Project takeover, development, and support for a web-based health and fitness platform

About the Project

Weight Loss Resources is a health and fitness web application with tools, databases, and resources for users to keep track of their dietary intake and physical activity. The platform also offers different challenges for users who are looking to lose weight in a sustainable way.

The platform serves as one of the UK’s largest nutritional databases containing the calorie counts of more than 50,000 foods and drinks, which are regularly updated and verified for data accuracy. The web app is integrated with fitness wearables such as Fitbit and Garmin, as well as with a payment gateway to enable users to purchase membership and resources within the app.

The client approached us to take over the code of their existing application to implement newer features and provide round-the-clock support. The code takeover was a highly critical process that required our development team to perform an extensive source code analysis. As part of the project, we developed new weight loss challenges for the platform, implemented comprehensive analytical tools for the admin site, introduced search and reporting features for the customer-facing site, and extended various existing features. Along with fitness app development, we continue to provide support and maintenance services for the system as well.

About Client

Our client, Weight Loss Resources, has been a leading name in the UK’s health and fitness industry for decades. Their web-based platform offers a range of tools including a budgeting feature, a food database, an automatic calorie counter, and different weight loss challenges to the users.

Banking

The Challenge

Amidst the pandemic, our client found themselves without a lead developer and a difficult-to-manage in-house team. They were looking for a new team that could take over the project and maintain and develop the web app further. The biggest challenge posed by the project was the code itself which is written in Core PHP and was being maintained by the same lead developer for over two decades.

Our client wanted a competent team of fitness app developers that could embark on this challenge and successfully take over the code. They trusted GoodCore's fitness app development services because of our extensive experience in product development and project takeovers.

Our client also aimed to introduce new tools for the administrative site that could decrease their dependency on the developers for most of the important backend tasks such as content management and data records. For the customer-facing site, the client wished to extend existing features and introduce different motivational weight loss challenges regularly. Another key consideration for the design and UI/UX of the web app was our client’s decade-old customer base; our client did not want to confuse their loyal customers by introducing any dramatic changes to the app.

Solution

The Solution

Our client's product was a truly different type of fitness app and the project had its challenges. We understood our client's pain points and after a thorough analysis of the code of their existing software, our health and fitness app development team took over the project and devised an efficient support model to provide 24/7 maintenance and support services.

We developed and introduced various kinds of motivational challenges for our client’s customers which resulted in increasing their customer signup rates. To ease the process of managing content and databases for our client, we developed analytical and reporting tools for the admin side of the app – this helped structure the data for our client’s use. Not only this, we introduced new search features, reports, and filters for the customer-facing site as well. We extended the existing diet planning feature – PlanBot – to include new categories of diet food, such as vegan and gluten-free.

In terms of design and functionality, we improved the layout and various UI/UX aspects of the application, making everything fully responsive and more visually appealing on mobile devices. As per our client’s request, we remained mindful of the existing design and managed to introduce changes that were in line with the original design of the web app without making any drastic changes.

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What We Delivered

Motivational Challenges

Motivational Challenges

In the first phase of fitness app development, we introduced a list of new motivational challenges with a range of fitness milestones based on daily healthy eating habits, physical activities, and the number of steps. Each challenge is designed differently; some are based on a token-based system, while others follow a calendar-based design. Our aim was to make the challenge interface user-friendly and appealing. We implemented easy-to-use drag-and-drop features and custom game board designs that offer an exciting user experience. The app allows users to monitor their weekly progress for each challenge and our client can keep track of how many of their customers have taken upon these challenges.

Reporting and Analytics

Reporting and Analytics

As per our client’s request, we implemented easy-to-use reporting tools on the admin site that allow them to monitor user activity, maintain data records, track app purchases, and update information without relying on the developers. Additionally, our client can also modify the content for the challenges and generate various reports from the database.

Search Functionality

Search Functionality

The fitness app offers a huge database of nutritional information about thousands of foods and recipes. Our challenge was to make the database more searchable and accessible for users. Therefore, for the customer-facing site, we developed a robust search functionality to allow users to search the database for resources, articles, recipes, and diet plans.

Third-Party Integrations

Third-Party Integrations

To further improve the user experience of the web application, we integrated different third-party APIs. This included integration with an IP geolocation API to detect the location of the requests coming from visitors and automatically fetch user location in the signup form. In addition to this, we integrated the Trustpilot API with the system emails, allowing our client to gather reviews from their customers via emails.

Maintenance and Support

Maintenance and Support

Our development team provided round-the-clock maintenance and support services to keep the application up and running. From doing underlying maintenance to regular bug-fixing, we offered holistic application maintenance and provided the support that was vital for our client’s subscription-based web app. We worked together with our client’s server management provider and the support teams of Fitbit and Garmin to promptly resolve device compatibility issues faced by the users.

Our Process

Unlike many modern-day web applications, our client’s platform is written in Core PHP. Therefore, as part of the project initiation phase, our development team conducted extensive requirements gathering activities with our client and their lead developer to make sure that we understood exactly what our client expected from this project. This involved our team studying comprehensive code documents related to the project that allowed us to seamlessly navigate through all the modules of the web application after code takeover.

We conducted unit testing and a thorough impact analysis of changes we were to introduce in the code. This helped us ascertain the technical complexities and key requirements for the health and fitness application.

After the successful code takeover, we developed and released the first set of motivational challenges, closely following our client’s requirements. Before the deployment of these challenges, they underwent a rigorous testing process with hundreds of test cases to ensure quality performance.

In terms of the design of the app, our developers analysed the existing design and its constraints and made the app’s layout more responsive and mobile-friendly without making any huge changes to the colour scheme and design of the app.

Team

Team

Our team consisted of two full-time developers and a part-time project manager and software quality assurance engineers. The team, though small, have the ability to understand complex requirements, and their passion to deliver results made it possible for us to successfully take over the project code.

Technologies

php

Core PHP

MySQL

MySQL

jQuery Mobile

jQuery Mobile

Smarty

Smarty (template engine)

Client’s Feedback

Clutch Review

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  • We engage an initial discussion to understand your requirements
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