Sunday, 1 December 2019

A month Away to 2020

Hello Readers, It's Already December 2019, and it's a month away to 2020.

2020 is poised to be a futuristic year for Malaysia to become a developed nation as 'Wawasan 2020' goes.

And here we are. To be honest nothing has changed so much. But... for the last decade we can see the technological changes to our society. And especilly with the advent of our phone, now become a smartphone, and the things and services that we can use to excelerate or at least help our live better.

10 years ago, in 2009, I was in Japan, while studying Computer Science in Tokyo University of Technology. So at that time I was also celebrating 2010 also in Japan. I just want to reminessance how much changed of 2010 in Japan and now 2019 (moving forwards to 2020) in Malaysia in technological perspective.

Japan is so called highly technological place, where people are, very highly-class minded, where always thinking forward. They just want things get better. And their works ethic are at the absolute best as worker, to produce best things and best customer support. Thus make their economy turns up. They are details oriented, leads to high quality products. And people like that is quite a lot. They like to do quality works, and also deserved quality goods as well.

Things like good-sense, leads to good work. It's their want to have a good sense of the product, and work hard for it. I think it came from good inspiration and good environment. When people get motivated with good quality things, they will also want to product good quality thing as well.

Compared to here Malaysia, we will produce with the inspiration what we had exposed so far. With the help of the internet, we can learn a lot from outside of our country.

And, what I realized is that not many people in Malaysia is going on the nitty gritty of the technology. Poeple would talk about the A-B-C-D things (the cutting-edge technologies) but usually don't goes deep in to learn that so much. 'Business' people who will use the terms to get some projects or grants, and then find some technical people to execute it, but most of the time the technical people would not being compensate as much as business people. This thing can decrease the motivation for many people to become more technical and more business.

While it's not wrong doing the business, which is about the management, finance, HR, admin and so on. In fact, it's quite important, when you are on the business, and want to sustain and grow it. It's rather to be quite important, trust me, and learn more about it.

However, for those who are technical at heart would like to tinker more about the technology. Well this is also depends on how deep the level technical people want to tinker. Maybe in general, more deep, or super deep. This will determind what kind of product that can be produce, or how innovative the products can be. Surely, understanding things can leads innovation.

So back to the comparing 2010 and 2020 ( soon ), in terms of mobile internet, Japan has long time using mobile internet, in 2010 it's already mainstream, with Japanese old-school feature phone. Nowadays it's all iPhone, or Android phone. Japanese uses QR code a lot in 2010, to access mobile site. Now it's become mainstream also in Malaysia, just about everywhere can find QR code.

And also we have a multitude services based on the smartphone apps. Also leads to wannabes.

On this thing, quality apps and good services win. Take look at Grab & foodpanda, those apps that I started used this year. They are reliable, make things done.

The technological advancement for those apps are not the simple, to make it just work in any given time. And the apps is evolved by weekly basis. It's a living apps, it's on improvment and evolving eversince as the business is keep growing rapidly.

I cannot overstate, that we need to maintain the technologies event after we have launched to the public, the services has to be updated in monthly or yearly manner. Man.... 2019 was so fast. But I would say that 2019 is the best year yet so far for our business.

This is because we have open up the other posibilities in our services: websystem devleopment & depoloyment. We can make custome backend sevices to our client. And coupled with mobile apps make the services even better user experience by bringing it to your palm of your hand.

Yes, the possibilities is endless, and we will keep striving in this mobile technological area.

Thanks,
Hijazi

Sunday, 3 November 2019

UX Design • Laravel / ReactJS • UAT Scripts

Hello readers, it's November 2019.

A bit of reflection for the past month, what's happening inside the business.

More Educational Instagram ( social media ) Posting

We have been updating some of the cool and useful content for general people but specifically for developers & designers alike. Usually the idea came when we facing challenge on our work, and like to teach to more people about the subject in more casual way.

UX Design 

We have been into designing a web-system in ecommerce. Therefore, we have to do lot of researches regarding to this topic. This is especially to gather screenshots from various places of web or apps.

