While the mobile app is all about the athletes, clubs and coaches are another critical component of the RISE platform. That’s why we created a back-end administrative portal giving clubs and coaches a window into the progress of their teams and players.
At the individual team level, coaches can see how their athletes are progressing on the core pyramid skills, create their own custom supplemental workouts, and generally manage their roster. Over time, we hope to show clubs and coaches a correlation between the teams and players more actively using the RISE platform, and their increased performance on the field.
Rather than needing specialized engineering talent to build iOS apps in Swift or Objective-C and build Android apps in Kotlin or Java, Headway chose to invest in making React Native one of our core competencies. This technology, initially created by Facebook but now maintained by an open source community, is one of the fastest growing and universally accepted ways of building cross-platform and truly native apps.
Unlike older cross-platform solutions like PhoneGap or Cordova, building with React Native results in a fully native app-store installable app. It’s so good, users have no idea it isn’t written in Swift or Objective-C because the app that comes out the other end performs exactly they same way. After all, it is native!
Anytime you target more than one platform for launch, the investment in development is larger. However, with React Native we were able to effectively launch both an iOS and an Android app for a much smaller overall investment. We estimate that Scott saved over 50% of what it would have taken to build the iOS and Android apps independently. Updates and tweaks are faster, too! Using a cross-platform technology like React Native means updates to the core app functionality allow both platforms to receive the benefits of new features and bugfixes while only requiring a singular codebase to be updated.
Headway developers have a long history of launching apps to market using Ruby and Ruby on Rails dating back to 2006. In addition to mobile apps, Headway has been developing full-stack web applications for startups, entrepreneurs, and corporate innovators for years. Ruby on Rails or “Rails” as it’s often abbreviated continues to be on the cutting edge of web and back-end API technology, consistently releasing new features and security updates each year.
Not only are the tools great, but the community is huge. Taking advantage of hundreds of collections of micro bits of functionality packaged up and distributed as “gems”, Rails developers can quickly get from zero to functioning app in a matter of days and weeks, not months. We’ve taken that a step further and codified our favorite and most useful gems, along with some custom business logic that tends to get used across most of our apps, and created an app starter template called Voyage.
With Voyage as a starting point, it’s a matter of crafting workflows and business logic that serves each customer’s specific needs out of the gate instead of spending weeks or months setting up the underpinnings of a new project.
In the first meeting, it was clear that the entire team wanted the RISE product to fit into the modern sports landscape looking at home next to prominent and familiar brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma, and Under Armour, while also standing tall and taking on a life of its own.
With this desire in mind, we created a pallet of colors that played well off of each other using Onyx Slate and Kinetic Green as the foundation. We found that these colors communicated a bold sense of energy as well as the renewed spirit you have after mastering a new skill.
After all the hard work each athlete puts into developing every new skill, it was important to reward that in an exciting way. Continuing the notion of progress and movement, we created an achievement screen that congratulates athletes as they complete individual phases and entire modules.
This animation concept is a way we plan on celebrating accomplishments in the future. Couple this with the current gamification elements that help provide real time feedback on an athlete’s personal growth, and it really helps incentivize continued skill development.
The RISE team and Headway collaborated actively from project kick-off, to assumption mapping, initial design sketches, logo creation, and feature development. From day one, both teams were working together to try to build the best possible product. This active and enthusiastic collaboration was key to the successful launch of RISE and is a tenant of any successful Headway project launch. Below are some action shots from that process.
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