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Kaleigh Collett

Client Spotlight: Code of Support’s PATRIOTlink

By DevelopmentNo Comments

Code of Support Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization founded to provide critical one-on-one assistance to struggling service members, veterans, and their families who have the most complex needs. Co-Founders Kristina Kauffman and Major General Alan Salisbury recognized that the mental impact of serving our country, on soldiers and their families, was not being effectively addressed. Because of this they created Code of Support Foundation, and subsequently, the PATRIOTlink® service.  

Teaming Up to Help Veterans

Code of Support Foundation (COSF) recently engaged the Bytelion Team to help them mobile-enable and re-launch PATRIOTlink.  PATRIOTlink is a service offered by COSF that was created to help service members, veterans, and their families find available resources in their area.  The goal for the service is to create a “one-stop shop” to find vetted, direct, and cost-free services for issues such as homelessness, mental health, unemployment and more. After consulting with COSF to understand their objectives, the team decided to provide critical updates to the existing site while concurrently developing a brand new platform to deliver a fresh modern design, mobile-ready experience, and additional features to support large organizations.

The Software Dilemma

PATRIOTlink is not the only service that offers search-based resource navigation for veterans.  However, other options are very difficult to use and often include programs that no longer exist or are no longer accepting new clients. One thing that sets PATRIOTlink apart from these sites is that all the services listed go through a two-phase verification process prior to being released to users.  All services are then re-verified on a regular basis to make sure the information on the site is always accurate and reputable.

Bytelion Blog PATRIOTlink History Input Page

The new platform allows users to sign up for a free account that grants them access to unlimited searches on the site.  When a user signs up for an account, they are asked to enter basic information about themselves, their military service and what they need help with currently. The software then takes this information and searches through thousands of verified providers to return the most useful results in their area. 

The Solution

The new site officially went live to the public in July, and the feedback has been incredibly positive.  Employees at Code of Support Foundation have been thrilled with how much easier it is to input new service providers and move them through the vetting process. Bytelion’s ability to improve workflow in the system and streamline the user interface allows COSF employees to do their job with ease! Data is better organized, which in turn lets users find the help they need more efficiently.

The Future

The team plans to continue working with PATRIOTlink through the end of 2019. Addressing the needs of large organizations remains a top priority for the development of the product.  Enterprise-level accounts include support for regional and national organizations with many physical points of presence and larger teams of people supporting the needs of service members, veterans, and their families.  Critical to managing these larger service organizations is the ability to optimize the deployment of resources. This is made possible by understanding where supply is not meeting demand and identifying the appropriate service criteria required. 

We thank Code of Support Foundation for entrusting us with this project.  We look forward to continuing to support PATRIOTlink in the coming months.  If you would like to know more about how we can help your company, contact us today!

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Custom App or Responsive Web: Which is for you?

By DevelopmentNo Comments

It should come as no surprise that mobile is taking over consumers’ daily lives. With approximately 48.7% of all web traffic coming from mobile devices in 2019, it is important to ask: is your company’s web presence optimized for the mobile? There are many ways to ensure your audience gets the most out of their mobile experience. The two ways we will discuss are responsive web versus a custom app.  

When Responsive Web Makes Sense

It is important to consider the goal of your mobile presence before you dive into the development process.  If you are interested solely in increasing brand awareness, a responsive site may be the more practical option.  Responsive design gives your current website the ability to detect a visitor’s screen size and adapt to fit it. Custom App Blog Responsive Web example of iPhone and LaptopBy using flexible layouts and images, each visitor is given the best view of your current site for their device. The best way to see this design in action is to pull up the same site on your desktop and your mobile device, then inspect the similarities.

While a responsive website is great for mobile outreach, we must understand that it is limited in the experience it can provide. Responsive web falls behind in performance and personalization.  Mobile users tend to have different goals than desktop users when they are on the web. Therefore, the software that they utilize should be altered to match these goals. Mobile users are more task-oriented, utilizing their phones to complete specific transactions rather than surfing for information. 

