A fitness studio that offers classes conducted by some of the most recognizable coaches in the United States.
When the Client approached us, they were looking for a software development company that had expertise in specific technologies (Node.js, React, and React Native) and would be able to start the project fast. And scale the team even faster when needed.
The project’s goal was to create a web and mobile application for one of the most successful American fitness studios. The app was supposed to help studio members book classes, manage their payments, and keep their healthy habits by exercising at home when they could not come to the studio.
Our main task was to build an app that would be a pixel to pixel replica of the mock-ups delivered by the client, with deep focus on user experience – both in terms of the app’s usability and the general feeling of using the product.
In order to provide the app users with a whole variety of relevant features, we took care of the integrations with some external tools such as Zoom, Brightcove, Shopify, Stripe, Klaviyo, as well as various analytics tools.
The final product has two main segments of users: end customers (fitness studio members) and admins. After delivering a functional product for the first group, our task was to focus on the second group and make managing the product easy.
Having observed competitive studios offering their clients the opportunity to book classes online, the client decided to build their own web, iOS, and Android applications to connect with the online payment and reservation systems. With the application, the whole booking process became simple and a user would book a class irrespective of time and location. This convenience is particularly important in the view of the customer segment that expects top-notch service and a brand touch.
The segment of customers that the client serves pays a lot of attention to the brand voice. For them, being a part of the brand is important.
The Client came to us with a ready design for the web and mobile app interfaces that was simply exceptional. The application had to be a precise replica of the delivered mock-up that the Client worked out with their marketing agency. Apart from strict technical requirements, the project had to be performed within an aggressive deadline – 4.5 months for the first phase.
Facing a tough task to quickly recruit and assemble a tech team, the Client understood that with a given set of requirements, the necessary resources could not be built in-house in New York where tech talents are difficult to hire.
Therefore, the Client started looking for an outsourced team that would be skilled enough to perform the complex task of building an architecture from scratch while meeting the deadline. The key factors that decided about starting the cooperation were communication, responsiveness, and scalability. The Client knew that in order to meet the deadlines, the team would need to involve around ten to twelve developers (or even more). They needed to work with a team that could provide them with the necessary capabilities at the beginning and would be able to upscale the team within 48 hours when necessary, not within three weeks.
Even though there were customers who were already waiting for the product, the loyal studio members who were looking forward to using the app, there was an additional challenge of reaching new customers – also among people who wouldn’t be able to join the regular classes. The video module was supposed to attract those people and let them train with top American coaches remotely.
You only get one chance to make the first impression! And in most cases – so do the apps. That’s why the visual side of this project was of the highest importance. The front-end team implemented the design delivered by the Client, where the main focus was put on user experience. The front-end team worked on creating a pixel to pixel replica of the mock-ups and advanced animations that would give the app’s users a premium experience.
Initially, in order to launch the platform as soon as possible, we decided to use a 3rd party system for gym & fitness management despite its restraints. But from the very beginning we realized that it’s not a long-term solution. Once the first version of the app was released and tested by users, we started working on a dedicated administration panel that would help the Client’s team manage users, their subscriptions, add new videos, and organize them into series or training programs.
The first phase of the project was about creating a virtual reception desk that would help studio members book classes. Within the application, they could find out more about class types and coaches assigned to each class, or buy credits to book classes. They could also book on-demand classes for their friends, review classes that they have attended and check their purchase history.
As the app serves multiple purposes, from the reception desk to the fitness area, it was important to integrate it with the tools that would manage various aspects of running a studio – video streaming, virtual classes, payments, analytics, marketing campaigns – and guarantee security, good user experience, and high performance.
As the project was about creating both web and mobile applications, the Scrum teams assigned to this project consisted of backend, front-end, and mobile developers, QA engineers, and a Scrum Master. In order to facilitate the cooperation and help the Client keep on track with the project without taking too much of his time, we have added a Product Owner Proxy to the team. The PO Proxy was responsible for collecting requirements and maintaining a communication flow with the Client on Slack, video conferences, daily stand-ups, and sprint reviews.
First by streamlining the process of joining the classes (by enabling the members to sign up for the classes and pay for them using the app), then by adding videos to the application and letting the users enjoy their trainings anytime they want.
The classic business models for gyms and fitness studios are strictly related to their locations. Moving the service (or a part of the service) online, our Client has managed to increase the studio outreach from 2 cities in the United States to 3 countries: the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Even though the lockdown related to the Covid-19 outbreak has seriously affected the whole fitness industry, thanks to the video module that was already under construction, our Client has managed to survive the crisis.
Since the app’s release in February, the app has been downloaded by over 20,000 users from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, bringing potential new business to the Client.
Thanks to data about users’ behavior, the admins of the platform are able to adjust the offer to users’ needs, recommending them the right training and conducting personalized marketing campaigns.