Realself

A blend of Tinder and Instagram for plastic surgeons and patients.
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Details

  • Scope Consulting, product workshops and analysis, iOS app development, API architecture, QA, SLA and maintenance
  • Innovation App performance management, real-time configuration with Leanplum
  • Technologies Objective C, Swift, Core Data, Leanplum, New Relic, Google Analytics, Firebase, Jira, Git
  • Business sector Health & Beauty
  • Model of collaboration Time & Material
  • Team 2 x iOS developers
    1 x Quality Assurance engineer

Increasing the market share and reaching a new users’ age segment in the most popular go-to plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures advisor in the US.

Timeline

  • 2015
    January

    The beginning of work

  • 2020
    June

    Final version of the iOS app

  • Ongoing

    Constant maintenance

  • Project’s highlights

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    Business needs & goals

    Although contemporary patients pursue cosmetic procedures almost on a regular basis, it’s still hard to trust new doctors having no information about their actual experience and a specified portfolio of their work.

    RealSelf wanted to improve this process by offering a simple, functional tool to review chosen procedures and doctors, making the selection easier, safer and more reliable.

    The goal was to build a platform for people who consider elective cosmetic treatment – from botox, microneedling, laser hair removal to various slimming procedures. The users were supposed to learn about available options, share experience, and connect with top providers, gaining unbiased opinions about doctors and clinicians who handle the treatments.

    Functionality

    Discovering the most recommended treatments, products, and doctors in a chosen area.

    • Functional iOS app with all the best features from the website

    • More personalized, streamlined mobile experience

    • An option to create a review of one’s preparation, surgery and results in a form of a blogpost

    • A personalized feed and a possibility to save one’s favorite content

    • Real people photos and reviews

    • Complex community support

    • An option to take part in free, in-person consultations with doctors an a seamless communication via private messages

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    Innovation

    App performance management

    We used the New Relic tool which helps engineers monitor and analyze the app’s performance. Moreover, each unexpected behavior has been automatically reported as an alert to the entire development team and to the client. This solution saves a lot of time for troubleshooting and lets us keep control of each production version.

    Leanplum

    In order to provide maximum conversion of each marketing campaign related directly to the company business model, we used Leanplum. This tool helps us manage the app’s behaviour using real-time configuration.

    It’s also a very powerful service for A/B testing and a great channel to connect with a person using in-app messages, notifications and emails.

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    Challenges & solutions

    Sensitive content

    Because the app shows a lot of sensitive users’ content like post plastic surgery images, and encourages them to share their clinical story, we had to build a functionality that allows users to hide unwanted parts or sensitive information from photos or screenshots.

    The implemented module provides various tools and styles to anonymize the image using features like black bar, stickers as well as different styles – blur, pixelation, eraser, crop, and so on.

    Supporting tablets

    The app supports customers using tablets which requires responsive app views behaviour. Depending on the device size, we automatically scale views to the specific screen size or, in special cases, rearrange view elements to make them more user friendly.

    Performance analysis

    To prepare a usable and friendly product, we had to be in line with the app’s users’, both doctors and patients. In combination with a well-developed analytics system (Google Analytics) and above mentioned performance managing tools (NewRelic and Leanplum), we could easily recreate any system glitch or unexpected behaviour reported by doctors or non-technical users and provide the solution faster.

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    Quality assurance

    User story testing

    We employed user story testing, checking the delivered functionality and doing a round of exploratory testing of the whole application with iPhone 5 and 6. Exploratory tests were performed after each sprint to detect any regressions or issues.

    Using Crashlytics

    We monitored and tracked problems when the application was in beta testing and after the release using Crashlytics. Each fatal issue was logged together with additional information and stack trace which helped the developers team handle it efficiently.

    Code reviews

    We performed 2 code reviews with an external team and iOS tech lead which had a direct impact on the code and the application quality.

    Testing scenarios

    After the application became more complete, allowed creating user accounts and interacting with real content, we started preparing more complex testing scenarios. It was the second phase of the testing process.

    Client’s review

    iteo team was very engaged and dedicated to helping us meet our goals. Even when working on strict timelines, they always delivered without sacrificing the quality of the deliverables.

    Outcome

    RealSelf became a trusted resource for 60 million unique visitors a year. The record time spent in the app is comparable to Facebook!

    • The platform presents over 20K certified doctors and healthcare professionals with reliable patient reviews. The minimum satisfaction rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

    • Doctors’ medical licences are verified every three months

    • Patients can count on prompt answers from medical experts, see the unedited before and after pictures of chosen procedures, and check the doctors’ certification.

    We still cooperate with the client for the application’s maintenance and constant development.

    Check the app

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