Doddie Aid

Fundraising, Healthcare, Sport
Charity app for fundraising event. Join your district and compete with friends to raise money to help tackle MND.
7
Agile Sprints
17k+
Active Users
100's of leagues created
2 Million
Miles Tracked
enough to circle the world 78 times!​
Over £900k
Money Raised
for Motor Neuron Disease charities

About Doddie Aid

Get active and help tackle MND

We had a tight deadline of 4 months to build and launch these apps. The main objective of this project was to allow users to log miles on the go, either by manually entering the total or by live tracking their activity via the movements of their phone.

Must haves were a shop section, a news section which pulled a feed from the main website and socials (twitter & Instagram), ability to donate and optional opt in to gift aid.

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Services Provided

We worked closely with Doddie aid over 7 sprints to create iOS and Android apps to let users log miles consumed across the lifespan of the campaign. We chose to build the apps with React Native and use Firebase as a backend.

We also built a web app in react so users could log their miles without downloading an app.​

react
React
Apple
iOS
Android
Android
firebase
Firebase
Stripe 1
Stripe
react
React Native
Sendgrid 1
SendGrid
Algolia 1
Algolia
Tailwind 1
Tailwind

Objective

We had a tight deadline of 4 months to build and launch these apps. The main objective of this project was to allow users to log miles on the go, either by manually entering the total or by live tracking their activity via the movements of their phone.

Must haves were a shop section, a news section which pulled a feed from the main website and socials (twitter & Instagram), ability to donate and optional opt in to gift aid.

Mobile 3
Frame 3538 1

The Challenge

Building the core features of the app quickly for an initial launch in line with a fundraising event in November allowed us to get the app into the hands of users quickly and build anticipation for the full featured launch on the 1st January 2022.

Approaching the project this way allowed access to register for the event while we continued building and testing the full feature set including the leaderboard and GPS tracking.

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doddie 1

Key Features

During the discovery phase we discussed all the ideal features they wished to have on the app. These were then split into must have and nice to have to allow us to focus on the most valuable items first.

The Doddie Aid team requested a league feature to allow more local competition against family, teammates and colleagues while the wider community pursued goal of overall winning district.

Leaderboard

See how you fare against your friends.

GPS mile tracker

Start and go! Track your distance in real-time.

Donate with optional Gift Aid

Use Stripe to donate effortlessly, and get a free snood in the process!

Teams and districts

Join a team and a district to compete as a community.

Join a League

Partnership Goal

To build a mobile app that people can download from the app store, that enables us to get our donors email addresses, tracks their steps/miles, and give a good social community experience.

Before

A 3rd party mobile app with limited functionality which made it hard for the charity to build the community it wanted.

After

A strong functioning proof of concept app which performed very well for the event, where over 17K participants created 100’s of teams to donate over £900K. The app now has the ability to grow to add more features for future events.

Frame 3527 Doddie Aid and bike

Choosing the Tech Stack

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Front End

We use React Native as we do not need to develop two separate codebases for iOS and Android. React Native enables us to achieve high code reusability between the platforms. This saves us time and clients save money.

The web app was made to allow anyone who does not want to install an app to still take part in the campaign. It was developed with React which is a hugely popular UI framework. We also took advantage of Tailwind UI to reduce the development time. This allowed us to quickly deliver an accessible, responsive, performant and polished web app.

Key Benefits

Reduce development time
Accessible and responsive
Reduces cost for client

Back End

To help us build a comprehensive backend in such a limited timeframe, we chose to use Google Firebase. Firebase is a Backend as a Service (BaaS) that provides us with a number of services that helped us to speed up the development and deliver the project in a relatively short timeframe. We used Firestore database, Firebase Functions, Authentication, Cloud Messaging (push notifications), Firebase Google Analytics and Crashlytics. Using BaaS allows us to keep the costs low and prototype the application quickly.

