AFC Radio

Idea

Guys from the radio wanted to make a mobile application for their website. The idea was to create a complete replacement for web portal by native technologies of mobile systems (for iPhone and iPad). It means that in the application should have been news, blog, radio shows schedule, radio residents' profiles, a list of local shows and mixes, and the library of radio shows with a possibility of downloading offline and, of course, the user's account.

Quite a significant amount of work, which according to preliminary estimates (rough estimate) would be about $12 000. We proposed not to start all at once, and to find out "what is necessary for people?”, what do they mainly use in the portal?

To find it out, we have integrated the detailed analytics on the website and within a month was observed users' behavior. Was detected the main visitor use cases, what features and directories are primary (important), and which were simply additions (nice to have feature). As a result of testing, we have built a thermal map of the web-portal and created a list of essential functions. You will not believe what a surprise it was for the owners when they saw this numbers. Almost 90% of the services used by visitors it’s the online radio.

As a result, testing has shown that there is no point in creating a great mobile software solution, but enough to make a mobile app with the ability to listen to the radio on the iPhone and iPad conveniently. A "convenient" means the efficient usage of native instruments, such as support of remote on the EarPods, player control via the Control Center, and on the lock screen.

A small experiment, which cost a couple of hundred bucks save client's thousands of dollars and several months of its operations.


Initial Requirements

Complete replacement for web portal by native technologies of mobile systems (for iPhone and iPad). It means that in the application should have been:

  • news;
  • blog;
  • radio shows schedule;
  • residents' profiles;
  • list of shows and mixes;
  • the library of radio shows (+possibility to download for offline use);
  • user's account.

Research Data and Agreed Scope

We proposed not to start all at once, and to find out "what is necessary for people?”, what do they mainly use in the portal?

To find it out, we have integrated the detailed analytics on the website and within a month was observed users' behavior. Was detected the main visitor use cases, what features and directories are primary (important), and which were simply additions (nice to have feature). As a result of testing, we have built a thermal map of the web-portal and created a list of essential functions. You will not believe what a surprise it was for the owners when they saw this numbers. Almost 90% of the services used by visitors it’s the online radio.

As a result, testing has shown that there is no point in creating a great mobile software solution, but enough to make a mobile app with the ability to listen to the radio on iOS devices conveniently. A "convenient" means the efficient usage of native instruments:

  • support of remote on the EarPods;
  • player control via the Control Center;
  • player control on the lock screen;
  • iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch support.

Wireframes

 
 Image is clickable

Image is clickable

Development Stages

We created the app in 1 week. One more week we were waiting for Apple review. We started from iPhone application to get the confirmation from guys. And when they approved it, we made the iPad version.

So, if you need any immediate solution reach us out and your app can be launched in 1 week (via TestFlight) and two weeks (already in App Store).


Design

 

Release

iOS version (iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch) was released in several days before the big event on the radio. Each year AFC Radio hosts massive radio marathon "Trance Universe". Armin van Buuren, W&W, Lange, MaRLo, Sebastian Brandt, Omnia, Indecent Noise, ReOrder and many other DJs played their sets on these marathons. This event brings together thousands of listeners worldwide. So, it's hard to imagine the better time for launching a brand new app.

That's why we prepared promotional company in several weeks before the launch. It was ads on the radio's social pages and partner's pages, promos on the air, and directly on the website. People were able to leave their contacts to be notified about the launch. And we gathered more than 2000 requests! 2000 people were waiting for app launching. These are the people, who interested and wait for the moment when they will be able to take hands on it. True early adopters group!

On the Day X (launch day) we sent for all these people happy emails with a link to the App Store. And up to marathon we already had a bunch of analytics with users behavior. It was a critical moment to understand if everything is going well: do people use the app in the way that we imagined? If not - it was a time for a hotfix. That week we were like SWAT team: each one was ready to wake up in the night and start to work. But that month with website analytics saved our nerves (and client's money, of course). On the day of the marathon, we doubled user base and got a lot of positive feedbacks.

The main issue why users wanted native mobile app: inconvenience of browser audio player. And our app was a great example how user's problems should be solved: straightforward and elegant. "Great work!" — said, the client. "Great app!" — said, users. What else recognition you still need?