Our technical team began to develop the apps late last year, because we wanted to make it even easier for our members to access the recovery tools they need. We teamed up with mobile app development company RipenApps to accomplish this goal, working steadily for several months to add mobile capabilities to our already-robust digital platform.
The digital platform is for people who can’t attend in-person meetings, and for recovery support during the 23 hours a day when someone is not in a face-to-face meeting. We’re proud of our history of providing free online recovery meetings and networking tools for people around the globe. But we know that our technology has gotten stale during this time. We haven’t been able to provide the best possible digital experience for our members—especially when they’re on mobile phones.
That’s changing as we launch the new Android and iOS apps. Our main goals in redesigning the In The Rooms apps were to simplify navigation, improve video meeting accessibility and functionality, and transform the member experience into something much more welcoming and intuitive.
Simplicity is Key.
Our former app had a hamburger menu with nearly as many options as there are toppings to choose from on the menu board at Five Guys. This “monster burger” was pretty overwhelming and difficult to navigate. To streamline the navigation, we implemented a tab bar in the new app, allowing for direct access to the three sections of our platform our members use most.
Can You Hear Me Now?
One of the biggest frustrations of using our old apps? Sharing just didn’t work. And that’s if you could even find your way into a meeting, which required some detective-like skill. We took our laundry list of meetings in a week and created a screen that plainly shows which meetings are currently happening, and what’s coming next.
To address some of the most integral usability concerns, we vastly improved in-meeting functionality. Members can now properly share video and audio, view fellowship readings while the video meeting occurs, and receive attendance verification.
Look Forward to ‘Results’
If you downloaded our former apps, you’re likely familiar with the message “No Results!” This text prompt appeared at every turn surrounded by nothing but emptiness, making for an exasperating and unwelcoming experience. The updated apps give a friendlier welcome, even if you’re a brand new member without friends or posts to view. We incorporated the daily meditation, blog posts, and getting started guides on the home screen. This gives members more content to interact with—even if they haven’t met lots of people on ITR yet.
As we were working to accomplish these goals, the coronavirus pandemic surfaced. With this, the need for these redesigned mobile apps intensified—virtual recovery meetings have become more imperative than ever before. To meet this growing need, we expedited our production timeframes. We worked extra hours to launch operational apps as soon as we could.
Today, we’re thrilled to say that the updated In The Rooms apps are now available to download in the App Store and Google Play Store! We know they aren’t perfect yet. There are still some bugs and glitches to work through, and some additional features to add. But during a time when people in recovery need online meetings and supportive communities more than ever, we decided that releasing workable apps in the immediate ranked above releasing flawless apps.