Community App With Daily Updates

Client: Community Project
Task: Architecture Multimedia Design Production Development Quality Assurance
Skills: JavaScript Database CSS iOS/Android/App Development Writing
How a small community project was able to generate and update app content quickly and easily

We were approached by two members of a community partnership who wanted to help create a ‘one-shop, go-to’ place for their local community. They were passionate about their local community and wanted to establish something that the community could be proud of. Their vision was to create a platform the community could use to find local tradesmen, sell items and skills, keep up to date on local news and events or simply find someone to attend a local event with. They wanted the solution to be as self sufficient as possible such that once it was established the community could run with it creating the majority of the content for themselves.

Their vision was to establish a local marketplace with advertising space to help fund the continuation and possible future expansion of the project, as well as gain interest from local government to expand the idea into other territories. They wanted both a website and an app so that the solution was available to as large an audience as possible and would attract some of the younger generation within their community.

The partnership had lots of great ideas of what could be achieved but it was important to create some basic functionality initially which could be expanded upon in the future.Being a community initiative the resulting solution needed to be simple to maintain and grow, with an easy route to content generation. In short we needed to know the idea was going to work first before adding lots of bells and whistles which may not have been necessary.

Our solution was to create a Wordpress website which communicated via an API to a native app, updating the news and marketplace items in real time. Wordpress is a renowned Content Management System (CMS) which allows you to build a blog or full website for free. With hundreds of themes to help with styling and multiple plug ins to increase the functionality it meant the community could use an already established mechanism to create their content.

Although Wordpress catered for mobile in providing a responsive look and feel, so the website pages could expand and shrink in line with the screen size being used. It didn’t provide support for more complex mobile functionality and could not provide the experience a native app brings. The use of a native app fed by the CMS meant the app could display the content exactly how the partnership envisioned it and the users could respond to blogs and discussions seamlessly.