UNL – A smart addressing platform for navigation and location-based services.
Smart City app
UNL is building the internet of places. A dynamic, digital infrastructure that brings a new dimension to real-life places through content, context and automation. The UNL technology divides the world into a 3D grid of microcells, assigning every cell a location ID. Adding a smart contract layer, the UNL system makes locations programmable and transactional. With UNL, every location can be turned into a point of sales, delivery or payment.
We built UNL together with their in-house team in the Netherlands, which helped us better understand their business.
Navigation, Property Technology & Smart City
Tech Consultancy & Product Strategy
Looking at the 75% of the world that is badly addressed leaving multiple locations undelivered and excluding business and people from daily economic traffic, UNL wanted to build a solution that went beyond the current street names and postal codes.
UNL is aiming at revolutionising the current navigation and localisation systems. Following a lean approach and an agile methodology, together with the team in the Netherlands, we started looking at the problems they were aiming to solve, from a user standpoint. We then moved on to building a first version of the UNL digital product, an in-browser navigation solution that helped with the validation of the solution UNL was bringing to the market. Having a first product on the market helped us collect enough feedback so as to start working on a mobile application together later on in the process.
Analysis and discovery
To make sure that the digital product we were building was relevant for the market, we took the time to understand UNL’s users, their challenges and expectations, the problems they wanted to solve and the way this reflected into the UNL business goals.
To succeed, every decision made needed to be backed by data and user feedback. Thus, we dove deeper into understanding the industry of navigation, looking at the already existing navigation solutions, striving to identify the features and solutions that could make UNL stand out on the market.
We studied and analysed the best practices and users interaction within the context of location-based and navigation services, created user persona profiles and identified a set of core objectives for UNL’s users: location search and navigation from A to B, creating and sharing first-, last-mile and indoor navigation paths and instructions, contributing with location-specific metadata, claiming a universal address and managing data.
Following, we created the users flows by mapping out the main user journeys and flows and translating them into a sequence of functionalities and interactions, allowing the user to achieve their goal in the most efficient and seamless manner. We started with a pen and paper wireframe provides by the CCO of UNL, and started building the user flows of the UNL in browser navigation platform.
Building the user experience of the UNL users started with the solid foundation of research. We were excited for being close to building a prototype to validate our assumptions, so we carried on with the next logical step – Creating/Implementing the user flows within the UNL platform.
Once we agreed on the user flows, we moved on to creating black and white wireframes.
In creating the User Interface Design of the UNL Mobility Application, we made sure to combine practicality with an eye-pleasing interface that would ultimately encourage users to explore a new way for navigation and mobility.
To validate some of the early assumptions,, we went out and conducted usability tests. This helped us better understand the behaviour of the user in the outside world,as well as the improvement that needed to be done in order to create a seamless, hassle-free experience.
Web application development
Having a validated Prototype in place lead us to developing UNL’s first solution. Development was done in small iterations, dosed in two-week sprints. Since we were building for a market and an industry that is ever-changing, we aimed at building a solution that is easy to pivot, scalable and feasible.
“In making sure that the navigation experience of the users is as streamlined as possible, we went beyond and didn’t limit to existing data for indoor navigation or indoor mapping. We enriched the information we had about a building by starting to augment.”
Alexandru Barsan, Delivery Manager at RebelDot
Mobile application development
Releasing a first version of their product to the market helped UNL gather important feedback from their targeted market as well as investors. Shortly after their first launch, they decided to build a mobile application to encompass and refine the UNL user experience. We followed the same software development process, starting with UX, UI and the full development of the mobile application.