Know your community better: interact, gather feedback, and improve your services.

Info Grove Voting / Survey Module by 14 Oranges

 

Providing services to the community and building a meaningful medium around them is very important. It’s not an easy job, especially when we speak about quality. Sometimes you never know for sure if the job was successful until you ask your community: What are they thinking about?

 

Analyze the success of the event you hosted, the satisfaction of the new improvement you have launched, or in contrast, ask the community. Ask them to support your new ideas, innovations, or to help choose new members and executives – this creates two-way communication that increases the satisfaction and loyalty of your community members.  Consequently maximizing the quality of the job you provide as an organization.

 

14 Oranges understands these needs. We are happy to announce the launch of a new feature in the Info Grove mobile application platform – The Voting / Survey Module.

 

Info Grove’s Voting / Survey Module is a very simple and friendly module which can be used for both voting and survey purposes.

 

Order free demo now Click here.

 

Info Grove framework mob app

 

The integrated Voting / Survey module allows your organization to create, send, collect feedback, and analyze information to improve your services. While enabling your community to vote for their favorite ideas, new members, and executives directly in the mobile application.

 

So, with the Info Grove Voting / Survey Module, you have one simple tool for different feedback purposes which includes (but is not limited to):

  • A survey, referendum, plebiscite voting
    Receive feedback with binding results or not
  • Executive voting

    Simple voting = 1 vote for 1 candidate
  • Group voting 

    Vote for more than 1 candidate for a position, for example, board members or city council representatives
  • Resolution voting
    
Have your community give their approval on your resolutions, either to your full membership base or for board members and executives only
  • Write-in voting
    Allow members to write-in the name of a candidate on the spot

 

Aside from the opportunity to improve your community membership engagement, Info Grove Voting / Survey Module allows your organization to save money by reducing costs on the old form of paper printing, mailing, and manually counting feedbacks.

14 Oranges provides a high-security level of data protection with Info Grove Voting / Survey Module. All information is safe during and after the voting/survey process.

 

 

Info Grove mobile apps

 

My Techy Valentine: Mobile Apps to Survive Cupid’s Arrow

 

Remember Valentine’s Day in elementary school, when it was a beautifully simple time because we were all in it together?

Those days are gone.

For adults, Valentine’s Day has turned into a minefield because if you’re not careful, you’ll get a limb blown off. Valentine’s is a lose lose day- if you’re single, you’re immediately pitied and if you’re in a relationship, you’re panicking about your game plan. Since Valentine’s is difficult enough, I have selected and reviewed some mobile apps that will make you laugh, get you drunk, meet bearded men, and escape awkward social situations. For some people that’s university in a nutshell, but for others, these mobile apps will help you have the Valentine’s Day that you want.

Precisely

Precisely

Drink Advisor for iOS

Let’s start with the obvious must-have app for Valentine’s Day- sweet, glorious booze! Drink Advisor works in the ‘biggest cities in the world’ so I was surprised Vancouver was included. The categories were everything from cocktail lounges to nightclubs so there’s certainly something for everyone. I would suggest adding a ‘drinking alone’ option as V-Day approaches. This app was well designed, simple to use and had relevant information like hours of operation included. I could see someone pulling up the app and deciding on a bar in a matter of seconds. Compared to some other bar mobile apps I tried, Drink Advisor (shockingly) didn’t have any ads. I liked that this app showed customer reviews so you could read honest feedback about places. I suspect this app will get an increasing amount of usage as Valentine’s Day looms closer.

Bars for everyone!

Bars for everyone!

Love Quotes for iOS

Why did I do this to myself? Oh right, in an attempt to present a well rounded selection of Valentine’s mobile apps. After rolling my eyes, my first thought is that this app would be perfect for teenagers and girls who love posting inspirational quotes on Instagram. For the small price of nothing (except your dignity), you can download this mobile app and have access to seemingly endless posts about love. The quotes range from a light eye roll to major guffawing so there’s definitely something for everyone. The app is really easy to use and doesn’t have any ads which is much appreciated but it will only appeal to a certain percentage of the population.

