Valvora - UPRR


Valvora (Summer 2015)

Technologies used: java, javascript, CSS, HTML, angular js

Valvora is a startup that surged from within Union Pacific, specializing in releasing software for other companies. For more information I recommend visiting www.valvora.com.

One of Valvora's most well known products is the Innovation Station, an app described as a suggestion box on steroids. The idea behind it is that companies can use it to stimulate their employees to submit ideas with protected anonymity. Ideas could then be up voted or down voted by other users. Successful ideas would be passed onto the validation stage, bringing them closser to being implemented.

A part of the summer was foccused on implementing gamification elements to Innovation Station in order to bring in intrinsic rewards to the app.

A feature that I worked on was the development of leader boards, or more specifically, an all time leader board (for the top 10 most successful ideas), and a rolling leader board (for the top trending ideas in the last 30 days).

Designing their appearances was interesting to say the least, considering Innovation Station's very minimalistic approach to design.

The Leader Board as shown on my local server.
The Leader Board is currently in production and is being used by over 3000 non-UP users.

Mid-summer, Valvora's interest shifted towards one of its newer products, the Simulation-As-A-Service. Which as the name suggests, is a simulation hub. One of the largest concerns was the simulation download speed, since many had a pretty hefty size. Wanting to make the download process as painlessly as possible, we decided to switch gears from Amazon's Beanstalk to Amazon's App Stream, which would allow user's to stream simulations as opposed to downloading them.

My part in all of this was customizing the App Stream app to be more user-friendly and to have the look and feel of Valvora. One of the problems that the app had was its vague error messages. Whenever an error occured, several error signals would be printed out, which didn't necessarily help the user to understand the cause of the problem. I had to study the app to understand its possible errors and to make them more understandable, with suggestions on how to fix the problem.
Below you can see the finalized appearance of the chrome app.

The modified App Stream chrome app.



Contact me at: flaviarc[AT]iastate[dot]edu