How Moovit improved its app to help people with disabilities ride transit with confidence | Transform

Alexandr Epaneshnikov, a 19-year-old Russian student who is legally blind, recently decided he wanted to be more independent by commuting on his own and relying less on his mom for rides to school. It meant taking a streetcar to a subway to his high school in Moscow, a 30-minute trip that Epaneshnikov assuredly navigates with a cane and Moovit, an urban mobility app optimized for screen readers.

“I am very happy that Moovit is accessible and offers a good amount of information about Moscow public transportation,” says Epaneshnikov, who wants to study information technology at a university. The app has helped him meet friends at cafes and restaurants, and take a train to an unfamiliar city outside Moscow to visit his girlfriend’s family.

“I feel it adds more confidence and independence,” he says.

Launched seven years ago in Israel, Moovit has become the world’s most popular transit-planning and navigation app, with more than 400 million users and service in 2,700 cities across 90 countries. The company is also a leader in inclusive technology, with innovative work that helps people across the disability spectrum use buses, trains, subways, ride-hailing services and other modes of public transit.

In addition to offering a consumer app in 45 languages, Moovit has partnered with Microsoft to provide its multi-modal transit data to developers who use Azure Maps, and a set of mobility-as-a-service solutions to cities, governments and organizations. The partnership will enable the creation of more inclusive, smart cities and more accessible transit apps.

Headshot of Yovav Meydad
Yovav Meydad, Moovit chief growth and marketing officer. (Photo courtesy of Moovit)

“Our mission is to simplify urban mobility and make it accessible, because mobility is really a basic human right,” says Yovav Meydad, Moovit chief growth and marketing officer. “Efficient mobility opens a lot of opportunities for employment, education and a better life, and we want to help all users make their journey as easy as possible.”

For Moovit, the work means not only helping rural residents reach cities for work and school, but also helping people with any disability travel. Of the hundreds of daily emails sent to Moovit, emails from people with low vision are some of the most profound pieces of feedback.

“Sometimes, it’s very emotional,” says Meydad. “They say, ‘Thanks to Moovit, I’m more independent. I can now leave home on my own.’ It’s very, very important for us to make Moovit accessible for everyone.”

The company’s accessibility work began in earnest in 2015, when Meydad and other leading app developers met a focus group of people who are blind or low-vision to see how they used their apps.

“Honestly, I was shocked,” says Meydad, who wrote about the experience twice in Medium. “I saw people trying to use our product, but couldn’t do it efficiently or at all, because screens were not properly labeled or meaningful [for screen readers].” In one case, Moovit’s search button – a major feature to start a trip plan – had the unhelpful audio label of “Button 56.”

Meydad took notes and promised big changes. He worked with Moovit’s team and a developer who is blind to optimize the app for the mobile screen readers TalkBack on Android and VoiceOver on iOS. The team scrutinized every screen for accessibility, added useful labels and condensed intricate data – routes, trip duration, start and end times, entry and exit stops – into clear sentences for audio. They incorporated feedback from users around the world with low vision.

“After one quarter, we released a major version upgrade that completely changed their experience,” says Meydad.

The accessibility work didn’t stop there. To ease public transit for people who use a wheelchair, Moovit asked its “Mooviters” – 550,000 local contributors who help map transit systems for the app – to identify wheelchair-accessible stations in their cities. That enabled the company to add a feature that shows only routes with stations with ramps and elevators.

“This means the entire journey can be fully accessible,” says Meydad.

For users with hand motor disabilities, Moovit redesigned menus and buttons for easier use with one hand, especially on larger phones. For people who are colorblind and use color-coded transit systems, such as “the green line,” Moovit includes the name of the line, instead of just a colored dot or symbol, a space-saving practice in many maps.

The company also ensures no broken or overlapped text when a user needs to magnify the font. It partnered with Be My Eyes, an app that connects sighted volunteers with people who are blind or low-vision. It’s studying how to use a phone’s vibration and flashlight to serve users with hearing loss. And it continually works with people with a disability to improve or customize the app.

Man in wheelchair on a street uses Moovit app on his phone
A Moovit user in a wheelchair uses the app. (Photo courtesy of Moovit)

For Microsoft, working with Moovit, who has developed accessible features such as screen readers and global data on wheelchair-friendly routes, is part of a deep commitment to accessibility and inclusion in its products and services. Developers who use Azure Maps will soon have access to Moovit’s trip planner and rich transit data  to help build innovative, accessible tools.  