BLERGH

BLERGH

Bristlr Dating App for iOS or Android

Vancouver seems to be in a secret contest to compete with the guys on Vikings for facial hair, which means that Bristlr is the perfect mobile dating app for Valentine’s Day. The app claims to be “light-hearted and fun,” and “really just to talk to people with beards” so it will be less pressure for everyone as Valentine’s approaches. Canadians love lumberjacks so this app will make a lot of people in the city very happy. One hilarious part of the app is that it notifies you when someone recycles the same message to other people. Points for creativity! The app is free so give it a whirl and see what bearded guys are out there. If it goes horribly wrong, you’ll have a good story for the bartender when you’ve found a pub using Drink Advisor.

bristlr

Ha! This girl was notified about the uncreative bearded guy

Red Stamp for iOS

Much to my horror, I actually loved this mobile app. I was ready to hate/mock it like ‘Love Quotes’ but it won me over immediately. It’s a classier (and more expensive looking) version of the Valentine’s cards we used to send each other as kids. These cards include photos, personalized messages, custom patterns and colours and so much more. I emailed a card as a test, and I immediately got a reply saying that the card was really pretty and much appreciated (the recipient is a graphic designer so her compliment on design carries more weight). The free options in the mobile app seem endless but there are also some fancy in-app purchases for those who need to make more of an impression (or might be in trouble).

Invite me to your party!

Invite me to your party!

The card categories are logical which makes finding what you want really easy. The UI/UX design is fantastic because the app is seamless and a joy to use. This would explain why it’s been featured in everything from InStyle magazine to the New York Times. However, the most endearing part of the Red Stamp mobile app is that it has an entire section of Galentine’s Day cards for all the Leslie Knope fans!

leslie

Love Card- Double Picture Frames for Valentine’s Day for iOS

In an effort to remain unbiased, I forced myself to download the Valentine Love Card mobile app. There are lots of free photo options like face montages, birthday cards, and of course love cards. The photo options are SUPER cheesy but in a hilarious 80’s way. This mobile app reminds me of the glamour shots from Napoleon Dynamite so maybe that’s the reason I find it more entertaining than the Love Quotes. There’s an endearing quality to this app because it’s not trying to be anything it’s not. The design and graphics are terrible but that doesn’t matter because you’re having too much fun sending dumb photos of yourself to people. I’m looking after a chinchilla for a few weeks so I figured the 542 photos I took of him would be perfect for a Valentine glamour shot. I was definitely not wrong.

*Note: No chinchillas were harmed in the making of this Valentine card.

Image (1)

Totoro is not amused with my card (BUT I AM)

Honourable Mention

Chelsea Handler: Gotta Go! for iOS

The only reason this mobile app got an honourable mention is because it’s not available in Canada yet. Apparently Chelsea doesn’t think Canadians need to escape uncomfortable social situations. As someone who has pretended to be deaf in one ear (yes, just like that Seinfeld episode) to avoid an awkward elevator ride, I would say that we desperately need the app. In fact, Canadians need the app more than most because we’re too polite to just leave, we need a bulletproof escape plan! Chelsea’s mobile app has fantastic, yet believable excuses which can be programmed to come as a text from someone in your phone so it appears legit. I tested another mobile app that was an excuse generator and they were so terrible you’d be better off saying you got hit by a car or just cutting off the friendship forever.

At the very least, this app could save you from a horrible date with a bearded man.

chelsea handler

Round Up

These mobile apps will all but guarantee you the Valentine’s Day that you want. If you want to be a hermit, there’s an app for that. You want to avoid your couple friends, there’s also an app for that! Mobile apps have allowed us the freedom to be struck by Cupid’s bow or completely ignore it. However, I hope that elementary school kids won’t transition to digital cards and lose the joy of delivering little paper Valentines.

Robots!

He’s ready for his close up

The Tech Days of Christmas 2015

The Twelve Days of Christmas is a festive song that I have butchered to accommodate some of the exciting technology moments in 2015.  Please enjoy!        (a two drink minimum is suggested… go ahead, I’ll wait)

