Urban Sports Club rebuilt their app with React Native over the last 2 years. Being the only product designer in the squad (in fact, the entire company, for a majority of the time), my role was to envision, scope out, and help deliver this "new and improved" app.
What follows are my learnings from this "react-ification" project and how it changed my perspective on many things design, and also non-design when it comes to product development.
How things developed
Rebuild the Urban Sports Club app with React Native while merging distinct features available in Android & iOS apps.
- The user's experience on the web, Android, and iOS was entirely different, with features unique to that platform. To bring them all together or drop some, was the challenge.
- Finally, taking the iOS app as the base, we tried to integrate the features from the Android app & the website.
- The codebase for both the apps was deemed unscalable and the maintenance cost was increasing after every newly developed feature. React native was supposed to help us decrease the cost.
- The development team was small. Beginning with just 2 developers, 1 product manager & me the designer, we had to scale up the team alongside. There was also saw some hiring along with the weight of the project.
- Urban Sports Club's rebranding efforts were also going on, on the side. And one of the main aims was to ensure the rebranding of the React Native app should be minimal effort.
- All feature requests from stakeholders would be paused until the app is released. Creating a design system early on will help us make pre- and post-release development faster.
The apps were visually and functionally different.