travel & leisure
travel & leisure
Step Your World: A travel mobile app that allows users to discover, save and share the richest travel tips
Mobile app for city exploration
Step Your World is a social media app for travellers, making it easier to map out, share and discover the best city attractions from all over the world. A travel guide for the younger generation founded by Robyn Nicholl and Rachel Rockowitz, childhood friends-turned-business partners, Step Your World uses the power of social media, peer-to-peer (P2P) recommendations, and maps to reinvent the city exploration experience.
Step users can follow in the creators’ footsteps to discover new destinations or create their own mini-guides to hidden city gems. This very successful start-up has revolutionised the entertainment and travel industry less than two months after its release. Learn how we supported this project, from the workshop stage through design, development, and analytics, to scaling the ready digital product.
App Store’s App of the Day
Rating on the App Store
Complex MVP idea
Step was born out of the feeling that despite the immense offer of social and travel apps, the market still lacked a product designed explicitly for Generation Z. The start-up founders faced the challenge of reconciling the dream of a high-quality product with business and strategic goals. Step’s founders reached out to Miquido to create the MVP of the first-ever mobile app based on the exchange of map-based P2P recommendations. However, it quickly turned out that the idea backlog was too big for the MVP standards and required reorganisation.
Reconciling UX principles with artistic flair
The already-existent coherent branding, precise product vision, and ready low-fidelity prototypes provided by the clients testified to the high maturity of the business idea. However, reconciling UX principles with the urge to create a beautiful app that takes inspiration from contemporary design, and is appealing to millennial audiences, took a lot of work.
Challenging map implementation
In social media applications, maps are a nice add-on: they make a user’s life easier. The uniqueness of Step lies in mini guides applied directly to maps – allowing users to explore a specific city region or follow in the footsteps of their favourite content creators. Implementing this kind of unprecedented mapping experience into a social media app was challenging. It required blazing new trails in both legal and technical aspects, such as ensuring valid caching policies or choosing the right map provider.
The main task for Miquido was delivering MVP of iOS and backend applications that would evoke a map-driven social experience. Soon after entering the British market, the social media start-up wanted to upgrade the MVP to a mobile application enabling exploration of all the most significant cultural centres worldwide – such as Paris, Rome, Montreal, Las Vegas, Beirut and Tokyo. Therefore, transparent technical documentation, high-quality code, and addressing the matter of technical debt were crucial for further scaling.
Step is a unique combination of social media and travel apps. Therefore, our UX design team recommended MVP features that combine all the essential advantages of applications such as Tripadvisor and Instagram, including:
- Fast account creation via e-mail, Apple, Facebook and Google
- Seamless user onboarding, covering essential data collection
- Real-time activity feed showing all the actions performed by followers
- Personalised content recommendations, based on the location of the user
- Exploration of Points of Interest through multiple perspectives (e.g. of users or their followers)
- Notifications, including in–app notifications to inform users about new Step members, followers, or their friends’ steps.
In addition to the functionalities above, the implementation of product analytics is also crucial for social media apps. The Miquido data science team recommended implementing Firebase Analytics: the SDK that automatically captures predefined events and user properties. We also added Google Analytics integration for monitoring user behaviour – to ensure the client can observe critical trends and quickly iterate their product.
Services & tech stack
UX & UI Design
Phase 1: Workshops
Outcomes: MVP definition, backlog creation, planning the project budget & timeline
With the key question of reconciling the online and offline worlds in mind, our cooperation began with a two-day MVP workshop with clients. We prioritised our actions and chose the most critical contact points between the real world and social media – to ensure a cohesive, operational, and successful MVP.
During the MVP workshop, our design and development experts helped clients to translate user needs into app functionalities, defined the scope of obligatory backend work, specified must and nice-to-have features, and planned the project budget and timeline.
Phase 2: Design
Outcomes: iOS mockups for all must-have features – ready for design handoff
The Miquido team delivered wireframes of all MVP features in just two weeks, ensuring they met the high client requirements, were intuitive and user-centric. Over the next few months, our UX/UI designers took care of preparing high-fidelity prototypes for iOS devices – ready for design handoff. They refined the application’s features by introducing sliders in the navigation bar to ensure smooth user onboarding, adding personalised, location-based content recommendations for new users, and improving the Points of Interest exploration experience.
The start-up founders deeply cared about the high quality of recommendations and the freedom from unnecessary “social buzz”. Our key goals were ensuring a flawless categorisation method for places marked in Step and developing a well-thought user interaction system based on followers-only content. Last but not least, we implemented an intuitive system for reporting inappropriate content.
Phase 3: Development
Outcomes: delivering MVP of iOS & backend mobile applications
In the development phase, our goal was to build an MVP that could be scaled easily. The clients decided to start by carrying out a proof-of-concept on a critical user segment, so we focused on developing a refined native iOS application. Addressing the key MVP values (including development speed and efficiency, app performance, or modularised architecture), we decided on the Nest.js framework on the backend side. Also, our Node.js team took care of developing solutions that would later become the heart of Step’s map-based experience.
Phase 4: Scaling and further application development
Outcomes: Refining existing features
After a successful launch in April 2021, Step became an immediate commercial success. It could not have been otherwise – the app was constantly refined in the spirit of data-driven and user-centric application development even before the official release. Usability testing performed on target groups and funnel analysis of different registration methods allowed us to identify and eliminate registration process bottlenecks. Simplifying the profile-building process (e.g. by reducing form fields or using autosuggestion) resulted in up to a 6.5% decrease in the registration drop-off – meaning that 95% of user profiles are now built successfully.
6.5% might seem a little – but it is quite a lot in data analytics. Imagine a product where 100,000 users start the registration process. A 6.5% increase means 6,500 more application users! If those users chose the cheapest 1-year subscription (for example 7.99$/month), it would equal 51,935$ monthly increase in profits – hence, a 624,000$ rise in annual profits!
Karolina Holewa, Data Scientist at Miquido
2021 App of the day
on App Store
Imagine a mobile app that combines Tripadvisor, Google Maps, and Instagram. Now remove every unnecessary feature, add an expressive typography-based design, and gather a group of users exactly in your mindset. Step is a mobile application unlike any other – born out of the world of mass culture and social media while also standing out through an extraordinary design, map-based experiences, and a community of young and cultured creators. Even though the application development process was demanding, it brought the expected results. As a result, Step quickly became a leader in the social media start-up market.
After a few months of delay in the application release due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Step was successfully published in 2021 and immediately gathered positive feedback from the first users. It quickly turned out that the first-ever culture mapping tool perfectly fits into the post-pandemic, digitised reality. And most importantly, thanks to effective backend development and design on the part of Miquido, it met the high requirements related to the performance and usability of social applications.
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