Out and About is on a mission to enhance island life for people of all ages whilst increasing footfall for local businesses. The social enterprise sought a strategic partner to help them reimagine the way islanders could engage with the hospitality and retail industries through the use of technology. COVID has affected many businesses on the island and so the platform is a welcome solution to the unprecedented problem that local businesses are facing at the minute.
SystemLabs add value right from the beginning of a project during the ideas phase. We help our customers grow and refine their ideas so that they can be translated into a real-world solution and that's just what we did for Out and About.
Out and About needed an agile, data-driven resource and a partner that could be flexible in delivering an elegant solution for their business and customers, whilst working towards the mission of creating a social enterprise for islanders.
SystemLabs created a platform that, through the use of technology, connects people with local businesses. We integrated Google Maps directions, at the click of a button, on all business profile pages, in order to literally direct customers to establishments on the platform. Business pages also provide details such as contact number, website, opening times and email. Moreover, we decided that the best way to help users select an establishment was to gather and display certain attributes in the UI, such as dog friendly, child friendly, vegan and vegetarian and more.
After a period of ideation and research system labs defined the UX for a central hub encompassing all aspects of going out and about - places, what’s on, offers, inspiring articles and savings. This project was wire-framed on a whiteboard and designed & prototyped in Adobe XD so that we could really analyse and fine-tune how users would interact with the application before beginning the build process.
SystemLabs made the Out & About mission a reality using Adobe XD, Vue.js and Laravel to design, build and run a Progressive Web Application that is an easy to use central hub where you can find out what's on, discover interesting places, buy tickets for events & activities and read interesting articles written by local experts.
SystemLabs was able to provide a solution that is data-driven, providing insights to participating businesses on where, when and which offers customers are using broken down into their demographics for smart retargeting of certain groups of people that had the highest engagement. In these unprecedented times, data on where people are interacting with others is vitally important to the containment of the coronavirus and whilst this system was not intentionally built for this purpose, its use case fits perfectly. Moreover, not only does the platform measure the redemption rates of each offer, it tracks views on each of the businesses profile and offers pages so businesses can quantify their engagement.
SystemLabs developed a smart QR code system with which to redeem the offers on the platform. Research showed that busy restaurants may not be able to scan the QR codes there and then so we implemented the ability to either scan or input them into the system at a later date using a simple input field.
SystemLabs built highly available linux infrastructure that employs a load balancer acting as a reverse proxy, distributing traffic across a number of servers increasing capacity (concurrent users) and reliability of the Out and About application. With multiple web servers, green and blue deployments the application requires zero downtime.
For our own internal efficiencies, we have developed single click deployments using Ansible Tower. This means that our developers working on the project can deploy the application to a webserver with a single click and no required devOps knowledge.
SystemLabs implemented a monitoring system called Zabbix that provides us with 24/7 monitoring of all cloud infrastructure and application-level health. Moreover, zabbix allows us to keep an eye on system utilisation meaning cloud costs are lower whilst forecasting for future growth. We get tracking and trending data on all web nodes CPU usage, memory, disk and network consumption, in real-time. In addition, we gain insights into the MySQL database operations and performance. We have a wall-mounted screen in the office that is visible to all members of staff and we can set thresholds which will trigger alerts on the screen when any unusual activity, events or possible outages occur. This method allows us to preempt issues and take corrective action on the client's behalf before the issue causes a real problem enabling us to keep our clients' businesses online even in the event of an issue.