Photo Credit : All images uploaded and app design accredited to Paul Bingham of Gospelware, Branding and logo are copyright of REALRIDER®
REALRIDER® is an application for motorcycle enthusiasts, an online community for journey sharing that also promotes road safety.
The idea was pioneered following information from Great North Air Ambulance that indicated a problem between motorcycle crashes and rescue. Accidents often occur on rural roads where a rider is solo at the point of crash, and finding them within the ‘golden hour’ is imperative to boost survival chances.
This app bridges the gap between crash and recovery, alerting emergency services if a rider is in trouble, and in turn offers riders peace of mind when out on the road.
Motorcyclists become a part of an online community with this app, as well as being able to have peace of mind and greater security on the roads with the REALsafe® feature.
REALsafe® is the primary driving force behind the interest in the app as it has the ability to track the location of a rider's crash and notify the emergency services. Using the built in motion sensors of smartphones, the app automatically detects crashes and longer periods of inactivity.
The original app’s design was proving unpopular with users due to its awkward functioning and unclear navigation options. Still though, interest in the app remained high due to the option of the REALsafe® feature.
We were approached by REALRIDER® to completely redesign version.1 of the app to make for a more enjoyable user experience, so that more people are able to use it. It was also important to more strongly incorporate the popular component of the REALsafe® feature.
User feedback was gathered prior to the redesign which our design team used to form the final reform of the app. This became the focus of the overhaul experience leading to the adding of features that hadn’t currently been considered prior to the user testing.
The result was the design of an app that is user-friendly, engaging, and most essentially promoting of safety for motorcyclists on roads.
The re-design of the project was innovated directly from user feedback and incorporates more strongly the award winning REALsafe® feature.
In the event of an accident, the REALsafe® feature sends the rider’s location, medical information, and contact details directly to emergency services. This was a feature that users made clear they would like to be more visible within the app.
REALsafe® wasn’t visible in the system prior to our redesign, meaning that people were unable to purchase and use it. We changed this by giving REALsafe® its own prominent space on the home screen, making it immediately and easily accessible. Once accessed, the feature can be instantly purchased, with contact and medical information clearly visible in a profile format thereafter.
When REALsafe® is enabled the app can detect crashes by registering rapid deceleration, tumbling motions, and periods of no movement triggering the alert for emergency services. The app will automatically pause if a rider takes breaks to talk to fellow riders or stop for coffee, ensuring that emergency services are only notified if an actual crash occurs.
The ‘find friends’ function allows journeys to be shared, as well as used for locating friends. This feature also presents location based offers centred around a user’s activity along with ratings of the products or services. Newly added feature ‘garage’ allows for bike documents to be stored, with a ‘try before you buy’ option also added, allowing users to test the app before committing to a subscription.
Designing directly from user feedback enabled us to create a UI and UX that accurately reflects the wants of a user, making this project in particular very specifically user centric.
In holding a series of workshops and maintaining consistent communication with REALRIDER® we were able to understand the problems with the app prior to the redesign, and could begin the wireframe for the design of the new project.
Wireframes act as a blueprint, where we arrange the elements of the app prior to the actual design process. This allows us to establish how the UI and UX will best fit with the idea and the intended functioning of the software on a whole.
Improved visibility of REALsafe® was one of the priorities, along with an easier log-in, and the ability to add ‘points of interest’ to journeys. We envisaged how a user would engage with the app, mapping out key journeys, and taking into account every possible interaction.
In understanding and imagining the UX (user experience) to this level we were able to provide a clear illustration of how the software would then be built, meaning we could then move forward confidently with the UI (user interface) design.
Design visuals were constantly tested on different devices allowing us to ensure that content is readable and navigation elements are easy to tap. We also test the designs for various types of colourblindness to ensure that the final app would meet accessibility rules.
The marketing strategy for the app has been devised by REALRIDER® and will involve a mixture of promotion through specialist motorcycle partnerships. BMW motorrad are offering a year’s subscription to the crash detection technology with all new motorcycles for the next 3 years.
Joining with channel partners such as Chinese manufacturer Kymco and Michelin Tyres has resulted in the offering of a gifted a subscription as a part of product purchases.
In addition to this REALRIDER® will also be using ambassadors, bloggers, and social media to drive discussion around features. The company focuses a lot on the riding community and have eLearning facilities on their web platform to increase biker awareness. This extends further to a ‘panel function’ where riders can discuss and comment on topical motorcycle issues.
REALRIDER® also plan to utilise a large portion of the 1,200 UK dealer network to drive downloads, and purchase subscription through a retail partnership.
As the app was designed and not developed by us, the measures of security were not implemented by us. However, as it holds medical information in the main feature of REALsafe®, security measures are important and a priority for the app.
The medical data is contained solely within the rider’s app and is password protected. It is not stored on a server, and if a crash happens, the medical location and rider’s contact details are sent transiently to the North East Ambulance Service for processing. The managing of patient data adhered to NHS compliance throughout the entire process.
The rider is in control of location data and can only upload this to REALRIDER® if they choose to. The app doesn’t currently display the type of bike they are using so no value is apparent to avoid potential theft. REALRIDER® actively encourage users to start recording their journeys away from their place of work and residence. The new app enables users to select known - or create - locations where the ride begins and ends, helping to protect from theft.
REALsafe® Technologies picked up a European Satellite Navigation Award last month in Berlin. They won for the region classified as the UK, and came second overall out of 515 entries from 40 countries.
We are now in the process of also redesigning the web app and design of new marketing website.
This can be any new service or application from a start-up to an industry leader. It’s not just bells and whistles we're after but true innovation, exceeding expectations and filling a void that had previously been open.