Upgrading the app that saves toys from landfills
YoungPlanet is an app that enables parents to trade or donate no-longer-used children's things (toys, clothes, etc.) for free. The app is based in London and has recently expanded nationally with 35,000 users and counting across the UK.
A year ago, when we inherited YoungPlanet from a previous company it urgently needed UX and app performance improvements. The biggest challenge was preserving its functionality and maintaining good app optimization throughout the process.
The main idea was to upgrade the app while also implementing new features and improving the user experience. The goal was to prepare the app for its national launch.
When reworking a product it’s necessary to understand every single aspect that influences it. So we started from the basics, our users. An important goal was set- to find a way to keep the users we already have and gain new ones.
In this case, the user persona was already defined. Our users were described as parents which were either in need of a children’s toy or wanted to donate to another family. The data we got greatly influenced all of the new changes which were specifically tailored to meet the needs of this target group.
Just defining your user personas isn’t a guarantee for success but really understanding them is. At this stage, building this product around real data about our users’ experiences and preferences was crucial. This is why implementing Amplitude Analytics was the next logical step for us. It gave us a deeper understanding of where our users convert and drop off and fix friction points.
While redesigning this app we mainly focused on creating a user-friendlier experience.
The product screen is where our users can see all the info about the product and request it. The previous design was too cluttered and not so easy to use so our solution was reorganizing the data and creating a simpler and more intuitive design.
Enriching your app with new features is a must-do to keep up with your users’ needs and market trends.
A big problem we encountered was that the products listed on the app needed better filtering. From acquired data, we detected a lack of distance measuring filters which are important because of the product exchange between users. After the implementation, the feedback was extremely positive and the whole dynamic and app usage drastically improved.
In this case, our users wanted to interact with each other but there was no in-app feature that facilitated that. This is why we implemented the in-app chat, our users can now easily communicate with each other as well as send their inquiries directly within the app.
The collected data also showed that our users used the app for different purposes and that a different approach for every user was needed. Thanks to the new notification system, our users can now get customized notifications, ultimately improving their user experience.
The app was developed in React Native because of its ability to target both the iOS and Android operating systems. Since we needed a fast and reliable solution, Node.js was used for backend development. Finally, the whole application is hosted on Amazon Web Services.
We started this journey with the idea of remastering an old product into giving it a new and improved life. After code refactoring, app redesigning, and adding brand-new features, the app was ready for its national launch and our goal was fulfilled.