How did we go from an idea to the App Store in just 4 months?
Our friend, partner, and client RunGrateful is on a mission to nourish and deepen people’s gratitude awareness by using the power of movement as a vehicle.
Our client’s vision is to inspire and connect runners worldwide through grateful running/walking.
RunGrateful community is ever-growing, and here comes the need and importance of technology to handle like-minded people’s accomplishments and supply the runners with a GREAT mobile application.
How it started
It is great to have ideas and dream about them becoming reality. But this transformation requires putting together an effort into a structure, a certain organization, and a team which are proven to make thing happen (proven by our experience).
Our way of working is pretty much centered around the idea that the team must live by and believe in the product's idea and the way it solves a particular problem. That is how we approached this project too.
So not long after we started, our team was put together, we were dragged into the magical world of gratitude and started to participate actively in discussions around how to shape the product, what features would be important for the first release, and how to place UI/UX so that it’s easy to use - in a nutshell, our team dived in passionately into the project!
Technically the team we’ve put together was rather small but effective and efficient. They were:
Agile Product/Project specialist who kept the focus, answering the what and when questions
UX Specialist conducting target user research and designing the UI flows
Tech Lead Full Stack (Flutter/Firebase/NodeJS) engineer + Regular Flutter engineer in charge of the how and actually building the app
Automation QA to make sure we are covered against regression.
Few things are important to be mentioned about the development - our teams always involve the stakeholders early on. By doing so it really helped us to: define the product and what’s important for stage 1 (MVP) and what to leave for later. Having a good, healthy relationship with the stakeholders played well during the user stories development as they were demoed as soon as we got them out (and feedback being taken early on).
This is mostly because our whole delivery philosophy is centered around the japanese term Itai Doshin - many in body but one in mind. That is - no matter who is the client and who is the vendor, who sits in London and who is at the beach in Bali, who is the designer and who is the developer - we are all one. There should be no barriers of mind, ideas and communication so everyone feels as a first class citizen.
Another key element for the success was - we stayed focused on what’s important for the MVP (testing the riskiest assumptions) and ignore everything else. Shall we think about app internationalization right now and spend time designing the code to handle it? Definitely not as it was not something the founders needed at this stage.
We at Looming Tech always try to get the best out of our teams to deliver towards client needs and help them succeed in their venture, but while this is part of our values and mission, we were happy to discover that everyone was actively testing the app as we compiled the first beta releases, more so every person on the team was impatient to go for a run or a walk and test every new feature. The entire team was engaged in accumulating hundreds of grateful miles to verify that all features worked as expected. The result of all this was that we became more knowledgeable and more active. And last but not least, more grateful!
About the tech
Our brilliant tech team picked (as usual) a well known stack so that they won’t hit any surprises halfway through the project. Flutter for the mobile app as it runs amazingly well and allows for quick development (Check our Tech Blog). Firebase for the backend as it is perfectly well integrated with Flutter (Google products) and is quick and easy to ramp up a fully functional backend. Functions like Facebook and Instagram APIs integration as well as dynamic feed generation were done in one sprint.
There were of course challenges (check our Tech Blog) but well tackled with minimum time lost. All in all, the MVP (more like first release) is built in an auto scalable way so that customer doesn’t pay if there is no usage (no users in) but at the same time to be able to scale “indefinitely” (to the capacity of GCP) and accommodate traffic coming globally from potentially millions of users at the same time. All this was of course covered with automation tests on app level (UI integration) using our proprietary framework (check our Tech Blog) and the backend was loaded with load tests (via JMeter) so that we are sure the assumptions about scalability are actually true.
We made it! Success.
Our team delivered the whole product from the moment the client pushed the green button and said go, which was in the beginning of January 2022, to releasing on the App Store in the beginning of May 2022 or in other words: in just four months. Isn’t that astonishing? It is and everyone is grateful, now the team will be moving towards the next release in the stores (coming in September)…
And we all should remember: the benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless.
Do you want our team to build your next mobile product, in record time without sacrificing quality and while having fun? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org