Video Communication Web App

Volley

Volley is a video messaging program that allows teams to communicate and collaborate spontaneously together

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MESSA and its design logo are marks owned by Michigan Education Special Services Association, registered in the U.S.
Volley allows teams to spontaneously sync up, unblock, and collaborate through asynchronous video conversations.

Fewer meetings. Faster work. Deeper connections.

Volley is an app for asynchronous communication that allows users to send each other short videos, called “Volleys.” It aims to facilitate team communication faster than Slack or email with fewer interruptions than a meeting. In addition to video, users can send text and photos.

Volley piloted their iOS mobile app in the Fall of 2020, amidst Covid-19, as a way to help teams meet less and get more done.

Before Volley, team collaboration consisted of drawn-out, in-person meetings and long, context-less emails. The Volley mobile app allowed users to create virtual teams and record short, threaded video messages using their phones.

Recognizing that the future of work is flexible and distributed, Volley tasked Atomic with creating the Volley desktop app. The desktop app allows Volley users to communicate cross-platform.

The mobile app speaks to Volley's idea of the spontaneous work style of the future. But the desktop app enables a workflow that aligns with the current state of work— users who are already sitting at their desks but want to get more done.

When brought together, the desktop app and mobile app allow teams to work wherever, while getting the benefits of face-to-face conversations without the challenges of traditional meetings.

The thing that I always say about Atomic is that if you need something done right and done fast, I know no finer firm than Atomic. Atomic isn't cheap, but good and fast. And that is what you delivered on in this project and in the past.

Josh Little, Volley CEO

Coordinating Stakeholders

In addition to team members Grand Rapids and Atomic Object, this project brought together lots of different groups. Having this many cooks in the kitchen required a lot of coordination and a complex project schedule that balanced several timelines and sets of constraints.
Recycling data from the GR Public Services Department
Dozens of vendors with rewards of various sizes, types, and durations — recruited and coordinated by Local First
The myGRcitypoints information website, created by The Image Shoppe

Volley In Action

We used the Volley app to conduct this case study interview. Check out what Volley CEO, Josh Little, had to say about his experience with Atomic.

Technical Specs

Atomic designed the system architecture and wrote software and firmware for:

Custom Protocol
Reduces required bandwidth and handle collisions, allowing reliable transfer of a high volume of information through RF and cellular communications back to the data collection service.
Gateway Devices
Each is a Technologic TS 7800 single-board computer with a custom RF receiver. They run a combination of C and Ruby on an embedded Linux system.
Web App
A JRuby on Rails application using an Oracle database that deploys to IBM Websphere.
One of the most exciting things about this project is that we got to use Volley as our sole means of collaboration while we were building it! Instead of using Zoom or Slack, everything happened in Volley. It was fun and challenging because we were doing end-user testing on ourselves!

Kaitlin Diemer, Atomic Object Delivery Lead

Results

  • Volley works seamlessly across mobile and desktop platforms.
  • 500 teams and a few thousand users are currently on Volley, split between desktop and mobile.
  • Positive feedback from stakeholders on the initial release of the desktop app.

We used the Volley app to conduct this case study interview. Check out what Volley CEO, Josh Little, had to say about his experience with Atomic.

Atomic provided front-end web app development for Volley using TypeScript, React, Apollo/GraphQL, and Electron. The front-end web app is attached to Volley’s existing back-end. The Atomic team created an automated build and deployment pipeline so that new Volley builds could be deployed to their users quickly, prompting the users to reload their apps.

The Atomic Team

Here are some of our current Atoms who worked on this project. Click their photo to read their bios!

Project domain(s)

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Services provided

Software Development
Deployment

Tools used

Apollo
GraphQL
React
Redux Saga