Embed frevvo on mobile pages

mobiledevicesfrevvo’s forms and workflows already work well on mobile devices. They’ll automatically resize to fit your phone or tablet, the icons and controls will be slightly larger, long forms can be broken up into multiple pages etc. They just work without much tinkering if any.

But, customers want to embed them in their mobile web pages. Since the web page and form are usually served up from different hosts, we have to use an iframe. And iframes are notoriously difficult on mobile devices. It’s doubly tricky for us since the size of the form can change e.g. when the user selects a different Tab or expands/collapses a Section or clicks + to add a repeating item.

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Fortunately, mobile browsers & devices have now evolved to where we can provide this to customers. As you can see from the slideshow above, frevvo’s own Contact form is embedded in our website and renders perfectly in an iframe on tablets and phones. The forms will resize automatically to the device width, they height will automatically increase if the form height changes (switch Tab, expand Section etc.) and device rotation will also work automatically. We’ll be rolling this out in the next few weeks and customers won’t have to do anything.

We’re also working on rolling out truly responsive forms on desktop browsers since we finally have no customers still using [the much-hated] IE8 and almost no one using IE9 either. But, that’s for another article.

Unsuck the Enterprise

PeopleFirst

There’s something strangely appealing about trying to make enterprise software not universally despised. I guess I believe in a utopian vision where enterprise software is useful, usable, and (gasp!) enjoyable.

– Rian van der Merwe in a great post about Enterprise UX.

I came across this article a while back and it really hits home for me. There’s no doubt about it. Enterprise UX sucks mainly because it’s practically impossible for enterprise developers, who are usually under extreme pressure, to prioritize sexy screens and fast page load times. The result is a terrible user experience and dissatisfied users.

Similarly, blindly following the latest paradigm like mobile first also leads to a terrible user experience e.g. Windows 8 on a desktop computer.

Prioritize how people use applications

That’s exactly at the core of what we do – People First Design. Customers use frevvo to create enterprise applications like Employee On-Boarding and Purchase Requisitions. The designer is typically not a professional developer but a business engineer. For our product, that means:

Let the business engineers design forms and flows to meet business requirements. We’ll take care of providing the natural user experience everywhere.

Great looking, highly usable enterprise applications don’t have to take too long and cost too much. It’s not easy to do (even Amazon and Google don’t always get it right in spite of their vast resources). We’ve invested tons of effort in this area. From the obvious things like responsive layouts and mobile aware controls to a host of smaller details like slightly bigger buttons/controls that are much more usable on touch screens and decorators that provide extra quality, we’ve done the work to make sure that your users will get a beautiful and enjoyable UX.

We’ll continue to invest more so you don’t have to worry about it. We’d love to hear from you. Contact us for more information.

People First Design

Nowadays, most business software will sport the any device tag meaning you can use it on your phone, tablet or desktop. But all too often, this means adding some media queries to the existing desktop web application and throwing it on a mobile device. Usually, the result is a terrible user experience (UX).

Similarly, for web designers, mobile first has become the ‘buzzword du jour’. Mobile first prioritizes mobile devices over PCs and other devices. Might make sense for games, social networks etc. but blindly following this paradigm for enterprise apps also leads to a terrible user experience – see Windows 8 on the desktop.

At frevvo, we think People First

There’s no point in prioritizing the quirks of individual devices. Instead, we prioritize how people use apps on different devices and try to provide a natural user experience everywhere. It’s practically impossible for enterprise developers to do – they’ll almost always prioritize data integration and offline use over sexy screens and fast UX. Customers use frevvo to create enterprise apps like Employee On-Boarding. The designer is often not a professional developer but a business engineer. For our product, people first then translates into:

Let the business engineers design forms and flows to meet business requirements. We’ll take care of providing the natural user experience everywhere.

We’ve invested tons of effort in this area. I’ll highlight a few items below. All this works without the form/flow designer having to do anything.

  • Bigger everything: controls, buttons and icons are automatically a little bit bigger on mobile devices so they’re much easier to select or click with your finger.
  • Responsive: frevvo forms will automatically adjust to different screen sizes and orientations. Where it’s not possible to adjust the layout such as a Table, frevvo will add a scrollbar. It’s not easy – even Amazon and GMail can’t get it right.
  • Navigation: Break up a long form into multiple pages using a PageBreak control. frevvo will automatically add Back and Next buttons and enable/disable as necessary.
  • Look & Feel: Decorators & Styles provide that extra quality that makes for a beautiful and enjoyable UX. And, you can customize the appearance to suit your tastes without compromising the people first approach.

Portrait Landscape Desktop

  • Mobile aware controls: On mobile, date controls use the native picker as do drop down controls. Users can sign with their finger on the touch screen. Upload controls can use the camera to attach photos. Geo location uses the device’s built-in GPS.

Date Picker

  • Spaces: these handy mini-portals that come with frevvo look totally different depending on your device. On a mobile device, the user experience is natural – touch large icons with your finger vs navigating a drop down menu.
  • Task List: it looks and works differently depending on your device. As before, the priority is people first natural usability everywhere.

iPad Space

We’ll continue to invest more and more so customers don’t have to worry about CSS3 and HTML5 and can simply focus on their business requirements and be sure of a great enterprise UX.

If you got all the way here, thanks for reading! We’d love to hear from you. Watch one or more short videos to quickly learn more or contact us for more information.