Culture sharing app
About the client
Hometrotter is a startup with its origins in Trondheim, Norway. It was founded by young people passionate about new cultures, sharing local experiences, and meeting other people. They had an idea of bringing the cultures together so that people from other countries living in Norway could feel more like home. The team wanted to create an app with events carousel, a map, and international profiles connected to the social pages of each individual.
The team needed the development power. They had lots of great ideas and a clear vision for the project, but they were lacking the skills of translating their thoughts into an app. They also needed a fresh perspective on the project scope. We wanted to make it as lean as possible to launch quickly and test Hometrotter’s assumptions. The app itself had to be inviting, welcoming, easy-to-use, and cheerful. It was supposed to be the app for everyone, so it had to work on multiple devices across both iOS and Android platforms.
We started with discussions on Hometrotter’s features in the first version of the app. The goal was to create an MVP which would verify the startup’s value but at the same time would match all the needs related to its friendliness and perfect user experience. It was not easy to put some of the great ideas on hold for the time being, but together we have worked it out. Hometrotter’s team had the designs ready, so after converting the designs and the ideas into the user stories for developers, the project was almost ready to kick off.
We chose to build with React Native on the front and Ruby on Rails on the back end. Once we had a clear vision of the app in its first iteration, the engineers started their work. The app was ready to test after approximately 3 months. One month later it was introduced to the stores with an official launch on the 1st of May, 2018.
The project is still being developed. The new features are based on the ideas from the initial scope and the learnings from the receiving of a Hometrotter’s MVP by its users.
The challenge was to create an app easy to use for everyone irrespective of their demographics, tech-savviness, or the device they use.
The community built around Hometrotter sums up to 1700 likes on its Facebook page and more than 500 installs from Google Play (with the rating of 4.7 stars, December 2018). The team is planning on releasing new features to the app in the future and continue developing its community.
When working on the project we focused on using the most recent technology pieces.
We had to ensure quick development time and a multi-platform capability. Quick response time and secure, stable connections were in focus. The Hometrotter technology stack is:
- React Native
- Ruby on Rails
- Expo (React Native)
- Redux (state management)
- Facebook SDK
- Google Cloud Platform (Maps / Places)
- Sentry (error tracking)
Conversation is one of our most important values and a habit we support at every stage of our development process. Conversation is executed through digital tooling so the context is never lost. We use Slack for chat, Jira for planning, and Github for code reviews and discussion.