NodeConf.EU 2018 App now available for conference attendees!

The sign-in screen of the NodeConf.EU 2018 App

This year we are really excited to launch the NodeConf EU App!

We have put together a Progressive Web App (PWA) to enhance the NodeConf.EU conference attendance experience. The application is built with two users in mind – the conference attendees and the conference organisers. It is designed to help bridge the gap between both of these users.

What features does it have?

The App lets you get the most up-to-date conference schedule synced to your personal devices. It also continues to work when offline; so conference attendees can still interact with and see the timetable even if there is poor Wifi.

 

The timetable within the App.
The timetable within the App

The conference organisers can also send out notifications to attendees from the App when there is a change in schedule or when something important is happening. For example, a last minute talk change or update, a workshop location change or a change to the evening entertainment!

The App allows organisers to send important updates to conference attendees; as long as they have installed the App!

The notifications feed within the App
The notifications feed within the App

How we built it

We built the App using a design-led approach; this gives it a great look and feels out of the box. Our main concern was making this a great conference experience for all attendees and the attention to usability shines through in the App!

Design screens for the App showing the carefully designed user flow to bring the best experience to our attendees.
Design screens for the App showing the carefully designed user flow to bring the best experience to our attendees

The App has been built using the technology Node.js developers have come to love, as it’s Javascript all the way down. With a React frontend and a Fastify Node.js backend; even using some of the same technology that’s powering the npm registry, (couchdb!) it is something that developers attending the conference can understand and appreciate.

Why build this?

This is a demonstration of some of the latest App development technology. You can create Web applications with the tools you know and love, like React, Vue and so on. These Web applications can be “installed” on mobile devices (both Android and Apple IOS devices) and behave similarly to native applications. There are of course limitations since this is a newer technology that is not as mature as native application development. However, it is expected that over time as more users adopt the technology and feature support is added, this can become one of the many commonplace tools in the Web developer or full stack developer toolbelt.

The benefit of building a PWA over a regular native app is that you can get a native experience very easy and the barrier for entry for creating one (at least for Web developers) is much lower. A PWA does not need to be installed via an App Store, so there is no need for publishing licences from the various vendors. There is no need to worry about vendor lock-in either as this is written for the Web it is cross-platform out of the box.

Finally…

A special thank you to everyone involved in the development, design, deployment and management of this App including…Nigel Hanlon, Joy Burke, Jeff Simons, Ivan Frantar, Alex Knol, Jack Clark, Jhey Tompkins, Arur Daschevici, Brian Mullan, Eduardo Barredo, Will Gross, Conor O Neill and Hélène Haughney.

I’d like to thank NearForm for providing us with the resources to create the App and the Marketing and Events teams for being a brilliant and patient customer!

As a final note, we want to let the Community know we plan to open source the App after the conference. Everyone can have the opportunity to leave feedback and potentially reuse this App for their own conference!

For more information on PWAs check out our Blog series on PWAs.

Alex Kotliarskyi

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