From MVP to Best of Year App featured by Apple

As an 8-year-old digital product studio, Oursky has worked with a number of great clients on building great products. Throughout the journey, we have learnt a lot in refining our MVP approach and process. This experience has helped us build mobile apps for our clients that are featured by App Store, got millions of downloads and active users, and loved by users.

 

We would love to share one of the journeys – Jamn Multi-Tool, featured by Apple App Store in different countries, which was selected as Best of 2013 in Music Category.

Jamn Screenshot Cover Img

Screenshots of today’s Jamn

It all started with an MVP

Most of our clients want to build a huge product. Problem is there are always many assumptions when you build a product: you assume you know what your users are looking for, you assume how the design should work, you assume a marketing strategy works for your target user. Yet, if your assumptions do not work, your huge investment would give little return.

That’s when MVP (Minimum-Viable-Product) as a process is useful. It pushes startups to test assumptions on a minimal efforts. Therefore, it is what we encourage every single one of our customers to do. (Learn more about what is MVP and why is it so great in this article)

In the case of Jamn Multi-tool, our client already got a paper prototype and tests with some potential users were already done. What we did was to digitise the MVP and see how well it worked on the iPhone.

The Journey

This is what we got for the MVP version. With this level of engineering, we believed it was enough to test out how well the digital version of a chord wheel worked for musicians.

Screenshot of Jamn Player's MVP Img

Screenshot of Jamn’s MVP

Next, we went on to test if presenting an instrument interface, which showed how a chord was played, would help our users. It turned out users loved it as well.

Little by little, one step at a time, we went through iterations, adding features and changing UI . Gradually find out what users love and what they don’t, and Jamn Multi-tool has grown its user-base into 3.5 million downloads today.

Here is a list of modifications added on over the years:

  1. A Guitar Tuner with algorithm tailored for iOS devices
  2. Scale of different styles is offered
  3. Illustration of how the chords are played on different instruments
  4. Multiple iterations of UI
  5. UX is made more interactive with better sliding behaviour
  6. Details are made in crafting graphic design and texture of buttons and surface
  7. Restructuring of the placement of button to offer a more cohesive experience.

And this is the final product:

Jamn Screenshot Img

Today’s Jamn with an interface illustrating how to play a chord

How can it be out-sourced?

You maybe surprised at how a sophisticated app like Jamn Multi-Tool is being built by out-sourcing, without an internal technical team?

BTW, MiQ Limited, the owner of Jamn, with its success had now grown into a larger team and working on a brand new app! Click here to join them if you are a passionate developer!

First of all, it takes a lot of trust between the studio and client. It takes a lot of communication between the two parties in order to build the relationship. Understanding the software engineering process, and set expectation on how updates / communications are done is vital. Trusting both parties will give its best shot on a project is the foundation of a successful project.

To make things work efficiently, a good communication pattern is needed as well. Usually, we schedule a Skype meeting with our client every 2-3 days for design-related activities. This ensures we get their feedback on different design iterations. Going into development stage, we will schedule a meeting every week in order to keep clients posted with the latest updates of the project.

For product development, a man-days based contract is always superior to fixed scope project, so that changes between iteration can be easier with little resistance; And the two parties can communicate and decide the priorities between speed, quality of code and fixing technical debt.

A data-driven mindset is another key to a successful project. This is why our project manager always dig into the data collected from the app. It has helped us a great deal in making the most appropriate iteration to the product for our client.

Last but not least, a team of passionate and experienced designers, developers and project managers would be the ultimate ingredients to a successful project! That is why we always proudly say ‘Made with love by Oursky’! We’ve enjoyed the journey with the client MiQ Limited and glad to work with the best HK branding agency Stepworks!


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Written by:

Dennis the intern. Doing all sorts of growth hacking, content marketing and data driven goodies at Oursky. He loves cat too.

Find him at dennistam@oursky.com|Linkedin|Twitter

1 Comment

  1. this app looks so cool and now it is free, awesome.

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