On the first day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

A stylus for an iPad

On the second day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

2 GoPros

and a stylus for an iPad

On the third day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

3 Moto Xs

2 GoPros

and a stylus for an iPad

On the fourth day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

4 Apple Watches

3 Moto Xs

2 GoPros

and a stylus for an iPad

On the fifth day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

5 Apple TVs

4 Apple Watches

3 Moto Xs

2 GoPros

and a stylus for an iPad

On the sixth day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

6 Selfie sticks

5 Apple TVs

4 Apple Watches

3 Moto Xs

2 GoPros

and a stylus for an iPad

On the seventh day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

7 Oculus Rifts

6 Selfie sticks

5 Apple TVs

4 Apple Watches

3 Moto Xs

2 GoPros

and a stylus for an iPad

On the eighth day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

8 Mobile apps

7 Oculus Rifts

6 Selfie sticks

5 Apple TVs

4 Apple Watches

3 Moto Xs

2 GoPros

and a stylus for an iPad

On the ninth day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

9 Front End Developers

8 Mobile apps

7 Oculus Rifts

6 Selfie sticks

5 Apple TVs

4 Apple Watches

3 Moto Xs

2 GoPros

and a stylus for an iPad

On the tenth day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

10 AI Robots

9 Front End Developers

8 Mobile apps

7 Oculus Rifts

6 Selfie sticks

5 Apple TVs

4 Apple Watches

3 Moto Xs

2 GoPros

and a stylus for an iPad

On the eleventh day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

11 Delivery Drones

10 AI Robots

9 Front End Developers

8 Mobile apps

7 Oculus Rifts

6 Selfie sticks

5 Apple TVs

4 Apple Watches

3 Moto Xs

2 GoPros

and a stylus for an iPad

On the twelfth day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

12 Surface Pro4s

11 Delivery Drones

10 AI Robots

9 Front End Developers

8 Mobile apps

7 Oculus Rifts

6 Selfie sticks

5 Apple TVs

4 Apple Watches

3 Moto Xs

2 GoPros

and a stylus for an iPaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!

Merry Christmas!

The 4 Best Apps for Christmas Shopping So You Can Keep Calm and Jingle On

Christmas is the most glorious time of year except for the headache of trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.  As someone who starts listening to Christmas music in August, I consider myself a Christmas pro.  My rough guidepost for gift giving is “if I want to keep it, it must be good,” and it hasn’t really steered me wrong yet.  Plus, I keep a notes section in my phone for gift items that I see throughout the year so I can reference the list when needed.  With more and more retailers creating mobile apps for consumers, you can sit on your couch in polar bear pyjamas and finish all your holiday shopping in the time it would take to find a parking spot at the mall.  So sit back, relax with some eggnog and start picking out gifts from these 4 mobile apps.

This could be you

This could be you

Or this could be you

Or this could be you

Frank & Oak iOS or Android

The first shopping app I investigated was the Montreal based menswear store, Frank & Oak.  What initially struck me about this app was the clean and simple UI design.  With a scroll down menu and a stationary footer, it was so easy to navigate and find what I was looking for.  I could browse the gift guides and highlights, or I could jump right into a certain section.  I really like how the search categories are specific, such as casual shirts or dress shirts, because it saves you from scrolling through items you don’t want. Also, they have an apothecary section which thrilled me more than it should.  I recommend you spend time browsing the app because it’s not just clothing.  I found a homemade gin kit and a carry on cocktail kit (are you sensing a theme?) which I desperately want.

See you in 36 hours when the gin is ready

See you in 36 hours when the gin is ready

Frank & Oak have items to fit any budget so you can find everything you need without going overboard.  Also, since Frank & Oak is a Canadian company, you won’t end up broke after converting for the exchange rate- that’s much appreciated for us Canadian consumers!  There were two minor things I would change about the app which are the mandatory login and minimum spend for free shipping.  I was unable to add items to my cart without logging in which irked me because most online retailers allow you to check out as a guest.  As for the $100 minimum for free shipping, I thought that was nuts.  One huge push for me when online shopping is free shipping so I would not be able to impulse purchase anything (maybe that’s a good thing) by telling myself I was saving money on shipping.

frank and oak

Overall, this app was freaking awesome because of its fantastic design and range of product offerings.  I can’t wait to do my Christmas shopping using the Frank & Oak app.

JackThreads iOS or Android

When I opened the app after downloading it, I was immediately asked to sign up or log in which I didn’t like. It wasn’t a big deal because I was still able to browse the app but being immediately accosted was annoying and would usually turn me away.  However, when I was browsing the app I found it less user friendly than some mobile shopping apps.  For example, the product categories were very general so finding specific items took more time.  The slider took up almost the whole screen which was kind of a waste of space.  The product categories were relegated to the bottom of the screen along with the shopping bag and sale items.  The clothing and tech items offered on the app were great but the selection wasn’t too broad.  The UX design left room for improvement but overall the app offered interesting products and prices in Canadian dollars so I still consider it a win.  