Understanding what's out there, learn and find way to improve something. It's important to understand why is something is build that way. What's are benefits or advantages of something designed in that way. Take those learning into your own UX design as planning for future's development.

In any case, when designing something for the web. We need to have the basis. I mean that we need to have the concrete guideline for designing for the web. For example when designing for web, we need to know how would the web will be build in real. Let say the developer would use Bootstrap 4 framework for responsive style. So as designer we have to get the 'measurements' of fonts, layouts (the 12-lines grid) and so on.

This is because whatever I designed on the Sketch will be backed by the real object. In this case the design of web layout based on Bootstrap 4. So the thing would be doable with default standard. The designed stuff is mostly for planning purpose. We want to care more about the UX, 'what's the flow' (WTF) of the screens. How to get things done, by someone (persona).

Laravel / ReactJS

Along-side with the design, not only layout, the functionalities also must be backed by something real. The functionality of the UX designed app, also being prototype in real technologies. In this case building the web with Laravel / ReactJS or just jQuery.

It's quite time consuming, but it's just solidify the design is doable. So prototyping a bit give a development boost when we ready to move on.

UAT Scripts 

UAT - user acceptance scripts is like the features and unit testing scripts.

We write a note how doing things then what is the expected result. Do we get it right? If yes tick, and give some commentaries.

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So in general, we are getting more experienced in development, we know how to build, but we just want to make it as more plannable, and we want to make sure what would we build is what the client's thought. See, building websystem are not WYSIWYG for now. There is system to build system, but we are not into that right now. We are just using the coding method, but before we code, we have to plan ahead, use visual to visualize what the outcome we want to have.

Until next time. Peace.





Tuesday, 1 October 2019

UX Wireframe

Hello October,

As usual we have some monthly post about iReka Soft business update.

Starting off, with the Laravel + React development.

We have done a development sprint on building a system to improve traditional method from framework-less PHP. And the result is stunning. Within a month, with the help of UX wireframing and UX design sprint, our team and the client has innovate the ideas of rebuilding the old-school system into more modern system with Laravel + React.

Well, Laravel is a framework build on top of PHP. While React is a JavaScript framework. React usually used with other state management system called Redux to make it more complete.

Both of them are the best of its class when we talk about framework.

By combining them, we get a much efficient result at much shorter time.

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We have branch out UX Wireframe as its own when it come to services.

We analogy this with the plan when building a house.

How would we know the cost and the timeline when we don't make the plan of the house. How constructive the plan to move into development.

By having plan with UX wireframe we will get better understanding of what would we want to build.

And UX wireframe is not complete without UX design sprint. A one-day sprint with all stakeholders to solve the current problems. This is done visually, because the software would be visual.

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Conclusion, we have a tremendous year this year by evolving our products, and to identify the important of capturing the platform that is so ubiquitous, the web.

And of course the next step when the client is ready, we can jump into mobile apps, and desktop app as well.

Optimized, native and good experience.

Until next time.


Tuesday, 3 September 2019

August 2019 Update

Hello,

At iReka, we do lot of learning besides of development for clients. We focus on certain jobs but we keep updating with the latest tech and trends.

For example we do learn more about Flutter and Vue. These tech are not officially what we can serve to the clients but we take time to know about the technologies and see what kind of problems it suits most.

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Currently the project we are doing is the web system, for a government sector. The task is to modernizing the 'ancient' system from using old framework-less PHP.

We are using Laravel (MVC PHP Framework) which helps to accelerate the development time. Combining with ReactJS to make the user interface more dynamic, and be able to manipulate JSON more effectively.

Of course, as usual, we started with plan, need to know what is their current UX, how it's works and how to make a new system solve the problem like the current system does. We used 'design sprint' method to gather requirement and external designs. This guide us to make the web program more clearly.

But like other previous project, challenge is still challenge. Some part need to refactorize properly to make sure the app can be developed efficiently and have less bugs.

