| Connections Lab

Asmbly Dash – part 2

Cover Image for Asmbly Dash – part 2

Code | Demo


We‘ve been covering real-time user experiences in Connections Lab. This iteration of the Asmbly dash utilizes adds a web socket server to allow users to "raise their hand" and ask for help at individual stations. I found the discovered the model for this “assist” interactivity from Glitch and thought it would be interesting to adapt to an actual space.


Having some familiarity with socket.io, I wanted to learn a bit more about ws with this iteration. This library is super light weight, and unlike socket.io, clients in the browser can just use native WebSockets to interact with the server. I had some difficulty updating my Linode box to permit WebSocket connections, but after rolling out a standard Nginx server with LetsEncrypt, those problems were mostly resolved.

On the frontend, I used a library called react-hot-toast to manage the new toast notifications. These notifications broadcast when a user requests assistance and also serve as a status indicator for the requestor.

A toast notification indicating help is on the way

After user testing with some friends, I found that communicating a “pending” state was particularly important so that users new their request was received without issue. It also serves to alert them when help is on the way.

A toast notification indicating a request for assistance is pending

Next steps

In project three, I’d like to make the assist interactions actually one-on-one, so that there isn’t several individuals responding to a request. In addition, I‘d like to add chat functionality so individuals tuned in from their home office can offer assistance. For a reach goal, I‘d like that communication to afford optional video chat.