Since Doddie Aid is a charity, we used Stripe for non-profits, reducing the fees that would go to Stripe and maximising the donations from all participants. SendGrid allowed us to send transactional emails that look good and were customised to each district. We also took advantage of Algolia to handle the search within the app. With all of our tech stack decisions, we understand that there is no need to reinvent the wheel when we can use a robust service for a specific function, particularly with rapid prototyping. This frees us up to focus on delivering a functional platform.

Key Benefits

Firebase backend for rapid build time
Carefully selected 3rd party services
Performant and comprehensive backend
GearedApp Dev Team

Project Delivery

Working in collaboration with digital marketing agency partners tda! the main objective was to create an app within 4 months, to allow users to log miles on the go either by manually entering the total or by live tracking their activity via the movements of their phone. Must haves were a shop section, a news section which pulled a feed from the main website and socials (twitter & Instagram), ability to donate and optional opt in to gift aid.
IMG 2030

How Agile Helped

Work on the app began in September 2021 with the aim of having the project ready for launch mid-December prior to the event beginning on 1st January 2022. In sprint 0, our discovery sprint, we started reviewing tech stack, design and mobile patterns, as partners tda (The Digital Age) haven’t previously done mobile apps. At this stage, we also discussed features and roadmap for the app (e.g. linking app with Strava or getting information directly from wearables), we did initial prioritisation selecting the features we should be able to deliver for December.

After sprint 0 and completing 2 sprints the client informed us that there will be a dinner launch event in November and it would be great if the app was available in some form to demonstrate to important stakeholders. Because of working in the Agile process we were quickly able to reprioritise what we were doing and focused on delivering polished onboarding and all backend functionality for the dinner launch event. This allowed Doddie to get users onboarded and initial donations to be collected. Once we had the v1 released we were still able to work on the remaining features to deliver them for official campaign launch on the 1st of Jan.

Throughout the project, we continued reviewing important features and prioritising based on early feedback with Product Owner at Doddie and design partners tda. For example we descoped PayPal donations in favour of some other new functionality, once Stripe donations were functional which was a better payment method for Doddie. These changes would not be possible if we were following a more traditional waterfall model where you design, build and test at the very end.

Demoing the app early and frequently meant that we were able to redesign parts of the app and redevelop screens quickly and efficiently without wasting time on the painful change requests.

Our Agile Process

To get the best outcome for your project you constantly learn and iterate and reiterate your ideas throughout your project. Our Agile development process means that we iterate and have regular scrum meetings and communication with you throughout the process with each sprint lasting two weeks. This ensures we are all on the same page with the priorities and there are no nasty surprises. We work efficiently and with quality at the heart of everything we do.

Learnings

During the lifecycle of the project we learned that off the shelf GPS libraries are not accurate enough for this type of tracking. So building onto an existing library was the best option for our needs.

Extensive testing was required with multiple team members moving at various speeds to simulate the various methods of exercise which might be used – not something we factored in initially but possibly the most fun we’ve had testing an app!

Key Takeaways

Working with Doddie in collaboration with tda! demonstrated again the power of working with an Agile approach to deliver the project especially within short turn around times.

The importance of early and regular testing with end users
Increased knowledge of GPS tracking libraries with React Native
Using Stripe for cheaper Charity donations
The power of an Agile approach between collaborative teams
IMG 5419
Outcome

The React Native mobile and web apps were delivered in a short turnaround, within 4 months, to be ready for the Doddie fundraising event. This not only helped raise over £900K for the Motor Neuron Disease charity and provide the community Doddie was looking for, it has given the charity a platform to grow the event for the future and continue their important work.

Districts
The communication was really good and helpful throughout the process. If we had an idea they bent over backwards to try to accommodate it and were very transparent so we could prioritise what would have the biggest impact for our fundraising event. I wouldn’t have any hesitation working with GearedApp again.
logo doddie aid pldn79ur7ghffi1s9doykn690v8c2szuyhdqehbt3k

Alex Glynne-Percy

My Name'5 Doddie Foundation

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