Own The Crowd enables communities to create their own websites on their own domain, enabling both social engagement and knowledge preservation. It makes it easy for groups to get online and start sharing their stories, ideas, and expertise with the world.
To create the best experience for their clients, we were asked to design a mobile app for one of their clients - the Scale Heli Pilot community. The goal was to bring engagement and increase experience to community members by using the push notification feature in the app. This way, members would receive notifications about new messages, bulletins, and updates directly to their phones.
One of the challenges we faced was deciding which technology to use to create a native app for both iOS and Android. We needed to choose a technology that would be efficient in creating a native mobile app.
Finding the right service for push notifications and real-time messaging was another challenge we faced. The Scale Heli Pilot website uses a third-party service for real-time messaging, so we had to investigate whether the service would work for our native app. We also had to find a separate service for push notifications.
When we've solved the issues with our app, we also need to follow the rules from Apple App Store and Google Play Store to publish it. Apple is known for its strict rules, so we need to be careful and read their compliance carefully.
We decided to use Flutter for this project. Flutter is a cross-platform framework developed by Google that is becoming increasingly popular among developers. With Flutter, we can build native apps for both iOS and Android using a single codebase. This will make maintenance easier because we don't have to look for platform-specific code, and it will overall shorten the development time.
Pusher Channel is the same service that the website uses for real-time messaging. Our client suggested that we use Pusher Beams as a third-party service for push notification because it has SDK for Flutter and supports both iOS and Android.
The Scale Heli app offers a number of benefits, including:
Users can stay up to date with the latest happenings on the website through the mobile app. By receiving notifications and activity updates, they can be in the know without needing to be glued to their screens.
Increase user awareness and engagement. This can be done by sending notifications, highlighting new content, or featuring it prominently on the homepage.
Instant access to important content and real-time messaging feature.
With this app, our client will be able to expand their feature on the current platform they already own. They can provide a full-service feature from the community website platform, to native mobile apps, and increase engagement of community members.