“What I love most about Moovit is how they’re empowering other companies to build inclusion into their solutions,” says Megan Lawrence, senior accessibility evangelist at Microsoft. “Our partnership can help people across the disability spectrum use technology to move more freely and independently, a key metric for improving quality of life.”

The clarity of Moovit’s live audio navigation also helps people with an intellectual disability who want extra guidance, such as alerts for when a bus is coming, when to transfer and when to get off. The features are a main reason why Community Living Toronto, an organization that supports people with an intellectual or developmental disability, chose Moovit as the platform for their branded transit app, Discover My Route.

“We tested many apps and Moovit was the full package,” says Angela Bradley, director of resource development and marketing at Community Living Toronto.

“It’s not just an app for riding transit. It’s almost like a coaching tool. It gives people the confidence to take transit and open up their world, which can mean seeing friends, getting a job, going to college or joining a dance class.”

Top photo: Alexandr Epaneshnikov in Moscow. (Photo courtesy of Epaneshnikov)

Go to Original Article
Author: Steve Clarke

Alpha Software’s low-code development tool targets mobile apps

Alpha Software has delivered a low-code development platform that allows inexperienced programmers to create and deploy mobile applications that can be integrated into enterprise workflows.

Called Alpha TransForm, the platform allows citizen developers and internal developers tied to the business side of user organizations to turn paper forms into digitized drag-and-drop mobile forms. The digitized forms can be customized using a built-in, Java-like programing language developed by Dan Bricklin, CTO of Alpha, based in Burlington, Mass.

The idea for the product came from the steady stream of user requests for the ability to quickly create forms for data capture that could be customized by someone who was not technical and that could be run offline, Bricklin said.

“We are in this opportune time now where so many companies are digitizing what used to be on paper, which is when you get the biggest jump in productivity,” Bricklin said. “Previously, the cost to write an app that digitized complex forms was too high, and the benefits of taking a PDF and marking it up on an iPad just weren’t there.”

While the low-code development platform is designed with citizen developers in mind, Alpha officials realized they would have to create something with which IT would also be happy. Additionally, they needed to provide some measure of control over the applications being developed.

“IT needed something they could recommend when LOBs [line-of-business managers] would ask them for a system that could take their data and put it into the system of record,” Bricklin said. “More importantly, they need to know the APIs that give them permission to gain access and control.”

Glen Schild, proprietor of GJ Stats, a U.K.-based developer specializing in mobile applications development, has a number of customers with workers out in the field who heavily depend on a variety of digitized forms to collect, analyze and send information back to servers in their respective home offices.

“I have one client with surveyors out in the field looking at ecological damage from oil spills,” Schild said. “They have to take photos and document everything about the incident. This [TransForm] can push all that information back directly to an SQL table. Then, they can talk to their line managers about what course of action they need to take. It has sped up the whole process,” he said.

Schild added the TransForm Programming Language (TPL) has given him an opportunity to offer much improved or new functionality for his client’s field workers, which, in some cases, assists those clients in managing their business.

No-code, low-code development market surge

Analysts believe the low-code, no-code market will see double-digit growth over the next several years. In a recent report, Gartner researchers predicted, by 2024, low-code application development would account for more than 65% of application development activity; 75% of low-code application development efforts will be limited to small- to moderate-scale projects supporting nonmission-critical workloads; and75% of larger enterprises will be using at least four low-code development tools for IT application development and citizen development initiatives.

IT can’t remain this command-and-control organization on anything related to information and technology.
Jason WongVice president and analyst, Gartner

What is fueling this growth is the rapid modernization of the underlying technologies, primarily the cloud and the accompanying application development tools. IT organizations realize now applications created using platforms like TransForm can help address gaping holes in the supply of applications across an enterprise, particularly mobile apps. Such platforms also free up IT professionals to focus on more complex application development projects.

“There is big demand being driven primarily by the business units,” said Jason Wong, a vice president and analyst at Gartner. “IT now realizes there is this new generation of low-code tools they need to look at. What helps a company like Alpha Software here is the big skills gap in mobile apps.”

An increasing number of citizen development initiatives have cropped up recently, some of which started off as shadow IT projects, Wong said. But low-code offerings now bring these programmers out of the shadows, allowing them to contribute in a more legitimate way that could prove beneficial to IT and the overall business.