JackThread nipping at your nose

JackThread nipping at your nose

Touch of Modern iOS or Android

The Touch of Modern app requires a login (much to my annoyance) but I persevered.  Once you’re in the app, there’s a world of cool stuff waiting for you. Some items that lept out at me were the solar powered mason jars for fancy parties I’ll never host and the motion activated toilet night light which will save me from the Boogeyman.  Products are often deeply discounted so getting a good deal on Touch of Modern is easy.  Plus, with so many items on sale, it won’t break the bank. Holiday shopping got easier with this app because you can go to the ‘Holiday Hub’ and select the type of person you’re shopping for.  Options include the gourmet, the adventurer or gadgeteer which then showcase items that that personality might like.  There is certainly something for everyone on your list at Touch of Modern.  Overall, the UX and UI design made the app wonderfully easy to navigate.  

I need this so badly

I need this so badly

Honorable Mention

Sephora iOS or Android

Sephora is heaven on earth so it’s no surprise that their app is just as amazing as the store itself.  They make it worthwhile to download and use the app because they offer mobile promotions that aren’t available in store and you can collect points when purchasing in the app.  The app is well organized so you can shop by brand, best sellers, travel or value sets, in addition to searching by categories.  Sephora has the biggest selection of cosmetics and beauty products on the face of the earth and they have a very liberal return policy which removes the stress from buying gifts for someone.  For example, the eyeshadow stick that looked perfect when I tried it at Sephora looked horrid after I wore it for one day (think glitter everywhere).  Every other cosmetic retailer would have laughed in my face if I tried to return it, but not Sephora!  They took it back without hesitation and didn’t grill me on why I didn’t like it so I didn’t have to explain that it made me look like a truck stop waitress.  Their return policy has made me a loyal Sephora shopper because I know if something doesn’t work, I can take it right back.

If I had to rob a store it would be Sephora

If I had to rob a store it would be Sephora

Merry Christmas To All and To All a Goodnight!

When I’m done my Christmas shopping I like going to the mall, get a Starbucks eggnog latte (pure eggnog, no nutmeg on top) and watch the frantic shoppers run from store to store.  It gets better as it gets closer to Christmas too.  Since you have these mobile apps to do all your Christmas shopping, you won’t be one of the crazy people I see frantically running through the mall.  Instead we’ll exchange knowing nods from across Starbucks as we mock those shoppers who didn’t buy their gifts online.  

I’ll leave you with this horrible Christmas verse:

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a smartphone was beeping, not even an Android

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

Because your online presents were all there

Hopefully this cleanses your senses after reading my Christmas verse

Please enjoy the Charlie Brown tree as a reward for reading my horrible, yet festive verse

I Scared the Crap Out Of Myself with Halloween Mobile Apps and Games so You Don’t Have To

When I was a kid my favourite show was the X-Files (can’t wait for the reboot!) and I still remember the most terrifying episode, appropriately called Home, about the inbred mutant freaks that murdered townsfolk.  Seriously, this episode was so scary, reruns have actually been banned from the network.  This was the first time I ever remember actually being genuinely petrified and subsequently convinced myself that I would be murdered to the strains of Johnny Mathis’ song from the episode. Since then, I have not really been a huge fan of being scared, but I LOVE Halloween.  The most frightening thing for most Canadian kids is picking a costume you can wear over your jacket or snowsuit and or flashing people to show them what you’re dressed as, but that never diminished my love of trick or treating.  Another Halloween-must includes watching Hocus Pocus because that movie is gold.  If you don’t love Bette Midler belting out ‘I Put a Spell on You’ then I feel sad for you.  So now, since I’m old and don’t need my amazing McDonald’s pumpkin pails (we had them all!) and can’t run around the neighbour’s yard collecting candy, I am stuck getting my Halloween jollies from mobile games and apps.  Let the spookiness commence!

They must be downloading mobile games

They must be downloading Halloween mobile games

 

Scary Draw App (iOS)

My first clue that this app was pretty lame should have been the lack of reviews and feedback on the iTunes store.  There was nothing scary about this app, and it certainly is not for all ages.  Anyone over the age of 5 would probably not find any excitement or value in the app.  I couldn’t draw a straight line so I’m removing my lack of artistic abilities from the equation, but it was still meh.  The functionality wasn’t great, the UI wasn’t easy to use or logical and on an iPhone my finger basically took up the whole screen.  I didn’t care enough about the app to try it on my iPad.  One particularly annoying feature in the app was that you had to watch a 5 second ad in order to delete your artwork.  That was the stake through the heart of this app for me.  The only things scary about this app were its dullness and my horrible drawings.

