Bringing an app back to life!

Working smart can lead to a huge business impact for your stuttering app project.

How a fresh front-end led to generating a industry leading 4.8-star app store reviews.

The Challenge

Oliiki came to us with a real challenge. After building an initial version of their app using offshore contractors they were running on a practically ancient version of the Umbraco CMS, the app looked like a throwback to the noughties and their payment models were confusing to users while also potentially falling foul of Apple and Google’s App Store guidelines. On top of this, as a small start-up, Oliiki had an extremely limited budget which meant a complete rebuild from the ground up was out of the question. There were also concerns about the previous developers being unwilling or unable to help with any potential issues with the existing code.

Indiespring Action

Using our Springboard Development Framework, we analysed the existing code quality across the native application and the Umbraco back end as well as the existing user experience, back history and integrations against Oliiki’s goals. We utilised the lean model canvas and a MuSCoW analysis in order to ascertain the current state of the business.

From this assessment we set the following priorities:

  • A full redesign of the existing application front-end to bring it more in line with modern design philosophy while maintaining the same functionality to avoid unnecessary costs. We wanted users to feel the WOW factor of major, visible changes being made to re-instill confidence in the app.
  • A rebuild of the front end in a Xamarin cross platform development environment to reduce ongoing support costs by having a single front-end codebase.
  • Introducing subscriptions processed through Apple Pay and Google Wallet rather than the confusing payment by trimester which was being used at the time as well as a free trial week.
  • Stabilisation of the existing back-end but keeping back-end changes to a minimum to avoid additional costs.
  • Adding crashlytics to the mobile application so that we could pin down any issues when they happen rather than having to wait for frustrated users to report them.

Working with these goals and designs as our guiding mantra we then set about working in two-week, agile ‘sprints’. Following this process from design to production and into testing meant we could work nimbly and iteratively while maximising client feedback opportunities and reducing the chance of unnecessary spend. The continuous sign off/release cycle allowed us to produce a product which was continuously built and improved upon without the risk of large-scale failure while answering all of the challenges set to us by the client.

The Result

Rebuilding the app created a more seamless customer experience which could be sustained more easily into the future and that showed a clear upgrade to customers. In addition:

  • The new app costs Oliiki 75% less in any future ongoing frontend maintenance costs due to moving away from costly Native Applications.
  • Our rebuild has pulled in only 5 star reviews on the Play store since upgrading from the previous version.

You can check out the oliiki app for yourself in the app store and playstore or you can find them at Oliiki

If you have your own app headaches feel free to reach out to Indiespring directly at