What were the results of the project?
The initial testing we’ve had with people who have seen the app is that the look and feel is fantastic. We came up with some of the graphics but, in terms, of how you use the app, they really challenged us quite strongly on some of the workflow elements. We’ve arrived in a very good situation.
The workflow is much more intuitive on both platforms in terms of what we’re trying to achieve with the app. They are mobile specialists and they brought that thinking to us instead of thinking that we’re sitting in front of the desktop. Quality-wise, we’ve been very happy. We have our own internal QA team that has been testing the work as well. We shared test plans so we knew what they were testing. There have been no concerns there.
I’m happy with the way they’ve communicated with us throughout the project. They have regular communication and anything we felt shouldn’t be what we asked for, they fixed right away without complaint. We’ve been able to arrive at a good compromise each instance.
Do you have any statistics or metrics to track improvement from the project?
We don’t have download figures, but the old iOS app has been downloaded 20,000 times and Android about 600,000 times, and we’re expecting most of the users will update to the new version when made available.
Is there anything unique about them that really makes them stand out, compared to other companies?
They do native apps across all platforms. They have done this for a long time: They eat, sleep, and breathe mobile. They don’t just understand how to build a mobile app, they understand what you should be doing on the mobile phone. They’re a good bunch of guys [who] we enjoy working with.
Looking back on the work so far is there any area that you think they could improve upon or something that you might do differently?
We’ve had six apps developed on iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile. I sometimes wonder if we’ve done that in the right order. We started [one] on iOS and Android before we finished [another] on Windows Mobile. That’s our fault if we chose the order incorrectly.
The other thing we’d do differently involves our internal UI team. They spent a long time producing the look and feel for the app. However, Waracle made a lot of major changes because they are the true usability experts. It would have been beneficial for us to engage Waracle earlier in that process, particularly for Windows Mobile development. The way the app is structured is quite different from iOS.