Our Appy Day

iOS Wedding Guest App

Our Appy Day is a startup wedding based service focused around a social networking app which guests can use to chat, post photos and find out more information about a wedding they are invited to.

The founder of Our Appy Day was getting married. With guests attending from all over the country, he wanted a central hub where he and his fiancée could keep in touch with them all, as well as respond to common questions and send out regular updates.

Existing Options

The founder searched the app stores, compared websites and read reviews. There were a few options out there, but they were all either very limited in their capabilities, were poor visually, or had poor user experiences. None of the alternatives were particularly cheap either. The founder therefore had the idea to create his own app which would succeed where the existing apps had failed.

"I was disappointed with the options out there, especially as they weren’t free! So I thought why not start an app myself? I could build an app with the same concept as the existing apps, but with much improved features and UX."

Our Appy Day Founder

Rapid Application Development

Because it was so unclear which features users would be most interested in and which features would be developed in future, we chose to use a Rapid Application Development (RAD) approach to build the app.

"While there are stages within rapid application development, they should not be viewed as a rigid set of steps. It is necessary to provide some sort of framework for the process but the focus is the client and the fluency of software development rather than the model."

Rapid Application Development Definition

With RAD there is less emphasis on planning and more emphasis on adaptability & process. It involves rapid prototyping and is well suited to software driven by user interface requirements.

The benefits of developing with RAD are:

  • Reactive Requirements. You develop for what the user wants, not for what you think the user wants.
  • Speed. You can get a product to market a lot faster than you normally would with a traditional agile or waterfall approach.
  • Cost. Less time means less money.
  • Lower Risk. Less money means lower risk. You don’t develop things that may never be used.

RAD requires that you have a strong test base of beta users to use your application. Thankfully, the founder volunteered the guests at his own wedding to support our approach. This allowed us to develop features rapidly and on demand. The founder spoke directly to users of the app, asked them for ideas and feedback, then we took action immediately on that information and produced an update as quickly as possible.

Features

All of the features in the app that aren’t required for basic functionality, are real user driven features which have either been directly requested or added to resolve issues with early versions. The current set of features includes:

  • User Accounts
  • Live Chat.
  • Push Notifications.
  • Photos Upload.
  • Face Detection / Tagging.
  • Information Directory.
  • Configurable Theming.

The configurable theming feature allows each couple getting married to choose their own colours, fonts and styles for their guests when they log into the app, making the experience a truly personalised one.

We also developed a web platform where couples could set up their wedding and direct guests to. Each user’s website would have it’s own custom URL, and couples could invite guests to visit the website and RSVP directly. The styles they applied to the app would also be applied to the website, for a seamless user experience for guests.

Key Technologies

Swift iOS Push Notifications Core Data Photos Framework JavaScript Node.js Express Angular2 Domain Routing

Appy Ever After?

The app is now in a closed beta state and only available for iOS. While we have opened the beta up to other weddings, we are doing this in a very controlled manner so when the app is eventually released to the market, it is of the highest possible quality and has been tested to the best of our ability. The founder also wishes to add an Android version as soon as the iOS version is released to the market and the initial set of features are finalised.

"I was really impressed with how quickly we were able to release something functional. I think it took around 2 weeks from the start of the development work to the first release in the App Store. We've been making improvements almost daily since, and the feedback from our beta users has been really helpful when deciding what to add to the app next! For me working with Throneware for the development was easy. Picking a name was the hard part!"

Our Appy Day Founder