Meningitis Trust launch ‘life saving’ iPhone App

Yesterday the Meningitis Trust launched the world’s first Meningitis App and THINK Consulting is very proud to have been the team behind developing the app, with our digital services business.

The Trust, which has more experience than any other UK meningitis charity of supporting people whose lives have been destroyed by the disease, is leading the world thanks to THINK’s development expertise. The introduction of the world’s first will help save lives by giving millions of iPhone users easy access to the disease’s signs and symptoms.

The app is packed with everything users need to know about meningitis, tests users knowledge with an interactive quiz, instructs them what to do if they suspect meningitis, how to get help and, most importantly, it gives the signs and symptoms of the horrific disease straight to the user’s finger tips.

“We asked THINK to work with us in designing and developing an iPhone application for our symptoms card. They came up with some great ideas, have been really good to work with and have ultimately developed a fantastic app for us. We’re very happy with the results!” said Richard Hudson, Digital Media Manager at the Meningitis Trust.

Meningitis Trust iPhone app - developed by THINK   Meningitis Trust iPhone app - developed by THINK   Meningitis Trust iPhone app - developed by THINK   Meningitis Trust iPhone app - developed by THINK

 

Before we go into details about how we created it, here’s a video from Sue Davie, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Trust which explains a bit about the app:

Meningitis Trust iPhone app LIVE from Meningitis Trust on Vimeo.

So how did we approach this piece of work?

Well although we like to make it look like we’re all relaxed and informal, a project like this doesn’t happen without some sort of plan. Here are the steps we follow for a project like this:

Phase 1 – Discovery

We take the brief and deconstruct it. We try and simplify everything down to the essential core of the idea. The Meningitis Trust have famously distributed over 20 million of their symptoms card and it was obvious that was going to be the core of the app. We ran a workshop with the Trust to gather all the possible ideas around how the symptoms card could work interactively on an iPhone. This is an important part of the process as we are not experts in Meningitis – the Meningitis Trust are. After the workshop we had a firm grasp of what we were trying to achieve before heading into the design phase.

Phase 2 – Design

We went into the design process and used Stuart our Interaction Designer to design the concept of the app through complete annotated wireframes. This process is important as changes can be made at this stage on paper (which is cheaper than in the development phase). After a few different ideas that Richard and the team at the Trust ran past their health professional contacts, we came up with the final concept and design. We then use these wireframes to brief our designers who came up with a cracking design that really brings to life the Meningitis Trust brand on the iPhone. The result is an app that is simply beautiful to use. This was then signed off by the client (after the obligatory tweaks), before being briefed in by us for development.

Phase 3 – Development

We used one of our associate developers who is a specialist iPhone app developer. We had worked with them previously on another client’s award winning iPhone app and so we knew we could trust him. This is how we work with all our associates and is key to delivering a quality final product for the client. The app was produced in a series of iterations that were released for testing. These iterations help chunk the project into smaller parts so that clients get their hands on an actual working version as soon as possible. Once the development versions were tested and approved by the client it was time to submit the app to Apple for approval and making available on the iTunes App Store.

Phase 4 – Deployment

Everything was going so smoothly, but to be honest there was a hic-up when we deployed the app. For some reason, even though Apple approved the app in record time some of the key images were not showing up in version 3.1.3 of iOS (the operating system for the iPhone). So we had to try and get our developer to make some configuration changes. The problem was he was on holiday. Luckily because we work with people we trust, he managed to make the necessary amends within hours of us realising the problem and re-submit the app. So unfortunately we had to wait a few more days to release it to the waiting world, but in the end the deployment was successful. There are some great reviews already to prove it!

About THINK Digital Services

We don’t just love doing digital strategies. We also like to get our hands dirty with some implementation of this technology stuff.

Talk to us about anything to do with websites, microsites, mobile apps, online fundraising, social media, e-marketing or optimisiation (&  anything else fun & innovative!). Just email digital@thinkcs.org or call +44 (0)1280 824297.

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