We bumped into a worried Peter who said he was having issues with his current team of developers. Nothing new we thought to ourselves. This is exactly why we built Made by Fire, as we are great at turning things around for Founders. Peter was all suited and booted up that day, so we wondered how he might like hanging around with us product designers with our scruffy hair and tattooed arms.
Insurercore is a mobile app which will be the future of networking in the insurance space. The app brings brokers and underwriters together in one slick mobile interface. Users can showcase new products, maintain and expand their professional network, stay up to date with changes in the market and also advertise themselves. But that is today. Let’s rewind back to that day we first bumped into Peter.
Peter hired us to give his shiny new app a UX facelift.
Our product design team ran couple of design thinking workshops with the Insurercore team. It was important that we understood the proposition well. There was no opportunity to shape this product as Peter and team had already taken care of that. So the task was simple – “give us a slick and beautiful UX and visual design which our third party developers could stick onto the app easily.”
While we were designing the website the Insurercore team were testing the existing build of the app and every day brought them new challenges and issues that were fixed earlier kept coming back. So our tech sleuths were called into action and asked to review the work being done. The less we talk about what ensued after that is better for everyone. Needless to say we were soon building the tech for the app also.
After experiencing some frustration with our previous developers, the lesser said the better, it was through a chance meeting that we stumbled across Made by Fire, or MBF as we like to term them. At this point our app was in desperate need of a Trinny and Susannah style make-over and after seeing the proposal put forward by Vernon and his team, we knew that Insurercore and MBF could build something that will assist in changing the way the insurance market transacts commercial business. After initial design meetings and drawing out a timeline, it was evident that our previous developers had managed to make quite a mess of the underlying code and that an overhaul of the app was necessary.
The last thing we wanted was the make-over falling off half way through the user experience. It was then decided that we would take MBF on full-time to assist with current and new functionality as well as applying the gloss where necessary. Having been working with the team since September 2016, we are now pushing beyond our initial ambitions and have built an app our clients are receiving well. MBF are responsive to any requirement for new ‘hair extensions’ or a ‘reapplication of lipstick’ and the results have been impressive. I am confident our relationship with MBF will lead to the development of a market changing app that we can all be proud of.
The Insurercore app was built in a hybrid manner as device coverage was more important. So we used a React Native front end integrated with a REST web services layer built using JAVA 8 conforming to the Spring Boot framework. The application data was persisted in a MongoDB database, while Liferay Portal CMS was used to manage all the content. The app was then hosted on AWS infrastructure.
The entire product was designed, built and delivered in 60 working days to the team at Insurercore. After a round of closed alpha testing the app was released for Beta testing amongst members of the Insurance community. We continue to support the product by building new features into the app while Peter and team are building some good traction and also getting some good feedback which helps to improve Insurercore.