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Who Are TheyThe winner of our 2018 user competition, José Jeria Mena’s Social Steps has earned rapid success thanks to the sleek excellence of its design and the vital function it has played in making walking a competitive, interactive exercise. Built to satisfy the burgeoning social fitness market, this app is perfect for those who want to get fit and lose weight by walking.
How Bugfender Helped Them
- Using its remote logger, Bugfender enabled the team to drill down into individual devices.
- This gave them the insight to root out specific problems.
- They were able to build their app to an extremely tight schedule.
Social Steps was born out of frustration: José Jeria Mena wanted to compare his step count with his wife’s on a single platform, and none of the available apps offered him the ability to do so. His response is perfectly attuned to the current social fitness craze and has already caused a stir among exercise addicts accustomed to pushing one another on apps such as Strava.
The app lets users compare their daily step count with their friends’ and relatives’, perfect for those who want to get the most out of their daily walk. With no calibration or configuration required, setup is as simple as can be: users simply select their daily step target and the app tracks their progress automatically, telling them when they’ve reached the requisite number. What’s more, users can add their friends via social media and challenge one another to go the extra mile in their fitness journey.
José first pitched the idea to developers at Munich-based Snapp Mobile. The Snapp team liked the app so much they proceeded to build it, thanks to developer Juhani Lehtimäki and designer Pierluigi Rufo. The app was built using MVVM-C (Model-View-ViewModel plus the Coordinate flow pattern) architecture, and deploys a variety of frameworks including RxSwift, Kingfisher, Hero and Firebase. Simplicity, and accessibility, are its key distinguishing features.
The project was conducted to a tight schedule: the developers initially set themselves a target of 2 months to finish the app, which meant the process had to be streamlined as much as possible.
Right from the outset, José and his team achieved efficiencies by stripping out all but the most pressing functions from the initial design; any function that didn’t solve a key user need was filed away for the future. The design was kept as simple as possible, with all core information provided on a single landing page and the secondary information shooting off in a series of child pages.
The technical process was also designed to be as dynamic as possible. Native components were used for most of the UI elements, allowing the team to test several variations in a short window of time. José also says that using Firebase was “crucial”, as it allowed the app to be developed with no need for a back-end team (and also gave users instant updates of each other’s steps, significantly improving the UX).
How Bugfender helped
Given the project’s time constraints, the developers needed the ability to root out problems quickly and effectively. Bugfender made this possible.
José says the team began using SwiftyBeaver, a logging platform for Swift, but it didn’t offer the range of information they needed. It also required the use of a macOS app, which was an additional hassle.
Turning to Bugfender, the developers found our tool offered much more information about the app and its problems. This enabled them to conduct a thorough debug, which had been a major challenge given the complexities of Apple’s HealthKit, a storage centre for health and fitness data on iPhones and Apple Watches. There’s no easy way to test the Healthkit, and users don’t know exactly when they’ll get updates. Bugfender enabled José and his team to log whenever the HealthKit provided updates, a major improvement to the testing and debugging process.
Another major pain-point for the developers came when the app was running in the background. If a user’s steps were updated during this period, the app was extremely difficult to test. Using our remote logger, however, the team were able to home in on logs for a specific user’s device, and then track down what was causing the issues in their apps.
Just a year after roll-out, the app has already been downloaded about 3,000 times and has an average rating, across all territories, of 4.7.
Although José’s time is limited by his commitment to other client projects, he says he plans to add a couple of features to the platform. The first is improved functionality to increase the user’s motivation, building their sense of competition with friends. The second is compatibility with the Apple Watch, which will open up social steps to a market of nearly 50 million users.
If you want to join Social Step’s growing army of followers, you can find it on the App store here (or check out the company website here). José also posts regular pearls of wisdom on Twitter and you can read them here.
More about Bugfender
Bugfender is a game-changing cloud-based platform that combines remote logging and crash reporting, providing details of every issue your users experience and allowing holistic device management via an easy-to-use web console.
All this for the same price as before! Click here to find out more.