GDCh.app ¬– App for the German Chemical Society

How We Developed an
App for More Than
30,000 Chemists

01. - OVERVIEW

The GDCh.app

It’s mid 2020 and the GDCh is on a quest: to find the perfect partner to create their GDCh.app – a digital beacon project for the renowned German Chemical Society.

Open App Store

Services

UX Design, UI Design, Web Development, App Development

Client

German Chemical Society e.V.

Project duration

7 Months

The team

1 Project Manager, 2 Front-end Engineers,
2 Back-end Engineers, 1 UX Designer,
1 Visual Designer

Challenges & Goals

The memo was clear – we had a year to create the GDCh.app to positively impact the more than 30,000 international GDCh members. News, articles, and social media from various channels and systems had to be incorporated into the app. Members can create profiles and find their colleagues on the app, which needed to be available on the Internet, App Store, and Play Store.

Our Approach

Due to the complex and multi-layered technical and content-related requirements of the GDCh, we initially advised carrying out a UX and concept workshop. The aim was to fix the final feature set with all stakeholders and lay the foundation for a successful IT project.

How we developed an App for more than 30,000 chemists

02. - ROADMAP

How we develop Apps

Together with the stakeholders, we run through the Concept Phase of establishing wireframes and developing features in Design Sprints or UX Workshops. The wireframes are then refined in Visual Design in terms of color and aesthetics, and ultimately converted into program code.

01

Concept & UX Design

02

Visual Design

03

Programming

How we developed an App for more than 30,000 chemists

03. - CONCEPT & UX DESIGN

What do
Users want?

01

Great content at the palm of their hand

The GDCh provides diverse and quality content for the chemical community and those interested in chemistry. Integrating their member’s magazine as a bookshelf, and numerous articles from other platforms like Typo3 and Twitter needed to be readily available in the app. The aim was for the content to be easy to access and share – so we incorporated push notifications, bookmarks and sharing options.

02

The Social Butterfly

An easily mapped out social network is vital for users of the GDCh.app. Members should be able to share their interests, their specific field, and profile bio. Uploading a profile picture and linking to other social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn were also part of the requirements.

03

Easy Access – App & Web

Available at your fingertips. The GDCh.app needed to be effortlessly accessible whether the user was in the office, the laboratory, the breakfast table, in the train to the university campus or simply on-the-go. With these requirements in mind, a multi-platform app was created with full functionality on both the Web, as well as on desktop PCs, notebooks, tablets, and smartphones.

04

E-Learning, E-Commerce and so much more!

Always looking ahead. As the digital beacon project, thinking long-term was important. The GDCh.app needed to have the bandwidth of incorporating future ideas like integrating training offers or the career service. The design, the system landscape and the technical structure of the app needed to be equipped to handle these potential changes.

The way we work is unique and extremely effective. Within only a few short weeks we had completed the Concept Phase. We had agreed on the vision of the app with all stakeholders, analyzed the data structure and developed a clickable prototype. The prototype we created served as the perfect visual for the GDCh to make their final conceptual changes.

How we developed an App for more than 30,000 chemists

04. - VISUAL DESIGN

Visual Design

Once the Concept Phase is completed, we further explore and develop the Visual Design. This is where we implement the visual and aesthetic refinements to the GDCh.app.



We received a general outline in terms of style from their existing corporate design. We needed to create a modern layout for the social media components. We had to strive for an app that delivered a seamlessly enjoyable reading experience. For example, with users being able to adjust the font size on the app.

We had our work cut out for us, and we couldn’t wait to solve these technical obstacles for our client. The GDCh.app was designed as an app for iOS, Android, and the Internet. We needed to re-arrange the design to include users on desktops PCs, tablets and smartphones- which is exactly what we stylishly did.

How we developed an App for more than 30,000 chemists

05. - PROGRAMMING (FRONT-END)

Flexible
Efficient &
Scalable

01

Simplify with Headless E-Commerce

Thanks to an API-based approach, the front-end technology is compatible with data of varying quality, origins, and languages. It is not tied to a specific CMS thereby syncing with new systems with little effort – making everyones’ lives easier.

02

State of the Art Performance

The utilized front-end technologies, such as State Site Generator, afford download speeds that offer those on the move the best results, as attained in Google Lighthouse and Google PageSpeed. Integrated social media tags make it easy for GDCh.app users to share content on various social media platforms and within the company.

03

We speak: NEXT LEVEL CODE

Usually, a combination of various programming languages and systems have to be used for the Web, iOS, and Android. However, by using the latest technologies, we were able to create a code that works for all three platforms simultaneously. This greatly reduced development and future maintenance costs. Winning.

04

Floating on a Cloud

The cloud has simplified things. Gone are the days of complicated hosting and maintenance contracts. We have proven that through using the most modern cloud infrastructure from AWS and Vercel, both the front-end and back-end (see below) require little maintenance and run at minimal cost.

How we developed an App for more than 30,000 chemists

06. - PROGRAMMING (BACK-END)

Microservices powered by The Cloud

A combination of seven back-end microservices were developed, which run automatically and are responsible for updating and upgrading the data for members, articles, images, videos, login, push notifications, authors and much more. Due to a distributed cloud-based microservice architecture, these services are autonomous, fail-proof and easily scalable.

Front-end

React.js

Next.js

React Native

Expo

iOS & Android

HTML5/CSS3

Back-end

GraphQL

Node.js

Vercel

GraphCMS

Serverless Functions

How we developed an App for more than 30,000 chemists

07. - OUTCOME & OUTLOOK

Digital Future – we’re
ready for you

This traditional Chemical Society needed an app that they could easily take with them into the digital future. With a largely cloud operated infrastructure, we created a forward-thinking, flexible GDCh.app that can be updated to include additional services in a matter of only a few weeks.

30k+

registered users in Germany
and worldwide

8+

supported platforms and
device types

7

Especial Dream Team
employees

0

Planned maintenance
hours / month

GDCh Image 6

08. - CLIENT REFERENCE

We chose Especial for two reasons:
On the one hand, they are very familiar with the JAM stack that we want to rely on in the future. On the other hand, they offer fair billing based on work done in the project phases – agile and flexible service.
I always look forward to our weekly meetings.



- Dr. Maximilian Bräutigam, Marketing Manager

CLIENT REFERENCE
1 Call

a week is enough to solve even the complex issues

All
 Goals

were achieved. We delivered on time and within budget.

CONTACT US

Drop us a line

Address

Especial
Erkrather Str. 401
40231 Düsseldorf
Germany