See? Terrifyingly bad artwork

See? Terrifyingly bad artwork

IMG_5417

This is a witch hat. Please note why I am NOT an artist

 

Little Fear Book App (iOS)

What a cool idea for a book!  I loved the whole format and thought it was a really cool idea for a Halloween type app.  Combining a book in a playful and creepy way was unexpected and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.  I loved that as you were reading, shapes would emerge from the page and scary noises would erupt at certain times. The book wasn’t too long, but it was written a little ‘old style’ so it added another level to the ghost story.  Also, the sounds of children’s laughter in the dark is always alarming which was a nice touch.  The graphics were good, there was no learning curve and the story was short.  Great idea, cool format and interesting story.  I’m excited to see the next version of this app.

Blood!

Blood!

Forest 2 iOS or Android

This game is every reason why I hate nature.  The sounds of your feet on the ground, the stillness in the air, it was all too real but this time I was getting hunted by a ghost.  It didn’t help that it was dark at home when I played this game and nearly screamed when the ghost girl appeared in front of me.  I was too chicken to watch The Ring when it first came out and I certainly don’t regret that decision.  The controls were pretty easy to learn, although one reviewer suggested removing one control and just using it like a joystick. I didn’t find too much difference so, to each his own.  The graphics were really good and the overall feel was scary and ominous. I couldn’t tell you anything about the graphics on the girl because I was too busy looking away.  

See?! Nothing good can come from this

See?! Nothing good can come from being in the woods at night

forest 2-2

Nope! I’m outta here

Bloody Mary Ghost Adventure (iOS)

I almost gave up on this game because it kept crashing when I opened it. Turns out the game was trying to save me from myself.  When I finally got it working I was all set to finally hunt ghosts and find out which rooms were haunted.  I randomly chose a room and when the door opened a ghost screamed and jumped out at me which was so freaky I ripped my headphones out and had to take a breather until my heart rate went back to normal.  I may have found this game super scary because in elementary school people would turn off the lights and try to conjure Bloody Mary.  To my knowledge she never appeared but it made me on high alert when I went into the bathroom.  The game was really easy to figure out and there were a bunch of rooms to choose from as well as pieces to collect along the way.  The graphics were good and the sound effects really added to the scary vibe.  I loved this game and would recommend it for anyone!

bloody mary

This wasn’t even the part that scared me the most

bloody mary2

I was hoping there would be Bloody Mary drinks inside the house instead

Honorable Mentions

The Abandoned School (iOS)

Cool idea, interesting horror movie style that would work well if I was able to figure it all out. I make it past like one challenge and felt like a hero but couldn’t do anything else.  Good graphics and sound effects but hopefully you’re smarter than I was.

I never made it out of this stairwell

I never made it out of this stairwell

iDrakula (iOS)

I’m not sure why there’s a ‘K’ used in the title so I’m going to make a leap and assume it’s somehow related to the Kardashians (seems fitting for a creature that sucks life from people).  This game was supposed to include text, email and voicemail but since I was too cheap to buy the upgrades it was pretty much just some texts and emails.  Really cool modern Halloween idea that would more exciting if I bought the upgrades.  

I guess Dracula doesn't lock his phone

I guess Dracula doesn’t lock his phone

Haunted Manor 2 – The Horror Behind the Mystery (iOS)

This game made me feel like a complete moron.  I couldn’t solve any of the clues or puzzles even AFTER I looked up some cheats.  I spent way too much time trying to solve some stupid puzzle that involved moving tiles around and the iron bar wouldn’t detach from the gate like it was supposed to.  I completely failed at this and I hope you can do better.

The fence I couldn't figure out how to open

The fence I couldn’t figure out how to open

 

Halloween is a glorious time of year so you need to take advantage of it by scaring yourself with mobile apps and games.  After you play these games and you can thank me for this super classy “Ultimate Guide to Pairing Wine and Halloween Candy” which your friends can use to coax you off the ground when you’re curled in a terrified ball.  

Happy Halloween!

hocus pocus

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started my Career as a Developer

14 Oranges is extremely passionate about creating a better community for developers in Vancouver.  We got together to brainstorm 10 things we wished we’d known before starting our careers as devs and presented it to the awesome students at Lighthouse Labs so they wouldn’t make the same mistakes the rest of us did!  Check out the video for:

  • Pros and cons of small and large companies
  • Tips and tricks for job hunting and interviews
  • Networking
  • Work-life balance and more!

*Start the video at 3:18 to see Shane and Sasan’s grad photos!