In a few words
Stroll commissioned Fablr to produce the first version of their mobile application – a geo-location crowdsourcing application that helps parents with young kids find child-friendly places where they can hang out, meet friends and enjoy good food and drink.
It is hard for new parents to find places where they can take their children and expect the amenities and support that is all too important when out-and-about with a baby or toddler. They can often feel constrained by the basic requirements such as group size, space for play and storage, suitability for different ages of children, and their ability not to stand out or be socially embarrassed.
While there are existing apps for parents to use to find activities and fun days out for young kids, the Stroll mobile app aimed to provide a crowdsourcing alternative for everyday social meetups and eating and drinking out that could leverage the value parents attach to peer recommendations.
Following a validation exercise the founders of Stroll approached Fablr to help them determine the best technical solution for their idea. Upon being appointed to the project, our role was far-reaching – designing the Stroll user experience as well as developing the app, data structure and the supporting administration portal.
Although the concept had received some early validation by Stroll, we needed to understand more about some of the ways parents felt about the problem-space the app was going to address.
We conducted phone interviews with parents to understand how they get information about what’s available for them and their children in their local area – whether that be from online sources, local media, advertising or via their own social networks of parent friends. Using the information gathered we produce a positioning analysis for Stroll that defined the key attributes they should promote as well as the functional and emotional benefits of the Stroll product.
With our research and scoping phase complete, we created a number of interactive wireframe prototypes which we used to visualise the registration process, the map-based navigation and the UI for venue listing and detail pages. This was tested within a small user group to collect key user responses; not just to the signup process and user interface but also to specific messaging and language.
We were able to incorporate learnings from this process into the next iteration of the MVP development before the bulk of the design and development work began.
We decided that we would develop a simple brand identity for the app despite it being scoped as an MVP. From experience we knew this could promote better emotional engagement and commercial appeal of the app with users and venue owners respectively.
While the key component areas of functionality and data manipulation were being developed, we undertook the creation of a more detailed second interactive prototype that would be used as part of a larger UAT exercise. This second iteration of the prototype featured the newly developed visual identity for Stroll across its user interfaces, imagery and iconography.
"Fablr have played a key role in building Stroll. As development partners, their ability to combine technical development and UI design has been of huge value. Their approach of immersing themselves in the project meant they felt like an embedded part of our team rather than an external agency. We'd have no hesitation in recommending them."
- Director, Stroll Ltd
The mobile app was developed as a hybrid app using Angular and Cordova. This reduced the cost of development considerably, allowing us to create one codebase which could be compiled to both iOS and Android devices.
For mapping, we used the open source MapGL platform and pre-populated the locations in the app with suggestions from FourSquare API. These base locations could then be fleshed out by users of the app who would add photographs, confirm what amenities were available, and add their own rating and review of the location.
In order to support Stroll in managing the app we build a bespoke admin portal where they could review and moderate content added by users, as well as adding their own locations and tweaking what type of locations would imported from FourSquare API.
The app has since been launched as a limited beta focussed on South London. Dozens of locations have been added and feedback has been very positive with 5 star reviews on both the AppStore and Google Play. We look forward to continuing to work with Stroll in future to expand and develop the app further.