Gear is an iPad app for managing the inventory and scheduling of video and audio gear at the Portland non-profit organization, Northwest Film Center. This post is an overview of the app’s purpose and functionality. The goal in making the app was to reduce the time it takes to schedule and check out gear, do so with fewer scheduling mistakes and keep the process simple and intuitive for the sake of training new staff and interns. The app is in use at Northwest Film Center and since introducing it, the time it takes to reserve and check out gear fell to 25% from what it was before. As an iPad app, it allows users the mobility of handling gear while moving from classroom to classroom as they are using it. The app can run on any number of iPads and all users can see and edit the current data (although it is a native iOS app, it requires a persistent network connection). The iPad also makes it possible to capture the signatures of customers and to scan QR codes attached to equipment.
The image above is the daily itinerary view. It displays the scheduled transactions for the day and enables a user to sort and filter the list, update the status of a reservation or make changes to it. The following image shows a page from monthly tracking sheet: a spreadsheet listing the complete inventory of gear, documenting the daily usage for each item. Colors are consistent between the views, they indicate the type of user: student, teacher, staff, etc.
00:00 - 00:46 — Creating a new equipment request.
00:46 - 01:21 — Viewing and editing the gear reservations from the ‘day’ view.
01:21 - 01:39 — Marking gear for the request as prepped from the ‘day’ view.
01:39 - 02:08 — Viewing and editing the request from the ‘month’ view.
02:08 - 02:31 — Emailing a reservation confirmation to a customer from the ‘inbox’ view.
02:31 - 03:14 — Marking gear as checked out and capturing a customer signature from the ‘day’ view.
03:14 - 03:36 — Filtering the list of requests from the ‘day’ view.
Note that there is no sound on the video
Future posts will describe the design patterns and coding approaches I am using in the app. Gear was made to suit the needs of a specific organization. An updated version meant for wide release in the App Store is in progress.