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Mentor Graphics /​Siemens: Time Tracker Mobile Application 

Men­tor Graph­ics (now Siemens) engaged GRAYBOX to cre­ate a sys­tem that would bet­ter man­age the time entries of their staff. After sev­er­al in-depth meet­ings going over the vision for what Men­tor Graph­ics was seek­ing, GRAYBOX came to the con­clu­sion that an appli­ca­tion that tracks engage­ment and time entries would be ide­al for their purposes.

Overall Outcome

Employ­ees were able to input time con­sis­tent­ly with­in a sys­tem designed spe­cif­ic to the needs of Men­tor Graphics.

The Results

GRAYBOX worked with the Men­tor Graph­ics team to cre­ate a struc­tural­ly unique and flex­i­ble appli­ca­tion that improved employ­ee engagement.

  • 7
    Device Configurations
  • 5
    Different Data Types
  • 3
    Significant Data Inputs / Components

The Overall Problem

Digital sales tools afford managers the ability to see everything that’s happening in a sales pipeline in real-time to empower them to take action. This bird's-eye view is vital for businesses to thrive. Without visibility, sales managers can’t manage people or measure results. The app was meant to serve the sales team by making everything simple and repeatable.

When Mentor Graphics, now Mentor, came to GRAYBOX, their staff was using an internal time tracking tool that staff found cumbersome and which didn’t grant management the visibility they needed to track sales efforts. Mentor Graphics engaged GRAYBOX for the ability to create UX/UI interfaces and digital business tools. Mentor Graphics needed a firm to that would partner closely with their sales team, building something custom and tailored to the unique needs of their business.

We’ve been pleased with our part­ner­ship with GRAYBOX. Your team is con­sis­tent­ly knowl­edge­able and very help­ful in our projects.

Ron Fuller, Web Services Manager, Mentor

Our Solution

1. Deep Dive Into User Needs

The most successful apps always start with a deep understanding of the needs of the user. Focus group and survey data was gathered from their sales team so the GRAYBOX development team could have a more focused understanding what’s needed for the app and ensure the sales team was directly informed how the app worked.

2. UX/UI Driven By User Requirements

The user experience design of the app was crafted to match the workflow of the Mentor Graphics sales team. Click paths, menu organization, and functionality were all dictated by what the team needed.

3. Structure Informed by Data Requirements

We integrated five different data types across two major systems to form our final data structure for the app. The client needed the app coded in React, and GRAYBOX’s dev team took it upon ourselves to learn and engineer the entire system in this programming language.

4. Common Core of Code Across Interfaces

To optimize efforts and streamline our back end coding workflow, we worked hard to build a core code set that we could pull from across all interfaces. Between the mobile apps, the vast majority of it is common with just a wrapper to differentiate between the various device sizes and OS. Some of the code is reused in the web app as well. This is in contrast to other cross-platform and cross-device apps which are often built mostly from scratch for each device, leading to a costly and complicated iterative workflow.

It was our plea­sure to work with Men­tor Graph­ics pri­or to the Siemens acquis­tion — we worked as an over­flow to their inter­nal web ser­vices team, build­ing pow­er­ful and tight­ly inte­grat­ed inter­nal line of busi­ness tools like their time track­er application.

Paul Weinert, Managing Principal / Founder at GRAYBOX

Our Services

GRAYBOX worked with Mentor Graphics to create an app transforming their business operations along with other services.

Our Results

The Mentor Graphics sales team saw a significant drop in time in app to record time entries – freeing up salespeople to focus on what they’re good at and work on getting results for the company.

GRAYBOX made three significant components: a core API with data store in the cloud, iOS and Android apps that connected to the API, and a website that connected to the API. The app was built to function on seven different device configurations: iPhone, iPad, Android Mobile, Android Tablet, and within a browser on Mobile, Tablet and Desktop screens.

One of the new features we added to the app was the ability for users to create multi-day time entries – if they’re working on one client for multiple days or weeks, the can enter all their time in one fell swoop. The final app has a UX that is designed exactly for the people who are using it. It’s elegant, fast and intuitive and presents click-paths with the least amount of friction to complete time entries.

  • 7
    Device Configurations
  • 5
    Different Data Types
  • 3
    Significant Data Inputs / Components