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Transforming Physical to Digital

From a Book to an App 

Robert Banks, Author of the reference book “Banks on Sentence”, approached 3chillies with the ambition of transforming his publication into a Digital Application.
The book, which acts as a reference guide on criminal sentencing, is frequently used by a spectrum of individuals, from newly qualified Barristers to Senior Judges. Oftentimes the book is used within the walls of a courtroom, where it is imperative that important information is produced in a clear, concise, and timely manner. As a result the book was to be converted into an app for iPad and Windows, the two most widely used platforms in the Legal industry.                                                                 
Robert Banks required the App to be built in a cost effective, time efficient manner, and having received a strong referral directly from the Microsoft Development Team, 3chillies were selected as the best development agency for the job.
Alongside these top-level requirements, the App had a number of other basic requirements:
  • Easy to use & understand
  • Suited to the Banks on Sentence Customer Base
  • Accessible offline
  • Easy to navigate and search
  • Provide areas for items such as "Monthly Legal Updates"

 Banks windows 8


The publication was originally provided in digital form, formatted for print. Using in-house specialist skills in software development and systems integration, 3chillies were able to develop a tool to automatically extract the information and reformat the document into an xml format, ready for use.
Recognising the need to have the App built for two entirely different platforms, 3chillies saw the opportunity to use the Xamarin platform. This development approach allowed the sharing of approximately 65% of the code across both apps, whilst still maintaining an excellent user experience on each device. The decision to use this technology also lays the foundations for the App to be developed for emerging platforms such as Android when the time is right.
The finished App offers the end user:
  • Advanced Search Capabilities
  • Improved Workflow
  • Direct Hyperlinks From The Table Of Contents
  • Search History
  • Highlighting and Custom Annotation
  • Bookmarking
  • Favourites
  • Additional functionality for extra resources (pdf documents).
Whilst the publication is relatively large in size, holding 2 volumes of the main publication, the app runs at lightning speeds, taking just 0.3 seconds to return results for keyword searches.  

We are very happy with the app created by 3chillies. It’s incredibly fast considering how much data it holds. It has a clean look with no clutter and helps the user navigate very quickly which is essential in a busy courtroom. – Oliver McMechan
The App and it’s corresponding Server are hosted in Microsoft Azure’s PaaS (Platform as a Service), a service which provides a cost effective hosting solution. The latest copy of the book is made available for download via the server, but once downloaded, the entire book and all of its functionality are stored directly within the user’s device, eliminating the need for an internet connection. This functionality grants busy professional’s access to the content wherever they are.
The staff at 3chillies were always very responsive to our requests, ensured they dealt with any problems quickly and would always keep us up-to-date with progress. Oliver McMechan
The App is user friendly from both an end-user perspective, and an administration perspective: New volumes of the publication are added to the server with ease, and the app prompts the user to download any updates upon opening the application. A native layer of code within each app provides a unique interface and user experience, allowing a more intuitive user journey for each device type such as scroll bars that are unique to Apple, or Windows technologies such as tiles that allow you to delve directly into chosen sections of content without ever leaving the contents page. A summary from Robert Banks:
"Work started immediately. Very good communication, they understood the brief well. The product turned out to be very challenging and needed software to enable digital sales with very high security. The product was priced competitively. All the deadlines were met and some were very exacting. The product was way ahead of their competitors’ efforts. We recommend 3chillies without hesitation." – Robert Banks

Banks ipad

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