Here at Rumble Labs we love developing our own products. We’ve launched Onotate, AssetSync, SquareVid and Yolla previously. Last year we launched our latest product, Nuu; an app that makes it easier for businesses to reach a community of early, potential customers who like to discover and try new things.
With so many new places popping up around Belfast, we were inspired to create a platform to help businesses launch successfully. In just 6 short weeks we built and launched a beta version onto the web, and we’ve been iterating and improving it ever since.
Design & Development
We’ve been using collaboration tool Trello to organise tasks on the Nuu to-do list into weekly releases so we can focus on completing a set of related tasks for each new release, allowing us to iterate and improve on a very regular basis.
Nuu’s main features are focused around following cities and being notified when new places open in those areas. We also wanted to allow users to create a wish-list of new places to try out, so we designed three main calls-to-action for each place, that allow the user to save places, mark as visited and upvote it if they liked it.
We have been applying an agile approach to Nuu by designing and developing the app in phases, and continually striving to improve the experience for our users. We used Google Analytics to find out how changes in the design of the app impact user behaviour. For example, we employed Google’s A/B Testing to discover if a modal window appearing on a user’s initial visit to Nuu would encourage them to sign up, or drive them away from the site. The results determined which path we would then take with the design.
The home page is populated with new places which are easily filterable by the type of place (from coffee shops, to retail stores, to gymnasiums), the place’s location, the opening date and how recently it’s been added to Nuu.
We created a ranking algorithm to sort places by popularity on the homepage to ensure the content stays fresh and interesting. It takes various factors into account, including upvotes, planned visits and distance in days from the opening date, whether that’s in the future or past.
Our first real challenge with Nuu was acquiring those initial 100 users. Soon after releasing the beta version of the app, we sponsored Belfast Ruby and took the opportunity to demo our product and gain feedback from the attendees. We created a survey for users to answer after using Nuu and we were able to to use this feedback to shape the direction the app and future design decisions, as well uncover more about our target users.
In November we sponsored Belfast’s newest design focused-conference, Break, where we set up a stall to display our marketing material and got chatting to many of the conference attendees. At this point it was critical for us to gain traction and audience awareness in order to see the signups increase at a good rate.
We’ve also discovered how important the role social media is for this, since the number of users joining Nuu on a particular day/week tended to be directly proportional to the amount of tweets or posts we’d sent out.
If you want to be kept up to date with new places opening and any product developments, give @whatsnuu a follow on Twitter, or give Nuu’s Facebook Page a like.
Nuu is currently a Ruby on Rails 4 app hosted on Heroku which works great on the web, but for a truly rich mobile experience it's best to create native applications. That's why we're now focusing on creating an iOS app to better the experience of discovering new places on iPhone and iPad. With this, adding a new place while you’re out and about, or deciding where to try for lunch will become even easier.
Sign up to Nuu and start discovering new places, near you, today.