Taking user experience to new heights

Find out how an expert redesign can elevate a digital product to new peak levels of user experience – and how we put this into action for wellbeing app Magic Mountain.

Many companies’ digital products fail to deliver on their early promise. Even though a product may have a clear vision, strong strategy and powerful features, for some reason its users do not fully engage with it. That reason usually turns out to be a poor-quality user experience.

Fortunately, there is a solution. Organisations can work with a digital product design consultancy like Elsewhen to redesign their offering to a best-in-class standard – and start to provide a truly consumer-grade experience.

Combining expertise in UI and UX to transform products

An expert digital product designer combines the skills of both user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design. Understanding the objectives and desired functionalities for your product, they will research the needs and pain points of your customers or users, and find ways to address them. They map out user journeys and information architecture, determining how people will engage with your product. 

Working within this UX framework, they develop the detailed ‘look and feel’ of the UI to create an intuitive brand experience. As digital products are dynamic rather than static, the product designer also thinks in terms of interaction and dynamic content. Having proficiency in both UI and UX enables the designer to move seamlessly between the broad overview and fine detail of your digital product.

Elsewhen recently put these skills into practice for our client, Magic Mountain.

Scaling user experience to the next level

Magic Mountain is a social fitness and wellness activity app, designed to help people build healthier behaviours through the power of teamwork. Using group psychology and gamification, Magic Mountain is helping ordinary people achieve extraordinary things, together. The app enables users to set activity-based goals, share them with their team and track progress.

Elsewhen worked with Magic Mountain on a 12-week journey to overhaul the existing app UX and user flows, and introduce new functionality – bringing value to the business and app users.

Developing and releasing a reimagined app in just 12 weeks

Magic Mountain had successfully launched into a growing market, and gained traction with a basic and quickly-built version of its social fitness app. But to reach the next level of growth, they realised they had to move up to a much more thought-through high-quality digital product.

While the concept of ascending a 'fitness mountain' was appealing to users, the visual style of the app was not so popular. The UI did not resonate with most of its user base – lacking a premium feel of design maturity and refinement. There were also many instances where the UX was complicated and illogical.

As a result, the app's user retention rate was dropping to 13% within a month – indicating lack of engagement with the product.

Taking an ambitious approach to delivering app transformation

Elsewhen worked to give the Magic Mountain app a fundamental overhaul. Our strategy had to be not only ambitious, but also pragmatic in scope. We had a fixed 12-week timeframe to achieve this transformation in advance of Magic Mountain's next meetings with potential investors.

Our approach was to manage the available time in a series of two-week phases. An initial discovery phase was followed by five sprints of design and development work, using Agile methodology.

In the research and discovery phase, we ran workshops to establish the current status and desired objectives. We conducted interviews with a range of app users to understand their experiences and opinions. Our team also assessed and prioritised project features in terms of the RICE framework – reach, impact, confidence and effort.

Delivering a step-change in user experience

Our findings in the discovery phase made it clear that the app UI and UX needed a full refresh. It also highlighted that the app's underlying legacy front-end and back-end code would not support future development and scalability.

Both of these aspects needed substantial work – but this had to be a pragmatic update rather than a complete reinvention. Our design team transformed Magic Mountain's conceptual ideas into a functional product design. Our research into real-world use cases for the app helped us shape an improved user flow.

Elsewhen's work on the new design system, component library and back-end code not only enabled the project to deliver value immediately – but also provided strong technology foundations for Magic Mountain to build on in future.

Driving user growth and investor interest with an enhanced app

At the conclusion of the 12-week process, Elsewhen conducted a design and engineering handover to enable Magic Mountain to take the improvements forward in future versions of the app. We supported them with submissions to app stores and deployment of the new back-end API to the production environment.

Magic Mountain gained a transformed app – in time to demo at their next investor event. They now have the infrastructure, tools and understanding to continue on the path we established together. Users love the improved UX and the new ways they can use the app.

We equipped their team with Agile ways of working, delivering incremental advances with a series of team sprints. Magic Mountain is now ready for a new phase of growth and investor attention – with an app that's truly fit for the future.

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