Born from the simple desire to keep up with golf buddies while on the road, VIE is a social competition engine that allows sports fans and pro athletes to compete together virtually using real-life stats and scores, and raise funds for charities.
As a venture-backed startup with no engineering team, VIE needed a partner with the mental prowess to turn their vision into a product, and the technical depth to take that product to market.
COPIOUS was the perfect fit.
To take VIE's big idea from concept to market, we needed to harness its unbridled potential. That means answering a lot of tough questions: What stats do amateur athletes care about? What algorithms exist? And which would we need to create?
How would nonprofits want to be involved? What about pro athletes?
How do you make something users have never seen before easy and intuitive to use? How do you make it fun?
The answers to these question (and a few thousand more) informed the creation of a functional spec, and defined what the end product is and does.
User Experience Design
To build an airplane the Wright brothers studied birds for lift, bicycles for balance, and ship rudders for control — our method is much the same.
Deconstruct the challenge, then find what works elsewhere and learn from it.
With nothing quite like VIE on the market, being experts in interactive really paid off. We drew inspiration from outside the vertical: online banking to video games, and social networks to software.
Drawing on a decade of user-centered UX design expertise, we reduced a core process from eight steps to five, while making it feel like three.
Gameplay in VIE takes place in the real world, so we based the UX in reality as well — with all its nostalgic splendor. Achievement badges look hand-stitched and trophies spit-polished.
We witness — on almost a daily basis — the steady migration to mobile and tablet devices. You'll notice (or more likely not notice) a seamless transition from laptop to iPad.
German cars get a bad rap for breaking down. In reality, they break no more than most other cars — they're just a lot harder to fix.
That got us thinking about technology. Any development team worth their salt will try to make a site break less. But how do you make one easier to fix? Identify the points where conventional apps fail and automate them. We did just that — and a whole lot more.
Built on best of class open source technologies
Unified platform, website, mobile, and facebook apps
Adapts win/loss forecasting into a scoring metric
Scalable, fault-tolerant, and built for social growth spurts
A healthy and sustainable technical architecture
VIE Sports is a beast of an undertaking…
There are 5 interfaces, which rely on 80 Ruby dependencies, built in 10 programming languages, using 3 programming methodologies, all aboard a hybrid infrastructure.
Not to mention the modification of a rankings algorithm devised by a Hungarian physicist and in use since the 1950's!
Our dev team's immense range in talent enabled them to choose the right tool for the right job — giving the work a cohesion and polish rarely accomplished on a project with so many moving parts.
AIM. Twitter. Mint. Ustream. Foursquare. FaceTime. Some of the most successful convergences of real life and the virtual world rely on real-time interaction. VIE is no different. We knew athletes would want to enter strokes from the green, and turkeys from the ally. So we built an app. And not just any app & a native iOS app.
Mobile App Highlights:
Fast & Intuitive UX
Native iOS app delivers a top notch experience
Built straight on core iOS social components, for a seamless social experience
Consistent User & Brand Experience
Native app acts as a highly-branded extension of the core platform
Quality was the name of the game from start to finish. Lists scroll quickly and reload even faster. Navigation drills down, with multiple paths back up the stack. Search views animate, just like built-in apps. And every choice was strategic.
Both data and UX flows seamlessly between app to platform — because the same strategy, creative, and development teams worked side-by-side on both. The "baked-in" insight our team amassed became a necessary asset for delivering top quality within the swift project timeline.
And though we'll never know for sure, we can't help but think the high quality of our work contributed to the quick, smooth approval process from Apple.
VIE is currently in private beta. Stay tuned for its big debut.