At aFrogleap there’s no better office communication system than the coffee break. It’s like we’re all talking coffee in the morning. “Let’s have a coffee!” implies more than just that essential beverage to get you started. It’s synonymous for catching up and connecting with people. And that brings us to the reason why we like to drink coffee with our clients: to evaluate our work and to talk about their future of mobile.
from Milieu Centraal is the
in our joint project the Recyclemanager. Lately he comes to our office on a regular basis, so he already knows the way to the coffee machine :).
How do you drink your coffee?
'Black and strong. Throughout the entire day.'
What is your position at Milieu Centraal?
'Since a few months I have been assigned to manage this project we're doing with aFrogleap, the Recyclemanager app. Milieu Centraal is an independent information organization that provides consumers with practical information about energy and environment in daily life. The idea for the app was initiated in 2013 by the VPN and its main members, for example Nedvang and the NVMP, and involves many stakeholders. VPN attracted Milieu Centraal to manage this project. Working together with civil society organizations, the government, the business sector and the media, Milieu Centraal tries to fulfill the role of spider in the web of environmental responsibility. The goal of the Recyclemanager is to help people recycle waste in an appropriate way. With my technical background in IT development, we now work on improving the backend of the Recyclemanager app to make it ready for the future.'
So, what is this app about?
'The Recyclemanager is a communication platform, consisting of both the app and the website. With this project we aim to become the waste recycling platform nationwide. It brings together the data of various municipalities and organizations, which are responsible for the separation, collection and recycling of waste. You can search on type of product/waste and its nearest collection point. It shows you the waste calendar to see when your waste is collected in your neighborhood. All the information that's needed in one place. That's the plan. But that also seems to be the challenge.
Two groups of users are considered to interact on this platform: the municipalities and their residents. We need to convince more stakeholders to integrate their data into the app. In fact, we need to make this more accessible. On the other side, we see that there's a need for information from the user. We want to act accordingly in achieving the goal of making people more aware of how to be responsible for the environment. It's very useful to get feedback from people who actually work in the waste recycling process on how to improve the usability of the app.'
How is the project going?
'The Recyclemanager was first released in 2013 and last updated in May of this year. The project has known its difficult time, but now we're on the right track together. Many guys from aFrogleap are involved in the project, and the hard work of the team and the short communication lines create a good atmosphere. Because I'm quite new to the team, it's important to know in what direction we want to go. From the beginning we have outlined the course of the project. Working according to the agile and scrum methodology really helps to organize the project. We have fixed moments of feedback and retrospective.
At the moment we're not so much working on design and the front-end of the app, but on the improvement of the CMS. This to make it easier to integrate all the data of the various municipalities. The more municipalities support the app, the more people will eventually use it. At this point, the biggest challenge is to format the CMS of the app in a way that all data can be read and that it has the same structure.'
What challenges in mobile do you foresee for your company (or in this project)?
'Well, we want to be THE waste recycling platform nationwide. The biggest challenge of the Recyclemanager app for now is how to engage people; both municipalities and users of the app. We want to increase the usability to make it more accessible and attractive to use for everyone. With a product such as 'waste', this is quite a challenge. It would be interesting when a municipality is able to interact with its resident/app user on this platform. For example, when there is a change in waste collection services, to inform the user with specific information. We can create a more valuable user experience by working with push notifications.
It's a platform with lots of possibilities and thus, it has a great potential. What if users could also interact with their municipality by means of this app? That will make this interesting. In the event that a disposal facility is broken or no longer exists, the app should enable users to communicate with the right authority to support them in offering the right service. I'm not that big of an idealist, but it certainly is cool to do something very useful and relevant that also has great social value.'
What are your 3 favorite apps?
'(Sigh)...There are so many apps these days, but I guess I'm mostly a functional app user. I never use my phone, for example, to play games. I like to listen music with Spotify. But work-related, Google integrated his services well into the Gmail app. With this app I have my work in my phone, in case I'm on the go, which allows me to work anywhere where it's possible. Working together with aFrogleap, I have access to your team communication app Slack, which works great on mobile too.'
When I think of AFL, I think...
'The view in the office is amazing! It's a very inspiring working place. Although there is more than just the view... I'm actually charmed by the 'work hard play hard' mentality. The workload is high but it's not at the cost of the atmosphere. I like the direct communication lines, and there is a great mix of people here. It's always a pleasure to come here.'