Wong cautioned, however, that the more conservative IT shops might be leery about some inexperienced programmers using the platform’s built-in language, the TransForm Programming Language, to create applications that are poorly constructed or lack proper security. He advised that, in some cases, IT professionals will need to work closely with citizen developers on the more complex applications.

“The downside [of the TPL] is there is learning and knowledge transfer that must happen,” Wong said. “It depends on the pool of talent you have and how willing you are to invest in citizen developers. Citizen developers already have full-time jobs they are dealing with,” he said.

But citizen-developer-driven projects are the new reality with which IT will have to deal. Citizen developers do not necessarily have to gain IT permission to begin a development project, and many have their own budgets, separate from IT’s budget, to fund them.

“IT can’t remain this command-and-control organization on anything related to information and technology,” Wong said.

While there is ample room for growth in the market, there is also ample competition. Gartner is tracking some 250 vendors with low-code or no-code offerings. One of those large competitors is Microsoft with its PowerApps, its new replacement for InfoPath Forms, which allows Excel users to build applications. Another is Google with its web-based App Maker. On the low-end, there is Quick Base that targets business users in small and medium-sized companies, as well as large enterprises.

TransForm is currently available as a monthly subscription in three versions: Free for up to five users, Deploy Now and Enterprise Rollout. Customers must contact the company for pricing.

Go to Original Article
Author:

For Sale – Gaming PC, i5-4460, Asus Strix GTX970 4GB, EVGA Supanova G2 850w PS

Discussion in ‘Desktop Computer Classifieds‘ started by schillaci0, May 20, 2019.

  1. Hi All,

    Selling my son’s gaming PC.

    CPU:Intel Core i5 4460 3.2Ghz
    CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS10X Optima
    Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
    Motherboard: Gigabyte Z97P-D3
    RAM: 8GB Corsair 1600mhz Vengeance – 2x4GB
    Hard Drive: Kingston 120GB SSD & Seagate 1TB SSHD
    Graphics card: Asus Strix GeoForce GTX970 4GB OC edition with original box
    PSU: EVGA Supanova G2 Gold 850w with original box
    Case: Corsair Carbide Spec-03
    will include a basic gaming keyboard if sold as whole ​

    May split

    Price and currency: £380
    Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
    Payment method: Bank Transfer
    Location: Bexhill on Sea
    Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
    Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

    ______________________________________________________
    This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
    By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
    Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

    • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
    • Name and address including postcode
    • Valid e-mail address

    DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

    Last edited: May 20, 2019

  2. Also have an additional 8GB Corsair 1600mhz Vengeance LP – 1x8GB ram stick £25

Share This Page

Loading…

Go to Original Article
Author:

How Moovit improved its app to help people with disabilities ride transit with confidence | Transform

Alexandr Epaneshnikov, a 19-year-old Russian student who is legally blind, recently decided he wanted to be more independent by commuting on his own and relying less on his mom for rides to school. It meant taking a streetcar to a subway to his high school in Moscow, a 30-minute trip that Epaneshnikov assuredly navigates with a cane and Moovit, an urban mobility app optimized for screen readers.

“I am very happy that Moovit is accessible and offers a good amount of information about Moscow public transportation,” says Epaneshnikov, who wants to study information technology at a university. The app has helped him meet friends at cafes and restaurants, and take a train to an unfamiliar city outside Moscow to visit his girlfriend’s family.

“I feel it adds more confidence and independence,” he says.

Launched seven years ago in Israel, Moovit has become the world’s most popular transit-planning and navigation app, with more than 400 million users and service in 2,700 cities across 90 countries. The company is also a leader in inclusive technology, with innovative work that helps people across the disability spectrum use buses, trains, subways, ride-hailing services and other modes of public transit.

In addition to offering a consumer app in 45 languages, Moovit has partnered with Microsoft to provide its multi-modal transit data to developers who use Azure Maps, and a set of mobility-as-a-service solutions to cities, governments and organizations. The partnership will enable the creation of more inclusive, smart cities and more accessible transit apps.

Headshot of Yovav Meydad
Yovav Meydad, Moovit chief growth and marketing officer. (Photo courtesy of Moovit)

“Our mission is to simplify urban mobility and make it accessible, because mobility is really a basic human right,” says Yovav Meydad, Moovit chief growth and marketing officer. “Efficient mobility opens a lot of opportunities for employment, education and a better life, and we want to help all users make their journey as easy as possible.”

