We are starting this article series to share the story behind Visidot, our own startup, with you.
As you might already know, this is the first article of the series. We are going to take you through the journey of building Visidot from the very first moment we identified the need for a digital visitor log, the decision to build it and everything in between. Ready?
A look into Visidot, the visitors’ management system
If you have been following us for a while now, you might already know that we are a bunch of creative, solution-oriented Rebels. We blame it on our twelve years of experience in building various digital products, as it nurtured our entrepreneurial thinking and spirit*.
*always looking for the next problem to understand and a solution to develop kind of mindset
Just in the right moment, this spirit was the fuel needed when the opportunity to develop Visidot (back then named ‘’we have to find a solution for replacing the paper log”) arrived.
Identifying the problem
We’ve all paid a visit to another company or business centre. Most probably, we’ve all been asked to write our name, purpose of the visit, and signature to a notebook or some random A4 format pages left out there in the plain display.
Of course, this wasn’t considered to be something extremely sensitive until the GDPR kicked in. That was the moment when displaying our data on means that were available for all the other visitors and everybody from the company, we were paying visits to became prohibited.
Everybody could see that you were coming to an interview, at exactly 12 a.m when you were supposed to be on your lunch break. *Busted*
As 99% of the companies in Romania, we at RebelDot had the same pen & paper log that was not compliant with the new regulations. So, we had to come up with an idea to make it both digital and compliant.
“We started with a clear vision in mind: to transform our visitor’s experience in a smooth, hustle-free and GDPR compliant one.’’
Building a startup, and especially a new product comes up with multiple challenges. No matter how much experience you have, bumps in the road will always come to teach you some valuable lessons.
- What should go into the MVP — One of our challenges was prioritizing what set of functionalities will go into the MVP — trying to balance the features so we can create enough value and get the feedback we needed from the market.
In order to make the decision, we conducted user interviews, with the aim to understand their needs and behaviour better. The data was translated into several prototypes that helped us decide the set of functionalities that will deliver the main value for the targeted pain-point. When building the MVP, we also had to take two different perspectives into consideration: one of the building administrator and one of the visitors.
2. Designing for business centres — We initially designed Visidot for our internal use. Once we started to dig deeper into the need on the market, we had an epiphany — business centres.
Business centres have thousands and thousands of daily visitors, and keeping track is essential for safety reasons. Once we realized the opportunity, we started to think about how we can adjust the app’s flow to satisfy the business centre’s needs.
Our solution is pretty simple and straightforward: A digital visitor log to help you track, measure, and improve your visitor’s experience — all in a 100% compliant environment.
Apart from the visitor’s flow, we also developed an administrative interface where users can customize the application, gather statistics, and manage multiple locations.
The process of building Visidot
As you might already know, at RebelDot we have a well-defined software development process in place, and our product was no exception to the rule.
01. Creating the user personas
First things first, we had to understand our users and what are their main problems to solve. After having a couple of users interviews, we managed to come up with three types of users:
- The receptionist, responsible for welcoming visitors and smoothing the registration process;
- The delivery guy that is recurrently coming to the company;
- The admin supervising everything that is happening;
- The visitor.
02. User Flows
After we understood more about our user personas: their needs, behaviours associated with the actions, and how they envision the app, we started to sketch the user flows.
We’ve covered different scenarios: check-in, check-out, recurrent visitors, group check-in and check-out.
User personas — checked.
User flows — checked.
What’s next? Wireframes. Right.
Our team took the sketches and translated them into black and white wireframes.
We must admit that we love colours. However, at RebelDot, we have a different approach. We first bring black and white wireframes to the table so you can ‘’judge’’ the prototype by the functionality and not by the shade of the blue on the bottom left corner. This is the common approach for teams that have UX methodology in place.
04. User interface
Once we agreed on the user flows and wireframes, the next step was to select the colours, iconography, and typography.
Following our vision, we decided to keep it simple and as minimal as possible.
– light shades of colours on the corners of the screens;
– clear icons for the admin interface;
– intuitive input fields.
Once we had the elements in place we built a functional prototype and run some tests to gather feedback and adjust the functionalities and flows.
Once we have completed the UI/UX phase, and we agreed on the plan moving forward, we’ve started coding.
Using the Agile methodology, we gathered daily to discuss the progress and the bottlenecks that came on our way.
07. Usability tests
Once we released our first version, we showed it to the world. Making sure we gather insights and observing the user’s behaviour when using it.
08. Launching Visidot
The truth is that, as Buffer wrote in one of their articles until you get that one customer you are blind. You don’t know exactly if what you’ve built reached the problem-solution fit stage.
So we leapt faith and launched Visidot.
Our first client is Cluj Business Campus. One of the most well-known business centres in Romania with an excellent appetite for digitalization.
We were so excited when we saw their first visitor using the app and getting fantastic feedback for the user experience.
We must admit that we got butterflies.
Following the Lean Methodology, after we launched the first version and we gathered feedback from the users we’ve made improvements by adjusting some of the functionalities and wording within the app.
Immediately after launching Visidot, COVID-19 kicked in. Since our product is a solution designed for visitors and the restrictions applied meant ‘’no visitors allowed,’’ it shook us a little bit. We had so many plans, and we were talking with lots of potential clients for our solution.
However, like Rebels, we are adaptable and look every time for solutions. Plus, we built Visidot as an easy to pivot solution so we took advantage of the lockdowns to continually work on making the app better and think about other functionalities that would help companies adjust to the new normality.
As we speak, countries around the world are ‘’back in business’’ and implementing all sorts of solutions to prevent the spread of the new, COVID-19 virus.
Visidot is here for them and for you. We help you with contact tracing in COVID-19 times, making sure you have access to real-time information, across all your offices- all in a 100% compliant environment.
Looking for more information on Visidot? You can visit the Visidot website and get back to us if you have any other questions.