So here you go our summary what happen in August. It's a Malaysia's independance month, and we are happy that our nation is keep rising and nourishing.

Until next post,
Hijazi

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Summary of July & Early August 2019

Greetings!

Here are some summary what happen for iReka for July 2019.

1. We had a blast with free Laravel class at MaGIC. It was held on 27 July Saturday.




2. We have published Lockem app, an app for doctors to booking locum job.

3. Got some leads to update existing apps.

4. UX job - had a 'design sprint' style meeting to better understanding the nature of business.

5. Ayuh Bangkit - a free seminar held at Brainy Bunch Cyberjaya. Learnt something about business sustainability.


Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Q3 H2 2019

Within a month ago, we had WWDC 2019 and it was bringing excitement toward new technologies Apple to offers to end consumer and to the developers.

I was concentrated for a while on the SwiftUI tech but found some roadblocks into making stuff working as a complete app. So I am eagerly waiting to learn from any course later the quarter.

So after going into iOS development for a while, I was building up the momentum to keep improving current iOS apps. For example Expense App, I made the free version just for people to test out the software before they decide to purchase it.

FaceClock, slight update of making a widget. And the shortcut to open the app. Simple stuff.

I also did App Store apps cleaning. Where I removed some of not so performing apps on the App Store.

On the next app I am working on is on the journal + calendar app which i am being living on with it. It was helpful to track your activities through out the day. And nicely stored as a part in a calendar.

Yeah, I just wish to make the app work flawlessly like native apps by Apple such as Note app.

Other stuff on the experiment is the ExpenseApp as an iPad app and also recently tried out to build for macOS as well. It's a pretty exciting tech as it's just a simple step to make an existing iOS app just work as macOS app. However, I found several oddities some of them are easy to fix but some also seem hard. I don't like to mess around with the libraries which cause some UI problems.

Some function looks like will not working on macOS like export integration to Dropbox directly.

Overall it feels the app inside the simulator. But it can be resized. So the app has to be dynamically relayout every time the user resize the app.

For the servicing work, I dug deeper into chat app. The API, web push integration and also the mobile front end. So what's new is having a timestamp of when the user's last seen on a particular chatbox. This will help the system put an indicator of the room is any newer messages are coming in.

I think the improvement will help admin user who will get the web notification to open the chat rooms page and identified the newest messages coming in without to guessing so much or try and error.

Nevertherless I feel there is more to imporove later like to sort the chatrooms based on the latest messages coming in.

Chat app was build with Laravel framework.

Other thing I did was to deploy a node-js (express app) with a socket.io implemented to test out a react native app. So it was having problem with CORS which prevent a front end to properly connect with the client.

So that's was it the story which happen last month.

Ok, have a nice day!

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

WWDC 2019

It’s time for another month of WWDC 2019.

Some of the eye-catching stuff are Swift UI and Catalyst.

Swift UI helps developers to build user interface in a declarative way. It's hugely inspired by Facebook even Apple don't mention it.

SwiftUI is particularly interesting to me and, I watch most of the videos about SwiftUI. From Platform State of Union to Building Custom View with SwiftUI. I also built some experimental projects with SwiftUI.

The reason I am interested with SwiftUI is because it's seems the future's of how to build software's user interface. Declarative methodology has been used by React and Flutter already for their own platforms. Now it's the time for Apple making their own.

The benefit of using SwiftUI is we can build UI for all Apple platforms; watchOS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS and macOS with same SwiftUI code-base, it will play nice with the environment the app will be used.

Catalyst is a technology to build macOS with the same codebase of iPadOS / iOS app. This will make developers easily port their iOS app into macOS. This will bring up new app to Mac App Store which is not as vibrant as iOS App Store.

Other stuff that also has been announced are iOS 13 and macOS 10.15 Catalina with performance improvement and new features. In addition, Apple also announced their new hardware for pro users which are Mac Pro and Apple Pro Display XDR. Those stuff are really expensive piece of hardware.