For Moovit, the work means not only helping rural residents reach cities for work and school, but also helping people with any disability travel. Of the hundreds of daily emails sent to Moovit, emails from people with low vision are some of the most profound pieces of feedback.

“Sometimes, it’s very emotional,” says Meydad. “They say, ‘Thanks to Moovit, I’m more independent. I can now leave home on my own.’ It’s very, very important for us to make Moovit accessible for everyone.”

The company’s accessibility work began in earnest in 2015, when Meydad and other leading app developers met a focus group of people who are blind or low-vision to see how they used their apps.

“Honestly, I was shocked,” says Meydad, who wrote about the experience twice in Medium. “I saw people trying to use our product, but couldn’t do it efficiently or at all, because screens were not properly labeled or meaningful [for screen readers].” In one case, Moovit’s search button – a major feature to start a trip plan – had the unhelpful audio label of “Button 56.”

Meydad took notes and promised big changes. He worked with Moovit’s team and a developer who is blind to optimize the app for the mobile screen readers TalkBack on Android and VoiceOver on iOS. The team scrutinized every screen for accessibility, added useful labels and condensed intricate data – routes, trip duration, start and end times, entry and exit stops – into clear sentences for audio. They incorporated feedback from users around the world with low vision.

“After one quarter, we released a major version upgrade that completely changed their experience,” says Meydad.

The accessibility work didn’t stop there. To ease public transit for people who use a wheelchair, Moovit asked its “Mooviters” – 550,000 local contributors who help map transit systems for the app – to identify wheelchair-accessible stations in their cities. That enabled the company to add a feature that shows only routes with stations with ramps and elevators.

“This means the entire journey can be fully accessible,” says Meydad.

For users with hand motor disabilities, Moovit redesigned menus and buttons for easier use with one hand, especially on larger phones. For people who are colorblind and use color-coded transit systems, such as “the green line,” Moovit includes the name of the line, instead of just a colored dot or symbol, a space-saving practice in many maps.

The company also ensures no broken or overlapped text when a user needs to magnify the font. It partnered with Be My Eyes, an app that connects sighted volunteers with people who are blind or low-vision. It’s studying how to use a phone’s vibration and flashlight to serve users with hearing loss. And it continually works with people with a disability to improve or customize the app.

Man in wheelchair on a street uses Moovit app on his phone
A Moovit user in a wheelchair uses the app. (Photo courtesy of Moovit)

For Microsoft, working with Moovit, who has developed accessible features such as screen readers and global data on wheelchair-friendly routes, is part of a deep commitment to accessibility and inclusion in its products and services. Developers who use Azure Maps will soon have access to Moovit’s trip planner and rich transit data  to help build innovative, accessible tools.  

“What I love most about Moovit is how they’re empowering other companies to build inclusion into their solutions,” says Megan Lawrence, senior accessibility evangelist at Microsoft. “Our partnership can help people across the disability spectrum use technology to move more freely and independently, a key metric for improving quality of life.”

The clarity of Moovit’s live audio navigation also helps people with an intellectual disability who want extra guidance, such as alerts for when a bus is coming, when to transfer and when to get off. The features are a main reason why Community Living Toronto, an organization that supports people with an intellectual or developmental disability, chose Moovit as the platform for their branded transit app, Discover My Route.

“We tested many apps and Moovit was the full package,” says Angela Bradley, director of resource development and marketing at Community Living Toronto.

“It’s not just an app for riding transit. It’s almost like a coaching tool. It gives people the confidence to take transit and open up their world, which can mean seeing friends, getting a job, going to college or joining a dance class.”

Top photo: Alexandr Epaneshnikov in Moscow. (Photo courtesy of Epaneshnikov)

Go to Original Article
Author: Steve Clarke

Google’s John Solomon redefines the cloud worker for CIOs at MITCIO

Cloud computing has created a way to work that frees employees from the confines of a desktop in a cubicle. The freedom is not only a boon for this new breed of cloud workers, but also more profitable for the company.

However, many companies are failing this new type of worker, because company leaders don’t yet see the range of employees whose work should be enabled by the cloud. And, as a result, these companies are missing out on growth opportunities and full digital transformation.

That’s the view of John Solomon, vice president of ChromeOS at Google, who was the sole speaker at the “Welcome to the Age of the Cloud Worker” session at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium on May 22.

Solomon laid out his assessment, noting that people already utilize cloud computing to make their personal lives better and seek that same experience at work.

