# media & entertainment
a content mobile app for building eco-friendly communities and raising sustainability causes
50high-fidelity design screens
14sprints in total
> 5,000installs on Google Play Store
11people in the project team during the project's critical phase
problems to solve
The premise behind creating the app was the challenge that eco-friendly communities face today: people’s lack of agency in furthering environmental causes. Those who are sensitive to the damage done to the environment are bombarded with negative news about the effects of climate change, and even though they are acutely aware of the need to act, they find themselves effectively limited by the influx of information and too many issues worth tackling.
Therefore, the application’s goal was to provide a digital platform with which users could turn their compassion for the state of our planet into action. They would do that by engaging in introspection and eco-friendly activity. The client envisioned the product with two types of users in mind - individuals and organizations.
The company approached Merixstudio being already familiar with the referrals from our previous digital projects. The client’s stakeholders decided to engage in workshops with us to dig deeper into the specifics of the future product.
As time was of the essence, the client chose Merixstudio’s dedicated cooperation model, where an outsourced team fully supports a timely development with full project ownership.
Our team, consisting of 9 people, kicked off the work with online workshops. They allowed for learning about the client’s niche and goals and the concept for the mobile app. This way, we learned about the business context necessary for bringing the client’s vision into reality.
We followed the Scrum methodology to make the best out of the time at our disposal. The mutual collaboration across different time zones allowed the project team to squeeze the most out of the online meetings, including the scoping and product-related decisions. In the process, we covered all the bases starting from the MVP stage and the further execution phase to maintenance.
The scope of the works included:
- Performing workshops to establish the requirements and scope of works
- Developing a new mobile app for Android and iOS and a web-based admin panel for the client for managing users and their communities
- Designing the UI and UX of the application (including high-fidelity wireframes)
- Performing development works on the frontend, backend and creating an infrastructural setup for the mobile app
- Incorporating the necessary functionalities that would foster community building
- Performing the Quality Assurance works
- Conducing DevOps works
- App maintenance
With the motto for the app being “Intend, Decide, Practice, Act, Track”, we designed the solution in such a way as to allow users to engage in eco-friendly activities. By means of the main functionalities (communities and campaigns) both individuals and organizations can partake in collective action, furthering environmental initiatives.
For individuals using the platform, the UI allows them to support sustainable causes like preventing deforestation by completing specific tasks as part of campaigns. They can also post updates, gain more knowledge on sustainability-related topics like, for example, biodiversity or animal welfare, check their daily inspiration (motivational quotes) and record daily emotions.
On the other hand, the admin panel allows campaign managers to create and preview organizational profiles, initiate campaigns, manage users and communities, and check campaign-related information. Via the content management panel organizations’ representatives can also add content, manage them and generate information about the campaign in an Excel spreadsheet.
React had a crucial impact on this project. Because of that technology, we could keep the code consistency between the admin panel and mobile app for Android and iOS. React also guarantees a stable code and facilitates the creation of many reusable components. Not to mention that easy React-based template designing allowed us to save time for other works in this project.
We decided to use Redux toolkit to keep the app data clean and readable. It proves especially useful when working in a team because it provides predefined rules on dealing with APIs, storing data, and displaying results in views.
The client already had an AWS infrastructure, so we utilized that and added some scaling-friendly solutions. The team orchestrated containers across the cloud setup to provide independent services. The added value of using Elastic Container Service (ECS) is low maintenance. We deployed the app through the GitLab tool, facilitating smooth team collaboration and effective commits management. We used PostgreSQL as a backend database, along with Django, for additional scalability.
We implemented black-box testing to reap the most benefit of manual testing. Bearing in mind the project requirements, we used several test strategies. We performed experience-based testing combined with exploratory testing. We also relied on risk-based testing. This approach allowed us to correlate software testing with prioritized Jira tasks during each sprint. The QA Specialists tested the REST API manually using the Postman tool on the integration testing level.
We also performed basic usability tests, regression, functional tests, and selected acceptance tests within the project timeline. The team checked the app on mobile devices listed in our testing standards, using the dedicated in-house devices and those available in the app-live solution on browserstack.com. For automatic error tracking and reporting, the mobile application was integrated with Sentry.
The end mobile product lives up to the high aesthetics standards assumed for this project. High-resolution images and pixel-perfect wireframes exuding vibrant colors and the beauty of nature attract the target audience and promote environmental activism.
The client’s vision for a mobile application allowed setting up an online alliance of active supporters for the sustainable cause. A single user can create a community for over 500 participants, expanding the network further. With over 5,000 installs of the app from Google Play, this product effectively grows its digital community via tasks and campaigns to encourage people to protect the environment.
user posting functionality
the feature allowed the users to post pictures, messages, and comments, thus engaging in community life
users can engage in community life within the app to support joint initiatives and get inspired by like-minded people
the campaign functionality proved helpful in terms of gathering communities around common causes. Individual users can complete tasks as part of the non-governmental organizations’ initiatives raised within the app
for individual users, dashboards show their tasks and daily inspiration
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