OrangeQC only exists because of bad software.

Our founder, Matt Gornick, spent time in college helping a facilities company set up really complicated janitorial inspection software. It took a really long time and a lot of money—and then, in the end, it was so complicated that the company’s employees wouldn’t use it.

The inspiration for OrangeQC emerged from that experience. (You can read the whole story here.) The goal with OrangeQC was to make it refreshingly simple to use . . . so that it would actually get used. More than a decade later, we’re still delivering on that promise.

We thought we’d take a few moments to pull back the curtain and talk about the technical aspect of how we keep our software powerful, up-to-date, and even easier to use with every year that goes by.

What goes into app development?

App developers like to joke that if they tell someone what they do, they’ll almost always respond with: “Oh, I have a great idea for an app!”

Of course, it’s not as easy as people assume—which is why all those great ideas are still floating around, ready for the making. It can be done (we like to think we’ve done it!) but it takes thoughtful planning and a huge investment of resources to make a great app . . . and then again to keep it great. Because let’s face it: if any of your apps haven’t been updated in a couple of years, they probably already feel dated (or have stopped working entirely).

And that’s before we get to planning new features, designs, and functionality.

Our philosophy: Process before product

Our app development philosophy centers around the idea that the user’s process needs to come before new product (app) features. In other words, we think first about what the customer needs to do, then decide how to change our app to fit that need.

When developers just sit in an office and write code based off what they think will be helpful, they’ll usually miss the mark. This is why we think it’s so crucial to hear from, talk with, meet, and watch our customers in action.

For example, many of our university and higher education clients have huge campuses with a lot of outdoor space. For them, creating a work order isn’t as simple as saying “the trash can in Room 412 needs to be replaced.” Instead, it might involve graffiti removal on one of a hundred benches over a huge outdoor space.

To help make things easier, we built a photo map feature that allows inspectors to include a map with a GPS label of where the photo of the issue was taken. Here’s how it looks:

That’s just one of many examples that came about from our conversations with real OrangeQC customers.

How we learn about process

In order to learn how our app can best serve our clients, we need to talk to the people who actually use OrangeQC. (That’s one reason we love trade shows!)

Part of that is about having a responsive support team. When you reach out with a problem or idea, we take it seriously and keep careful records to incorporate common requests moving forwards.

Interviews, site visits, and organizational trade shows are hugely important to us, too. While COVID-19 put a damper on certain plans, Matt has always kept busy traveling around to meet with our clients and hear how OrangeQC works for their teams.

Simplicity is worth the extra work

Our app is a tool. One extra step, swipe, or tap might not seem like a huge deal, but we know that our teams are performing these actions many times a day. Those little extra steps add up!

That’s why we recently redesigned our inspection forms to be easier that ever to use. They’re still intuitive and familiar (no one wants to have to re-learn a tool), but cleaner and faster to use.

If simple was easy to pull off, all software would be easy to use. In reality, it takes hard work, time, thoughtful planning, and a huge amount of resources to design and maintain a great app. Hardware (like the phone in your pocket), security risks, and software changes all the time; just keeping things running smoothly is a big job. Finding and fixing bugs takes time.

Our promise is that we’ll always stay committed to simplicity. We want to be the best tool for janitorial and facilities inspections out there, and everything we do revolves around that.

Want to see how refreshingly simple our software is for yourself? Try a free 30-day trial, no payment info required.