Case studies

Survey tablet application

Bespoke application targetting Android tablets, designed for students to respond to questions related to an educational programme. React Native, Firebase.

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The two greatest hurdles were both ensuring the tablet worked offline and sourcing/implementing the game as additional features. While both were critical to the application, they were not core to the product, so it was essential to implement them as efficiently as possible.


First, a tablet application was built which used very little resources and so could run on low-spec android tablets. It used a Firebase Database and could store all the questions and answers offline, automatically syncing when internet access was obtained again. Additionally, a web-based admin site was built in order to maintain the question set and view the student responses.​

Off-the-shelf survey applications are available, but none cater for the specific requirements of the project for offline capabilities and a built-in game, such that a custom build was required.​

For the offline capability, NorthLink researched various options (including a bespoke storage/syncing mechanism) and developed numerous proofs of concept. ​

Firebase is used due to its syncing capability and the fact it integrates well with React Native – the framework in use for the mobile application.​

Finally, for the in-built game, several options were considered: NorthLink opted for an open-source implementation of a simple arcade game with the intent for the game to be integrated into the general flow and mechanics of the survey app. ​

This was a crucial feature, as the presence of the game is designed to make it unfeasible for the teacher to complete the survey on behalf of the students in volume, thereby promoting survey submissions from the students themselves. ​

Technology Stack

  • React​
  • React Native​
  • Gatsby​
  • Firebase

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