With crude boxes and scribbled words Mads took a crack at drawing Inspire, our latest mobile app, ushering the Falcon platform into the world of employee advocacy. Like dozens of sketches in Mads’ dot grid book this one got us thinking. What if we could build an app to address employee advocacy? His sketch was ugly, but the idea was big.
At Falcon Social, an idea committed to paper is often the first step towards successful product development. In the case of Inspire, a low-fidelity sketch was enough to validate the idea and move, quickly, into defining functionality and assembling a working prototype.
Mads’ original Inspire app sketch.
So now that Inspire is officially a thing, what does it do? Inspire is a mobile-only product (iOS now, Android later) designed to funnel owned marketing content, from existing social connections in the Falcon platform, to the handsets of all employees. This access, coupled with an employee advocacy plan to help identify social media ambassadors, is used to extend content reach and promote awareness of marketing news or campaigns to all departments across an organization. This sounds like magic, right? It’s close.
While this first version of the app is focused on enabling 3 actions — browse, read, share — I’d like to highlight some lesser-known features that make it a joy to use; also, these are a few reasons why I think everyone, even Angela from accounting, will want to participate.
Inclusion of familiar touch gestures
Right now Inspire features one primary gesture: page swipe (not including single tap here). To browse content from your organization you can swipe left, to go back to where you started, you got it, swipe right. This is just the beginning. In the next release we’ll be looking to add a few more: double tap (likes), long press (publish to default network/channel), and swipe down (reveal filters).
Swivelscape image viewer
I just made this name up; maybe it will stick. Swivelscape is an alternative viewing mode to landscape or portrait. When holding your iPhone in the traditional, upright position, swivelscape lets the viewer/user see full landscape images by swiveling their screen to the right and left. It’s fun, we promise.
Content focused home screen
This app is completely hamburger-less. I like Josh Constine’s perspective here: “…many apps still use the hamburger because it’s an easy way to cram a ton of functionality into an app. They’re especially tempting if you’re trying to translate a full-featured web app into a mobile one. But in the end, they obscure what’s special about your product.” This is true, which is why we didn’t include it and why this version is focused on content.
Integrated login and sharing
Inspire does not require employees to sign up with their personal accounts, however, it will enable employees to share to their personal accounts. Inspire accounts are activated once a particular domain is assigned in the Falcon Social platform. Users will use their email associated with this domain to sign in to the app, but all sharing will default to personal accounts saved to 3rd party iOS applications such as Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin.
A peek at the final product.
Inspiring employees to become active brand ambassadors is not an easy task. But with the right technology partner, and a passion for disrupting traditional business one mini-evolution at a time, it is possible. We believe that all employees are capable of propelling content marketing, providing incremental business value and demonstrating measurable results. And while social business is just a pipe dream for some, to us it’s a goal we’re helping customers achieve every day — just ask Stabilo, Henry Schein, Svenska Spel or our Inspire launch partner, Saxo Bank (case study coming soon!).