DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE/INTRANET OFFICE CHAT APPLICATION SYSTEM

Abstract
The intranet usage is continuously growing, but many companies have yet to advance to mobile intranet solutions for employees who work out in the field. Also due to this, many of the existing mobile intranet solutions are not designed with the office user experience in mind, who would benefit most from the mobile intranets. In the case of designing for office chat system, what would the design look like?

The objective of this study is to find a mobile intranet application concept that furthermost considers the office user experience. In this study, intranet, mobile intranet and design for intranets are investigated. Furthermore in the study, guidelines of mobile design for iOS and Android are examined. The evaluation of three current mobile intranet applications are also presented. Ideation sketches, prototypes and a final concept application are developed based on interviews, literature and feedback from actual office. The results includes findings from the interviews, figures of the ideation sketches, illustration of the high-fidelity prototype and screenshots of the final concept application. At the end of the study, the concept application is discussed and problems that arose during the study are brought up.

CHAPTER ONE
1.1 INTRODUCTION
In today’s times, information and communication is by an increasing rate stored, exchanged and conducted through the internet [1, 2]. Enterprises are rapidly starting to grow their own infrastructures with information and communications through the use of internal communication platforms called intranets [3]. Intranets are used by a large number of companies worldwide to tackle these kind of problems [4]. Therefore, these platforms are seemingly important for the companies in their everyday work, to help the employees accomplish their tasks. In a study conducted by McKinsey Global Institute you could see an increase in performance by 20-25 percent when connecting staff to each other, for example by using an intranet [5]. To quote Microsoft:

In order for a company to succeed, all players must understand its goals. Neither longterm nor short-term goals should be confined to upper management meetings. It’s Business 101. Everyone needs to be working toward common goals. which correlates good to the usage of intranets [6].

While intranet platforms are crucial, the design of them is also of great importance and using an user centered design approach. In a study by Nielsen [7] it was concluded that, when designing with usability in mind, the designer could greatly increase the return of investment(ROI) [7, 8, 9]. In another study it was found out that bad design could raise the costs of the applications itself, with it needing more support and development [10]. It is also widely known, that if users get frustrated or dislike applications because of their design they will stop using them [11]. An user centered design thinking would therefore really boost the efficiency of the intranet while also keeping the users happy and costs down.

Above it is established that intranets are important in today’s enterprises to increase the performance of the employees. Although, intranets are usually accessed through a computer, which makes it impossible for employees who are out in the field to access it. This is where the mobile intranets applications come in hand. With mobile intranet applications, office chat system can access the intranet from their smartphones [12]. This industry is considered a critical point by many enterprises [13]. Therefore, mobile intranets are on the rise for enterprises that have an existing desktop intranet [14].

In the early 2010s, most (80%) phones used by employees in work related issues were employee owned and the number seems to be growing [12]. Which means, the employees themselves control which applications they want to use the phone for. That brings us to the question; why would employees want to use their private phone for the enterprise intranet? A reason for this could be that it offers something of value to the employees and is pleasant and easy to use.

Moving on, this study was conducted with a collaboration from Tech hub and with help from their client Eitech. Tech hub is a digital solutions company and their client Eitech is an electrical installations company. Read more about these companies in the Chapter 2, Section 2.1 and Section 2.2.

1.2 Problem Description
A problem today is employees not having access to the companies’ intranet when working on the field. This can result in the employees not getting important information that they need to take part of or that they can not complete certain tasks that they need the intranet for. Eitech currently has a problem where their office chat systemcan not use certain parts of their intranet and that they can not communicate easily with their workers on the field. Read more about Eitech in chapter 2, section 2.2.

In a meeting with Eitech they voiced their opinion on five things they had problems with and wanted the mobile intranet application to solve. The problems are as following below:

1) They can not easily reach out to the office chat system with important information. Therefore, they wanted to be able to reach out through push notifications to their smartphones.

2) They have problems with getting information from the intranet accessible to the office chat system so they can see what is going on at the company.

3) There is problems with their helpdesk. It has a big workload due to guides not being accessible to the office chat system, so they wanted to make these accessible for them.

4) The office chat system does not have any information about emergency contacts available to them, which they want them to have.

5) Some office chat system work alone and they currently does not have any safety measures if something happens. They therefore suggested some kind of timer function to help with this.

These are the most pressing problems for Eitech regarding communications and information with the office. Since it is the office chat system who are mostly going to use this application, they are the ones to be regarded to when applying an user centered design when designing the application.

1.3 Aim and Objective
The aim of this study is to investigate how anoffice chat application system can be applied to a mobile intranet application in office communication.

The objectives of the study were as follows:

i) Investigate current mobile intranet application.

ii) Determine the needs of office chat system.

iii) Develop and test a concept prototype with good user experience for the office chat needs.

1.4 Scope of study
Since this study is made in collaboration with Eitech, one restriction of this study is that only office chat system from Eitech have been taken into consideration when designing for office chat system. Another restriction is that this study will only focus on iOS and Android OS for mobile phones. This is because these two OSs make up of almost all of the user base of OSs for mobile phones. More detail about this can be read at Chapter 2, Section 2.5. Lastly, this study and project will not produce a fully functional mobile intranet application. This is deemed to big for this study and not desired at the moment by the parties. Therefore, only a concept application will be implemented to show a minimum viable product. A minimum viable product is a great way of showing concepts of applications, without fully implementing them [15].

1.5 Research Outline
This study is structured into five chapters. This first chapter is followed by Chapter 2, which introduces and gives more information about Tech hub, their client Eitech, intranets, mobile intranets and office chat system. Following Chapter 2 is Chapter 3, in which existing intranet apps is researched and analyzed. Chapter 4 presents an analyze of Eitech’s current intranet. Chapter five where the results and findings are presented. In Chapter 7 the study will be concluded by discussing the results, findings methodology, restrictions, challenges, future work.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 60 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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