Benefits of Apps

While it does require more time and capital to create an app, there are obvious scenarios when the benefits outweigh the costs. Based on a study done by Comscore, more than 80% of mobile minutes are spent on apps. Mobile apps are far superior when it comes to completing complex tasks.  Apps are specifically designed with the user’s end goals in mind.  This makes their experience with the company more pleasant and personalized. Regardless if your app is a native or cross-platform design, there are several occasions when apps are superior.

  1. Using Complex Data– Apps are equipped to handle mass amounts of data that users input. Not only are they able to hold this data, but apps can manipulate the data using complex calculations to create easy to read charts or reports about its users. Custom App Blog Complex Data Example
  2. Increased Functionality– Because apps are downloaded directly onto the device, they have the ability to utilize the phone’s tools to complete tasks.  The app is able tosend users push notifications, utilize camera and microphone capabilities, and more to enhance the user’s experience. 
  3. Accessibility & Security– One huge benefit of apps is they don’t always require an internet connection to access important information. Due to the fact that the content is downloaded on your device, some portions of apps can be accessed at any time. Websites, on the other hand, always require connection.  The content in apps is also protected from third-party interventions possible on the internet. 

The Right Choice 

While there are many benefits to each option, your company’s goals will help decide between an app or website.  If you are only interested in increasing reach and visibility, a responsive website can be an affordable option. If you want a greater understanding of and engagement with your customer base, a personalized app can bring your company to the next level.  The team at Bytelion can help your company create a beautifully designed application that harnesses complex data to maximize user experience on mobile devices. Contact us today to see how we can bring your vision to life.

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Why You Should Hire a Domestic Development Team

By DevelopmentNo Comments

For both startups and enterprises alike, it is common for companies to outsource their software development needs to teams abroad. The draw of these teams is that they can offer their skills at a lower price. However, is cost-cutting worth losing the multitude of benefits from being in close proximity to your development team? The opportunity to hire a domestic development team is key to future success and growth of your company. 

Look No Further than Your Own Backyard

The United States has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the past few years promoting STEM programs in public education.  We are dedicated to nurturing the next generation of tech experts, including software developers. Baltimore, specifically, is ranked 5th in the top 10 cities for growing startups in the US by Forbes. When it comes to cost, companies might cite that offshore development shops are more affordable. However, there is data to support the fact that the gap between foreign and domestic development prices is decreasing

Advantages of Domestic Software Development

  1. Reduced Development Time When you work with a domestic developer, it is less likely that you will run into frequent roadblocks or errors in code.  By being able to clearly communicate with your development team on a continual basis, the time to market for your software is decreased significantly.  Both parties are able to easily share ideas and iterations without delay. If you work with Byte.lion, we strive to be reachable any time of day. Using tools such as Slack allows us to constantly engage and address the issues our customers face. We want our customers to be in constant communication with our staff  for them to feel confident in our work.  We also want them to have constant input and understanding of the work being done.Why Hire Domestic Software Blog Embedded Image. Development team with computers around a table.
  2. Hands On Attention When you work with a domestic development team, you areable to put a face to the names.  Rather than feeling disconnected from people that live on the other side of the world, you are able to collaborate with your developers through face to face or online interaction. This allows you to have greater rapport with the team, and can spur more fruitful collaboration. Byte.lion begins projects with a face-to-face on-boarding session to establish priorities, finalize a meeting cadence, and introduce your team to our team. An offshore development group cannot provide the hands-on resources that a domestic company can. 
  3. Higher Quality Work– Domestic software developers are aware that their offshore counterparts are cheaper.  This simple fact drives them to work harder to prove their value. Domestic developers are also groomed in the top software companies and educational programs in the world. This allows them to apply a plethora of skills and knowledge to your project. 

The Choice is Clear

While offshore development may seem great in theory, domestic development can be more effective in practice.  At Byte.lion, we take pride in our US-based staff.  We feel that it sets us apart from competitors and allows us to do our job more effectively.  We are fiercely dedicated to providing superiorly designed products while including the customer in every step of the process.  If you would like to learn more about how we can help you today, please visit our website or contact us here.