Scalable mobile app and platform development.
Nebula Labs is a software house based in Newcastle upon Tyne, in the North East of England, offering mobile app development, web platform development, and bespoke software development for ambitious startups and entrepreneurs, and forward-thinking SMEs.
Akzo-Nobel, Gym Plan, Newcastle University, Nexus, Redu Group
Personal training startup, Fit Gurus, asked us to develop the Gym Plan app for iOS to acts as the user’s very own digital personal trainer, providing an array of exercise plans, nutritional guidance and instructional videos designed to suit a variety of personal health needs.
We have developed an app with great versatility of functionality, it permits the users to modify their personal workout plans, so that the app can adapt to the user’s changing health context. There is also a one to one messenger facility with a human personal trainer who can help to give precise advice on the appropriateness of exercise plans, and on personal nutrition.
The messenger feature means that the app integrates both digital and human contact with the user to heighten the user experience. The app was among the first to support the new Siri Shortcuts module of iOS 12. With a strong emphasis on creating a highly personal experience for each user, there is now the ability to record voice commands which pertain to specific tasks within the Gym Plan app itself. Without even opening the app, a user can ask Siri to tell them what their workout is for that day.
Nebula Labs, in association with the team at Gym Plan, was able to create a mobile health and fitness app with a small budget and development team, comparable in virtually all metrics conceivable to large scale fitness apps such as FitBit Coach.
The public response has been immense, with over 200,000 downloads being recorded since the radical overhaul of the app conducted by Nebula Labs in summer 2018.
Gym Plan was featured as Apple App Store App of the Day on August 4th 2019.
A comprehensive refresh of Visit North Tyneside, the tourism website for tourists and residents, with activities, events, and major attractions such as the Mouth of the Tyne Festival.
We provided a distinct new look as the site had retrained the same design for several years. We also wanted to make it as attractive, accessible and user friendly as possible. One of the key improvements was introducing a mobile friendly version, to enhance user experience so people can access all elements while on the move.
The accessible guide is themed, for example into Eat and Drink, Family Activities, Outdoor sections, making it easy to find relevant information.
A Destination Management System (DMS) provides the most up-to-date information on any given area, and businesses are able to advertise on the site. The Visit North Tyneside DMS system manipulates tourist data received from local businesses, such as guesthouses and restaurants, to provide comprehensive ‘pre’ and ‘post’ arrival information.
The DMS has the potential to be further enhanced to facilitate hotel reservations, and transactions such as restaurant bookings. There is also the possibility to have a CRM (customer relationship management) module to provide reports on room/table availability based on the number of reservations registered in the system. These will enhance the site and businesses would have the ability to better plan and react to high levels of demand.
The ‘Getting Around’ section provides a guide to every mode of transport for travelling from outside and within North Tyneside. One highlight is the Find a Car Park feature.
Visionary entrepreneur Michalis Panayiotou asked Nebula Labs to deliver Visavis App and Marketplace, an iOS mobile app for the dating sector. The app allows users to ‘experience real connection’, as they select a potential date and then book in to a participating venue to meet their date at. Users pay a deposit for each date through Credit Card, Debit Card or Apple Pay, using the Stripe Payment Gateway.
The Visavis venue system works on a two-sided marketplace model, where the cloud-based marketplace allows participating venues (primarily in the hospitality industry) to sign up, link their bank account directly via Stripe Connect, and set their availability and costs up through a venue-facing dashboard.
When a date is booked at a participating venue, the venue instantly receives the deposit that the user has paid.
Participating venues on the marketplace are able to set their capacity and availability through a self-serve venue-facing dashboard, designed specifically to allow for high scalability from an operations perspective.
The marketplace fee is calculated dynamically based on the type of venue (for example restaurants may be charged at a different rate to bars and coffee shops), and the fee is charged instantly to Visavis Ventures through Stripe Connect integration.
The native mobile app was released on iOS, written in Swift, and featured a bespoke backend API, which combines the marketplace dashboard for hospitality venues to use and the Stripe Connect Payment Gateway Integration, written in the Python language using the Django framework, with the highly scalable PostgreSQL Database, deployed to the cloud via the Amazon Web Services platform for truly global scalability and transaction throughput.
"They're good people who want to help. That's really clear."
Nebula Labs developed web-based platforms to promote key tourist destinations along with an annual festival. Now, they provide ongoing support.
"They're good people who want to help. That's really clear."
Feb 24, 2020
The vendor produced a high-quality website, and stakeholders are pleased. Nebula Labs' open style of communication and structured project management style were highlights.
The client submitted this review online.
Please describe your company and your position there.
I oversee tourism and events activity for a local authority in the North East of England, UK. Our remit is to support the visitor economy, safeguarding and creating jobs in the industry.
For what projects/services did your company hire Nebula Labs?
I hired Nebula to develop web platforms for our key visitor destinations and our biggest annual festival.
What were your goals for this project?
In local government, its very easy to follow the herd and seek off-the-shelf solutions to web development without really considering the user. In my experience, I've found that companies offering services for tourist websites are hugely overpriced for what is actually delivered and the models presented are rigid and restrictive. I wanted user-friendly sites that could be adapted as technology developed on an ongoing basis and not reviewed once a year with a daft price increase.
How did you select this vendor?
We hired Nebula as we've known the founder since we asked him to help us develop an app for our surfing community way before he established his company. We knew from experience that they could help us develop websites for our destinations and one of our biggest festivals.
Describe the project and the services they provided in detail.
Nebula provided web development and ongoing support. Lines of communication are always open for minor changes and updates here and there, but importantly the models we use can be easily updated ourselves.
What was the team composition?
Myself and a colleague would work closely with the Nebula team. We had two main points of contact there.
Can you share any information that demonstrates the impact that this project has had on your business?
Our websites are better used than ever and continue to form an important part of the marketing mix alongside all of our social media channels.
How was project management arranged and how effective was it?
We supplied a clear brief and we had early meetings to ensure it was understood. A timeline was set to continue meeting in a structured way and it proved very effective. Its important to say that Nebula are very good at maintaining contact and sharing ownership of the project.
What did you find most impressive about this company?
They're good people who want to help. That's really clear.
Are there any areas for improvement?
I think they could develop into an agency offering design and social media management services over time. If they can find like-minded people to add to their existing mix of skills, that would help them grow into a grounded, cost-effective multi-facted company that's increasingly difficult to find.