Radio Flyer: User focussed and Agile delivery
Radio Flyer is a household name in the US, famous for its range of iconic little red wagon and other ride-ons like tricycles, go-karts, and adult electric bikes & scooters. With a strong brand reputation to protect, they needed to choose a software supplier who would deliver to a high standard.
For Radio Flyer’s first foray into the e-scooter market, they didn’t just want to match their competitors—they wanted to create something new that their customers would love. They decided to make a foldable electric scooter that could connect to a mobile app, allowing users to:
- track the distance they’d travelled,
- view the battery status,
- lock the vehicle,
- receive crucial firmware updates, and
- restrict the top speed.
To create the app, they needed a team with relevant experience who shared their commitment to quality. They found this in Bluefruit.
The right tools for the job
The team reviewed the different development options and agreed that Flutter was the best suited to the project. This versatile framework allows a single code source to run seamlessly on Android and iOS platforms. Combined with considered screen ratio optimisations, Flutter would ensure a consistent, high-quality user experience accessible by an extensive range of mobile devices.
Flutter’s “hot reload” feature allowed our developers to see real-time user interface (UI) changes as code was changed, which sped up the development process.
While the team had prior experience with Flutter, the project required a deeper understanding and mastery of the framework. Bluefruit’s Agile work methodology granted them the time and resources to upskill to ensure they could deliver the project to the exceptional standards the client expected.
Our team worked in two-week sprints, granting Radio Flyer a new iteration of the working app each fortnight and live demos. This allowed for continuous improvement throughout the project. The client could regularly assess progress and supply feedback that would help develop the app’s design and features.
Iterative development also enabled us to deliver an early minimum viable product (MVP). This early, functional version of the app allowed Radio Flyer to start user testing in their “UX playground”, located at their Chicago headquarters. Testing supplied user insights, which helped guide further development.
There was a six-hour time difference between the US-based client and Bluefruit’s offices in the UK. For some, this could prove highly problematic. However, our teams got on well with open communication and transparent project management.
We used the time difference to our benefit by keeping open and regular communication channels. Teams communicated through platforms like Microsoft Teams chat and Miro, ensuring feedback and discussions occurred during the client’s working hours. This approach led to quicker feedback cycles, preventing delays in project progress.
Making Kanban boards, tests, test cycles, and Miro boards open and transparent enhanced team communication. This transparency allowed for quick issue identification and resolution, ensuring the project stayed on track, even when unexpected challenges arose.
The use of Adobe XD to showcase designs and obtain sign-off ensured that Radio Flyer had a clear understanding of the visual aspects of the app. This visual representation helped team alignment and ensured that design expectations were met.
Full team mix
In addition to developers and testers, Bluefruit deployed an experienced analyst to the project. They crafted comprehensive requirements which streamlined development, enabled effective testing, and provided the client with a clear and evolving understanding of the project’s progress.
The team also took on some of the design and user experience (UX) work, relieving some of the burden on the client’s internal team, who were working across multiple projects. Our ability to seamlessly integrate design and UX improvements showcased our flexibility and helped maintain the project timeline, leading to a more polished final product.
"We appreciated being able to see quickly and early what the app would be like. Quick feedback loops reassured us that the project was on track."
What Radio Flyer was looking for
The team needed a software development team that could:
- Create a mobile phone app to integrate with their e-scooter.
- Maintain exceptional software development standards.
- Ensure high usability.
- Work effectively across different time zones.
- Deliver on time and on budget.
Challenges Bluefruit faced
Even the best projects have their challenges. The Bluefruit Software team faced:
- Collaboration with a significant time difference.
- A need to upskill Bluefruit’s team with Flutter.
- Rapid issue resolution.
What Radio Flyer gained
- Access to a bespoke development team, who could produce software to the highest standards.
- Regular iterations allowed for continuous improvement and an evolving product. The client could assess progress and supply feedback at a rapid pace.
- An early MVP provided Radio Flyer with a functional version of the app that they could test and use for feedback and validation.
- End-of-sprint demos provided Radio Flyer with tangible and real-time insights into the app’s functionality and user experience.
- Transparent project management enhanced communication and allowed for quick issue identification and resolution.
- Timely issue resolution ensured that the project stayed on course and the development process remained efficient.
- Design validation eased team alignment and ensured that design expectations were met.
- A high-quality, market-ready mobile phone app delivered on time and on budget.
Are you looking to develop a new product or have an existing one?
Bluefruit Software has been providing high-quality embedded software engineering and testing services for more than 22 years. Our team of experienced engineers, testers and analysts has worked with a diverse range of clients and industries, including medical, scientific instruments, aerospace, automotive, consumer and more.
We can help you with software development at any project stage, ensuring quality, reliability, and security. Contact us today to discuss your software development needs.