Actual iD

A cloud-based biometrics web application built with Ruby on Rails.

Actual iD laptop view

The Challenge

Imagine that your business employs hourly employees and you need to track their time accurately for payroll. You know you could cut costs and improve efficiency if you had insight into schedule compliance, over-time, and time theft. Now zoom out and envision this need compounded across tens or hundreds of locations.

Biometrics technologist Actual iD solves this problem for its customers in the auto industry. To deliver greater value, they tasked Smashing Boxes with replacing their previous application with a custom build.

Our largest challenge was creating programming logic that was smart enough to account for the unpredictability of real-world human behavior. But the result is a piece of software that helps managers solve everyday business problems.
Carolyn Frazier, Director of Product
Actual iD

Our Approach

Our approach was to build a custom app that would integrate with ActualiD’s biometric hardware and store data in the cloud. For managers and employees, we built an interface that provides easy time-scheduling across many locations and organizational structures. The resulting application makes scheduling, time tracking, and payroll a cinch for ActualiD's customers.

With 15 different payroll systems

How We Did It

UX, Design, Web App Development, Hardware Integration

Actual iD application

User Experience & User Interface Design

Existing users are gold. With any software redesign, we begin by tapping into the experience, needs and desires of people already using the product. A key goal was to free up auto dealership managers from spending countless hours on HR tasks. In this case, user research aided in uncovering the key information that managers need to make wise HR decisions. Armed with insight into the needs of real users, we designed an experience that would give managers the information they needed up front.

Web Development

With over 15 payroll systems and many organizational structures at play, it was crucial that we engineered a flexible product. For instance, employees in one location may take more breaks than others, or they may not start work or leave as scheduled. Our software would need to think like a floor manager, accounting for unpredictability and variability in human behavior.

To create a smooth user experience, our solution would need to be intelligent enough to recognize common user patterns. For example, using a user's punch in and out information to make educated guesses about whether the person was taking lunch, a break, or leaving for the day.

Actual iD in use

Hardware Integration

To automate the capture of time and attendance, our solutions needed to take user interaction with ActualiD’s fingerprint scanner into account. With any hardware integration comes a range of common and edge use cases that users experience with daily use. This can be anything from getting a poor bio-read on their fingerprint to detecting when a device has gone offline.

Share this Page



  • hardware integration
  • user experience
  • user interface design
  • web development

Featured Work

Careers at Smashing Boxes

Open Positions

We don’t just make great products, we help build great companies.

Contact Us

Get exclusive access to Smashing Boxes news, case studies, and events.

Sign up now
close ×

Get exclusive access to Smashing Boxes news, case studies, and events. Sign up now!

* indicates required