay
CTO, nowhere Group
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