“In our personal lives, we have, without even really necessarily articulating it, become completely comfortable with the cloud as an enabler for how we do things. Whether it’s consulting a map or whether it’s consuming media, we have transformed our personal digital environment and experience to be very dependent on cloud architecture [and] real-time data. That’s actually kind of the expectation,” he said.

Cloud has reshaped work, too, with data showing that employees already work outside of the office. Solomon cited a Google-sponsored study conducted by Forrester Research, “Rethink Technology In The Age Of The Cloud Worker,” which found 94% of workforce respondents reported using their laptop, smartphone, tablet or wearable device for work while commuting, traveling or at home.

From email to job-focused apps

John SolomonJohn Solomon

But the data also revealed that only 43% of employees feel satisfied with the tools their organizations provide to do their work untethered from the cubicle. What cloud workers want and need most is “technology to provide uninterrupted, device-independent” access to the applications they need to get their jobs done, Solomon said.

“More than three-quarters have this expectation that it should just work, it should work uninterrupted, and if [their] device should change, there shouldn’t be a loss of productivity,” he said.

Yet, there’s a different reality for most cloud workers.

“When we surveyed IT leaders, they also feel like they’re playing catch-up, and it’s difficult to continue to meet expectations,” Solomon said.

He pointed out that companies see the biggest productivity gains when they move from the first tier of cloud-enabled apps (i.e., email, calendar and contacts) to cloud-enabled access to job-focused applications.

Turning frontline workers into cloud workers

The big productivity gains also come when company leaders broaden the types of workers they enable with cloud, Solomon said.

He said Google believes that nearly every employee should be considered a “cloud worker,” and not just an information worker.

In fact, he said companies are missing out on significant opportunities for revenue growth by essentially ignoring what he called “front-line workers” — employees like store clerks and waiters who are dealing with revenue and customers, and employees who handle customer-related tasks from their web browser, such as call center workers.

A Google analysis estimated that there are nearly 30 million U.S. workers who fall into this category; Solomon noted that a similar analysis by Microsoft puts the figure at 26 million.

“They’re not getting the technology they need,” Solomon said.

The restaurant industry is case in point. “The person in a restaurant who is most connected to revenue per check is the server, and the server is the lowest paid and least technology-enabled person in the restaurant. There’s an analogy there to think about in terms of all businesses and industries.”

Driving revenue, reducing turnover

Solomon cited a Harvard Business Review study that found that a good experience with a front-line worker drives a multifold rate of purchase and repeat purchase. “It’s a big number and a big impact,” he said.

“They’re under-invested in, from a technology perspective,” he stressed. “They’ve typically been last in line when it comes to technology. [But] we would argue that cloud lets you turn that into a competitive advantage. Give [front-line workers] access to real-time data, give them access to best-in-class technology, and do that in a way that can cause them to be much more effective in their roles.”

Companies that do that could see not only increased revenue, but also lower turnover among their front-line workers. He cited studies showing that turnover costs companies an average of 13% to 17% of a worker’s annual salary.

As such, Solomon advised companies to bring more of their workforce to the cloud and understand the returns such enablement would bring, saying, “It’s a big number and a big impact.”

Go to Original Article
Author:

For Sale – Gaming PC, i5-4460, Asus Strix GTX970 4GB, EVGA Supanova G2 850w PS

Discussion in ‘Desktop Computer Classifieds‘ started by schillaci0, May 20, 2019.

  1. Hi All,

    Selling my son’s gaming PC.

    CPU:Intel Core i5 4460 3.2Ghz
    CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS10X Optima
    Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
    Motherboard: Gigabyte Z97P-D3
    RAM: 8GB Corsair 1600mhz Vengeance – 2x4GB
    Hard Drive: Kingston 120GB SSD & Seagate 1TB SSHD
    Graphics card: Asus Strix GeoForce GTX970 4GB OC edition with original box
    PSU: EVGA Supanova G2 Gold 850w with original box
    Case: Corsair Carbide Spec-03
    will include a basic gaming keyboard if sold as whole ​

    May split

    Price and currency: £380
    Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
    Payment method: Bank Transfer
    Location: Bexhill on Sea
    Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
    Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

    ______________________________________________________
    This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
    By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
    Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

    • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
    • Name and address including postcode
    • Valid e-mail address

    DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

    Last edited: May 20, 2019

  2. Also have an additional 8GB Corsair 1600mhz Vengeance LP – 1x8GB ram stick £25

Share This Page

Loading…

Go to Original Article
Author: