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Travel & Social Media

How we developed a new mobile app for travellers

Mobile development (iOS)
Back-end development (.NET/C#)
Project management

Case in brief

Take an adventurous startup, add in a dash of innovation, mix in a pinch of creativity, and you get Explorers—a thrilling mobile travel app that takes cues from apps like Pokemon Go, Facebook and Instagram. 

We've managed to built a minimum viable product in just 5 months that helped Explorers gain traction in the market, and present a fully-functioning app to investors.

With a relatively small project team consisting of four people in total; 2 Engineers, a part-time Architect and Product Lead, we managed to build an app with extraordinary graphics, MapBox integration, real-time location tracking and game scoring elements.
Fully-functioning mobile MVP in just 5 months
Tech stack: Swift (iOS) | .NET/C# | PostgreSQL
Team of 4 people (2 engineers)

Project background

Explorers for iPhone® helps travellers discover interesting places around them. It creates a gamified experience in which users are rewarded for their discovery of new places, and travelled distances.

Olympia Tech was requested to assist in building a stunning MVP, from ideation to selection of the technology stack and onboarding of engineers.

The goal in this phase of the project was to build a real, fully-functioning app, to showcase the potential of Explorers. Features of the app included:

- User registration and login flow
- Integrated map view with "Fog of War" element
- Real-time location tracking
- Calculation of travelled distance and coin rewards

Technology stack

Front-end / Mobile
Great on performance (given the graphics-intensive use case), modern syntax and rich ecosystem
Back-end APIs
Known for performance, security, modularity and lightweight characteristics
Strong reputation for its performance, extensibility and robustness

Our approach

Lightweight Agile/Kanban approach

To deliver fast and efficient, we kept communication lines as short as possible. We created a Kanban board to keep track of our progress, understand dependencies and monitor impediments. Also, direct communication lines were created via Slack, and a weekly status update via video call was established for a longer brief on the status and next iteration.

Prioritizing complex features

Simple, straightforward features are easy to estimate. But we had several complex features for which a solution required significant problem-solving effort. We decided to focus on these complex features first, thereby de-risking the project from a feasibility point of view. This included MapBox integration, location tracking and the fog-of-war. This approach didn't only help us iron out the big challenges, but also offered a more realistic outlook on the project timeline.

Data-driven feedback loop

By understanding how your app is being used, you gain valuable insights that can help to make your app better. Therefore, we implemented analytics from the start—allowing us to monitor and track use behavior across the app, and identify potential points of friction.

The outcome

After an intense development phase, we're proud to unveil a minimum lovable product that encapsulates Explorers' unique concept. According to Explorers' founder Wouter, "The collaboration with Olympia Tech was exciting, especially seeing the progress and how we addressed challenges as a team. They helped in project coordination and made technical challenges understandable for a non-technical founder like me."

Key Metrics and Future Plans
Post-beta, we plan to track key metrics like user adoption rate, daily new users, user retention, daily hours played, kilometers traveled, achievements unlocked, and cities discovered. The roadmap for version 2 is being finalized, promising exciting new social features, including inviting and following friends on the map, sharing progress, collecting picture memories at locations, and finding collectibles.

This was one of the many projects we've tackled with enthusiasm this year. We eagerly anticipate any questions you may have concerning this project or any other project. If you wish to embark on a project with us, please don't hesitate to reach out. Your success is our mission, and we're ready to make your vision a reality.

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