Guidr App

Helping expats & locals to better connect.

2015, Javascript, Mobile App
Guidr cover

Learning where to stay, who to meet and what to do in a new city can be intimidating. Guidr helps them to connect with local or more experienced expat for an easy integration.

Thinking.

The evolution of the expat world.

Expat statistiques

Problem statement

Today, this is more than 200 millions of people who are living abroad. The community is huge and new expats still have to face a lot of new challenges. When you arrive in a new country, there are lots of things to do. You don’t know where to start, how to do it… All these new challenges demotivate most of them and some doesn’t make the final jump.

Brainstorming

With two friends, we love to discover other countries and new cities. We had the same reflexion when we talked about this problem: facilitate this process and make a little easier the expat integration. Guidr was born.

Guidr is a mobile application who connects expats with locals or more experienced expats. You can browse people by nationality or time spent in the area, to chat and find a Guidr who can help you.

Team.

Who are we?

Guidr team

Joseph Urvois

Project manager

Gleren Meneghin

Lead designer

Kevin Bizien

Lead developer

My role

Process.

Idea to development

Guidr mangement process

Project management

When we decided to start the project, we had first to organise ourselves. My partners and I are living in different countries (Scotland, United States and France). Which is an asset as we are experiencing the expat world. But that require a strict organisation and it wasn’t easy at the beginning. Trello, Slack, Skype and Dropbox are our daily management tools.

The product design is at the heart of the team thinking. How can we offer a simple solution to new expat? We constantly ask ourselves this question. It help helps us to refocus on the project and implement the most important functionalities.

Design & development

I work closely with Gleren on the technical production of the application. He’s focus on design, and I take care of the development.

Zoom on my work: development part

My choice for the development was to built an hybrid app with Cordova. This enables me to develop one base code for all mobile OS (especially iOS and Android). The stack is full Javascript with BackboneJs for the application and NodeJs for the API.

I developped the API from the Node-starter which uses the light framework ExpressJs, the ORM SequelizeJs and the authentication middleware PassportJs. This starter allowed me to quickly develop the API. You can check my case study on The Node Starter here.

For the front stack, BackboneJs organises my Javascript, SASS compiles my CSS and Gulp builds all my assets in watch, development or production modes.

I develop UI components who can be re-usabled in the entire application. I use the InuitCSS modules collection to organise and architect all these components.

We built a style guide to assure the cohesion within the app. I attach great importance on the good understanding between team members – bad communication, bad comprehension, bad reflection about the process can bang your project against a brick wall. All these habits allow us to perform fluid iterations between design times and development times.

Guidr wireframes
Quick technical review
  • NodeJs, ExpressJs, SequelizeJs, MySQL, and PassportJs
  • Socket IO
  • Cordova
  • BackboneJs
  • Sass, InuitCSS
  • Gulp
  • Git
Retrospective.

Feedback & lessons learned

Guidr iOS presentation

Results

The application is still in development process. We programmed the launch for the second quarter of 2016.

What I learned

I learn a lot daily in my job. But this project gave me that extra push to improve my skills. Firstly, I developed a NodeJs Starter base with the ExpressJs and SequelizeJs. Secondly, I learn to use BackboneJs library – which overall, improved my Javascript knwoledge

That was for the technical part. The most important I guess, is the learning of the teamwork process. Organisation, communication, management… Think and build together a product for potential users. Build a real vision for an entire community, this is the most exciting part.

Next

As I said above, we will launch the beta version soon. We continue to work and I’ll update this story gradually including the project progress. As for the technical part, the priority will be to implement unit tests.

Stay tuned.

Thank you.

Share