Evolve

Business problem/opportunity

Evolve Skateboards are an electric skateboard company based on the Gold Coast, Queensland. In 2019 they released a new board, the GT2 which included bluetooth capability. With the release of this board, Evolve wanted to release a corresponding app that would enhance the rider’s experience. The app’s goal was to provide an elevated experience, beyond simply riding the board. From a marketing perspective, the goal was to drive decision making for new customers to choose Evolve over other brands due to providing an enhanced riding experience that the board alone could not. This meant the app had to be fully bespoke with crisp UX/UI, functionality specific to Evolve boards, and new and exciting features unseen by other skating apps.

What we did

We worked with Evolve, and their customers to identify gaps in the experience that the app could fill. We surveyed over 1000 users during the design research phase of the project to ensure we were designing an app based on real needs and not assumptions. We knew going in, that the app would take advantage of the new board’s bluetooth functionality (with features such as firmware updates, and the ability to increase acceleration), however the survey also helped identify several other areas of functionality not dependent on bluetooth (such as GPS tracking and the ability to share rides with peers).

QUT Screens

Functionality

Ride tracking

GPS tracking of an ongoing ride that records distance, time, average and max-speed achieved.

Ride history

A comprehensive view of all previous rides completed, sorted by month.

Ride sharing

Share the GPS route of a ride completed to a shared map for other riders to follow along.

Leaderboard

A leaderboard for total distance ridden that ranks riders against each other. The leaderboard is able to be filtered by time (week, month, all time) and country.

Firmware updates

Trigger board and remote updates via a bluetooth connection.

Customise

A setting to increase the board’s torque and acceleration.

Profile/Settings

Includes the ability to set preferences, connect to a board, and lists all badges achieved (and possible to be achieved).

Social sign-on

Facebook login to enable easy login for users and the ability to compare riders by their country.

Technology

App technology
App technology

Flutter is a cross-platform UI toolkit that allows us to write 90% of the code for both Android and iOS at once. Hot reload allows us to speed up development time by instantly seeing what our code does on the app, saving time and money without compromising quality. The platform allows us to create beautiful UI easily, with great support for animations and layout.

Bluetooth
Bluetooth

Evolve’s newest generation of boards and remotes included bluetooth functionality which was leveraged in the app to pass data from the app to the devices. This meant users are now able to udpate their board and remote firmware via the app.

Backend
Backend

Firebase is easy to integrate in general and especially in Flutter and is more user-friendly than its main competitor AWS allowing for faster development. Its rather humble feature list (compared to AWS) was more than sufficient for the simple requirements of this project. Firebase is backed by Google and was a reliable choice for the backend.

GPS and Mapbox
GPS and Mapbox

Mapbox provided the map used in the app, chosen specifically for its extensive ability to customise the style. GPS integrated with this feature to allow for reliable ride tracking and distance tracking, used in other features such as the leaderboard.

Facebook integration
Facebook integration

Using Facebook to authenticate users created an easy sign up/ log in process for the users that they are already familiar with, and reduced the amount of work spent on the feature. This allowed development costs to be focused on features in the app more desirable to our clients.

Outcomes

The result was an app that was very well-received by the community and in the first month achieved the following statistics:


Rides tracked in the first month
Rides tracked in the first month

kms tracked by riders
kms tracked by riders

Rides shared among users
Rides shared among users

kms of shared rides
kms of shared rides

Evolve Customise Screen