Big Nerd Ranch

2 min read

May 3, 2017

Big Nerd Ranch Demonstrates Leadership with the U.S. Navy

The new iPad app replaces the previous system of handwritten notes taken on a clipboard.

Big Nerd Ranch, known globally for its highly effective immersive application development bootcamps and app development services, announced the successful development and execution of a mission-critical application used by U.S. Navy pilots during flights.

“This was an important client with unique challenges,” said Aaron Hillegass, Big Nerd Ranch CEO. “We believe no one else other than Big Nerd Ranch could have taken it on and succeeded like we did.”

Using their best-in-class app development and design standards, Big Nerd Ranch replaced the Navy’s outdated “kneeboard” note-taking and flight information process (operating from a literal clipboard on the pilot’s knee) with an electronic kneeboard application running on an iPad. With the launch of this project, Big Nerd Ranch provided the framework for future UI and development at the Navy.

Design of the app was a key element of this project. Big Nerd Ranch’s design team leveraged industrial design as well as UX/UI design to create an app that could easily be used by pilots seated within the cockpit of an airplane.

The team overcame several challenges:

  • The iPad app had to be visible in both bright light and at night
  • All components had to be tethered in order to prevent foreign object debris that could seize critical aircraft components
  • Pilots needed to be able to use a touchscreen while wearing gloves
  • Important flight docs and maintenance info needed to be easily reviewed and updated
  • The app needed to provide user feedback to confirm that the app worked even in noisy, vibrating conditions

Big Nerd Ranch took on these challenges and delivered solutions that met the client’s needs:

  • Delivered an app that gives user feedback through innovative UI animations
  • Created a streamlined navigation and intuitive display that lets pilots efficiently enter data and easily find the info they need
  • Built a design that works not just in daylight, but also in moonlit and night vision modes
  • Suggested anti-glare and polarized lenses to prevent glare
  • Identified a stylus that will work effectively with the pilots’ gloves

About Big Nerd Ranch

Established in 2001, Big Nerd Ranch specializes in client app development and expert instruction from the brightest developers and designers in the industry. Our developers and designers are also instructors, teaching immersive bootcamps that have improved the careers of thousands of developers. Our app development services have helped clients across the globe grow their businesses. We write best-selling books that guide the mobile industry, setting the standard for mobile development across a range of platforms.


Media Contact:

Nikki Porter
Director of Marketing
(770) 817-6373

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