Gateway Arch Park Native iOS and Android Apps and Shared CMS
The apps allow users to perform many convenient activities that help plan for and enhance their visit to the Gateway Arch Park.
In partnership with Aperture Films and The Gateway Arch Park Foundation, Lelander began the process of defining and developing native iOS and Android apps for the Gateway Arch Park Foundation in January of 2017. The apps allow users to perform many convenient activities that will help them plan for and enhance their visit to the Gateway Arch Park.
Lelander started the app development process with a discovery phase by defining our target users using pre-existing research. We then conducted interviews with potential target users and developed personas and scenarios based off of those interviews. We continued into the design phase by creating low-fidelity wireframes for each scenario. Using the wireframes, we created prototypes and conducted usability testing sessions. We followed a rapid prototyping approach and made small changes to reflect repeat feedback after each day of testing. At the end of our sessions, we received great feedback that allowed us to make quick design changes to improve the experience of our apps.
Visual design and development phases came next. The design style was based off of the existing Gateway Arch Park style guide. We gravitated toward a friendly, colorful style that showcased some of the great photography taken by Gateway Arch Park staff members. We developed native apps for both platforms. A few key features included: custom map overlays, native map with custom markers, Firebase integration, event feed (integrated with the website), defined itineraries, digital keepsake images, parking details and directions, and webcam feed (integrated with live webcams).
With both design and development, Lelander made sure to keep accessibility top of mind. Once visual design was defined, we met with select members from the Universal Design Group to have them review the app from an accessibility perspective. We received great suggestions and made improvements to the app. Once the apps were nearly feature-complete, we conducted a round of user testing with additional members from the UDG. These users performed tasks using the app on their personal device. Again, we received great suggestions and made improvements to the app.
Content for the native iOS and Android apps is connected using a Firebase integration. Admin can easily and immediately update content using a custom content management system connected to the Firebase database. A text change updated in the CMS is immediately reflected in both apps.
Throughout the contract, Lelander, Aperture Films, and Gateway Arch Park worked together to keep Foundation stakeholders informed of progress at key milestones. We also worked together to make sure we focused on making only necessary changes and keeping work as efficient as possible to provide as much value as possible. In the end, we have two great apps, one CMS and hopefully many happy visitors who will use the apps.
- Two native apps and a CMS all developed for a minimal cost
- User testing in multiple forms that provided simple, quick feedback that helped make the apps better
- Firebase as a database that allows for one update in content for both apps, free database hosting, and an easy-to-use CMS