In this case study, we explore how placing the technology division of your business in the case of specialists can yield significant rewards. Rewards like reduced risk, a better served user base, improved performance, and a faster development cycle. If those sound like improvements you'd enjoy, keep reading.
Meet Nais: The employee reward app for busy employers
Your employees work hard. Rewarding them shouldn’t be harder.Nais was created by former corporate managers who envisioned a convenient way for large enterprises to appreciate employees.It’s now the one-stop destination for employees to access rewards, from bonuses to discounts on entertainment, health, lifestyle products, or anything else from Nais’ partners.Nais is a three-sided marketplace.Employers avoid wasting money and can provide the goods and services of partners as benefits, boosting morale and motivationEmployees get discounts to products and services they wantPartners reach new customers
Crucially, Nais improves on traditional employee benefits by offering choice. If the employees don’t want to use any particular benefit there’s no downside.They can just spend their money on something else.The expanded range of choices makes it more inclusive than older, one-size-fits-all employee benefits (such as gym membership cards), as every employee is unique.It also prevents employers wasting their money on benefits that not all employees will use.
Before approaching Develocraft, Nais had already attracted employers and partners eager to benefit from this innovative three-way marketplace.But with growth can come new challenges. More users and features can put strain on what had been a viable product.By teaming up with us, Nais discovered that they could continue to accommodate growing demand by integrating fresh technology into their platform.By trusting us with the entire tech side of their business, they’ve been able to put their focus exactly where it should be.Growing their business and delivering for their users.
Since Develocraft took the lead on tech in 2017, the business has gone from strength to strength. By the end of 2019 employers had spent eight times as much on the platform and the number of users had multiplied by twenty.And while Nais continue to grow their business, we've been hard at work improving reliability and leveling up their platform with five full-time, dedicated developers.
Putting the User First
After assuming full control of Nais’ technology arm, we had to find out what they already had in place.After ensuring a smooth handover that minimized disruption, our first step was a full audit of the existing architecture.We immediately found two big risks to address:
An inconsistent UX that could threaten growth and long-term viability
Reliance on an older, unsupported programming framework that could lead to bugs and security issues
The audit also revealed several promising opportunities to improve overall performance while facilitating growth.
On user experience, we carried out a total revamp of the interface.Up until this time, Nais’ had been relying on Material Design, which is an open-source design library, for their user-facing components.While this was a fast route to a viable early version, the off-the-shelf components led to a design that:
To address this, our tech team:
Developed a bespoke design library and language for Nais’ entire front end
Implemented it in their current version
Created clear guidelines for new features to maintain a consistent experience.
A ready-made library of components also helps us put out new features quicker.
The result is a clean, intuitive experience for every user and a faster iteration cycle.
As technology changes, businesses must keep their technology up to date.The alternative is to let bugs and security issues creep in as older, less popular, or discontinued frameworks receive less (or no) maintenance over time.Nais’ was originally built and ran on AngularJS. However, the publisher had plans to stop supporting the framework.
To keep the platform running smoothly, we migrated it to React, a framework popular with top tech brands like PayPal, Upwork, and Netflix.The broad popularity of React means demand for updates and support is high, reducing the likelihood of emerging bugs and security breaches.We migrated the platform piece by piece, avoiding downtime. As a result, we protected the underlying architecture without any disruption for users.
Beyond the Web - it’s App Time
Before Develocraft showed up, the platform was only accessible through browsers. Nais had anticipated that most users would access it via their desktopsHowever, our user testing revealed that employees and partners could benefit from on-the-go access.To make this a reality, we developed two new mobile apps; one for employees redeeming rewards, and another for partners offering goods and services.This was a big step forward for employee users, who could now access the benefits of Nais face-to-face at physical partner locations, expanding the reach of the buying experience beyond online shopping.Partners benefited by being able to verify and scan purchase codes, and check account balances and spending history regardless of location.On the shop floor, for example.For quicker delivery, our devs used React Native to build the iOS and Android apps simultaneously. This is a clear example of how specialist knowledge can accelerate the development process and bring products to the market faster.
Managers Using Nais to Reward Employees in 2021
Employees Receiving Awards via Nais in 2021
Awards Issued via Nais in 2019
The key lessons of this project are:
Having a single library of UI components keeps user experience consistent, improves performance, and speeds up the development cycle
User-testing can reveal opportunities to better serve your audience
Awareness of the long-term vitality of programming frameworks helps you dodge issues further along the development cycle. Pick a framework that’s in demand from the big players in tech