Glasgow Walking

Making Glasgow more Active. Glasgow Walking was an output of our work on the £24 million Future City Project in our home city of Glasgow.

As little as 5% increase in activity from each citizen is estimated to save the NHS £60 million by reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other avoidable illnesses. The Glasgow Walking app makes local heritage information easily accessible in the format of curated walks with the aim of getting citizens to tour their city and be more active.

The product allows Glasgow City Council to quickly produce mobile apps aimed at providing information for citizens in a cost effective manner. Apps for both Android and iOS can have data curated on the Glasgow Walking admin and accompanying mobile apps can be quickly reskinned to suit the branding of a given need.

With Glasgow Walking the Add Jam created a rapid prototype of an information based app using iOS as the lead platform. At this point we focused on the end user experience and experimented with ways of providing subtle but useful information to the user within the limitations of mobile screen sizes. An example of this is the compass for each city attraction which updates in realtime to help users navigate to the destination and helps place them in the city. It's a small, simple addition to the app that provides an excellent user experience.

Our first build of the product was given to key stakeholders across the city. From within the City Council itself to school childern in the local community with the goal of getting real world user feedback on the product. We used the Twitter Fabric tooll, specifically Crashlytics for crash reporting and beta distibution.

Data and feedback gathered through this process was used to refine the experience. We actually remove information that was causing confusion and cluttering the interface - it's important to acknowledge failure when creating new products. Taking information out may seem counterintuative but often good design is removing information rather than adding it.

Add Jam iterated on the Glasgow Walking product to the point where it became the Glasgow Walking App Platform. We developed an admin panel for the council to remotely update the app and a native Android app bespoke. We extracted configuration and setup as well as creating a graphic template so Glasgow City Council could produce new apps iOS and Android information apps in less than day.

Check out our work on Glasgow Walking:

How we made it.

The mobile apps created for the Glasgow Walking product are fully native. On iOS the apps are made using ObjectiveC and on Android we used Java.

The Glasgow Walking API and admin panel use Ruby on Rails and are hosted on Glasgow City Council Azure infrastructure using Docker.

Project benefits.

Ultimately the goal was to make Glasgow more active. Across the app platform there is over 40 walking routes across the city easily accssible and updateable. It moved city tourist information away from paper onto a clearn, useable mobile app with a great experience. It's easy to updatea and more environmentally friendly.

The platform allowed the council to produce apps for community groups and city wide campaigns such as Glasgow Green Year at a greatly reduced cost. We estimated this to be a saving of 95% over bespoke app development for each use case.