There's a list of minor bug fixes and improvements I'd like to make to the usability of the app, along with some exciting features I've got in mind for the future. However, for now, the goal is to get this in people's hands and listen.
I want to learn from users about what they like and what should be improved. The pool of feedback during development and up to this point has been relatively limited. Now with a public iOS release, I'm hoping to change this. Going forward I want the direction and development to be focused on feedback from real users.
Do users find this to be a useful tool for facilitating community gatherings? If not what could be done to the app to better serve this objective. How can the app make this process more seamless or are there any features that are confusing to the general public? Or even some rad feature request that I may not have thought of? I want to hear about it.
Marketing & Communication
Up to this point, I've had a difficult time explaining exactly what this app does as a service. I've been able to draw parallels to other products out there but none of them scratched the itch I had which led me to build it. I'm hoping to refine how the app is described to better be able to communicate the exciting utility I believe it offers to community members and hosts all around.
This pain became abundantly clear while going through Apple's app store review process. It took many submissions, discussions, and weeks of back and forth to make the utility clear.
Currently, my best summary is that this is a location-based social network that automatically lets users broadcast to their community members when they've arrived at their favorite gathering spots. The how is not so important, and that's something I've been very caught up in. Going forward it's my goal to expose people to this tool and validate that it's going in the right direction to facilitate community gatherings and a real-world sense of togetherness. I think this is one of the most exciting aspects of this project. It's that it's a digital tool with the end goal of getting people together, not virtually, but in the real world.
One of the biggest changes is one that ideally won't be noticed by the user. This was a significant refactoring to the backend to replace our persistence layer. We use NestJS on the backend and had been using TypeORM for persistence. However, after mounting issues with TypeORM we've switched over to MikroORM. This alone was about a month-long effort, moonlighting evenings & weekends, that resulted in a more consistent & robust persistence layer in the backend service. Again this is not something that will be apparent to the end user but it feels like it's worth mentioning.
- Hub pages now show location properly
- Faster loading of the map on hub pages
- Push notifications fixed
- Recurring entered/exited hub notifications, while stationary, no longer occur
- error handling improvements
- fixed user policy links
- reduced power consumption
- minor UI updates
- foreground geofence detection
- tutorial/walkthrough updates
- improvements to user invite workflow
- updated styling and layout