Case Study: Realworld

Ushering In The Next Era of Realworld

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Chris Leja, Engineer

Oct. 26, 2021

Ushering in the next era of Realworld

Realworld is on a mission to simplify adulthood for the next generation. Step-by-step playbooks educate members about personal finance, health care, renting and more, by providing actionable information and product recommendations for life in the real world.

Data showed their users were most engaged and active on mobile devices, so the decision was made to sunset their desktop site and pivot to mobile. Realworld needed a performant, engaging iOS app to maximize impact with their target audience, complete with new designs and new features. 

Our approach centered Realworld at every stage. We set a rapid development timeline, focused on transparency throughout the process, and stayed flexible in the face of evolving requirements. We offered shareholders new iterations of the app weekly. A few days later, we would meet to discuss the changes and align on priorities for the next sprint, eliminating confusion and addressing concerns as early as possible.

Future Foundry is a pleasure to work with - they are reliable, organized, and talented developers. They are always willing to put in the extra work and time needed to ensure every project gets done properly. Most importantly, they truly care about Realworld as a business and understand how their work contributes to Realworld’s growth and success.

- Rebecca Abramson
   Head of Product, Realworld

Our Playbook for Realworld

With knowledge of Realworld’s existing backend infrastructure, requirements and goals, we decided on a strategy that emphasized rapid development, adaptability, and transparency throughout the process. Some of the core pillars of this strategy were:

  • Leverage React Native to build a foundation for seamless cross-platform support. This decision allowed us to build an iOS app that could easily be extended to support Android devices in the future.

  • Focus on transparency and client feedback in our sprints to ensure our priorities were always aligned with Realworld’s. We incorporated QA at every stage, allowing stakeholders to test every iteration of the app and address any concerns early. This decision allowed us greater speed to production, without requiring a long QA period between the app’s creation and release.

  • Stay adaptable in the face of evolving data. As their team worked to make new features available and refactor their data flow, rapid responses from our team were crucial to avoiding disruption in the development process.  

  • Implement new designs for the specific constraints of mobile devices, complete with a new aesthetic and design system. These new designs emphasized an intuitive user flow to maximize engagement with a low barrier to entry.

  • Prioritize high-impact changes, with an eye on scalability and performance optimization. From lazy-loading content to chunking data responses, we emphasized performance without sacrificing user experience.

  • Deliver scalable, efficient solutions to Realworld’s specific challenges. We leveraged services like Algolia to expand Realworld’s search functionality, and built a custom CMS to ensure their exact needs were met.

The Result

We delivered a performant, modern mobile app including custom animations, seamless text-parsing to dynamically clarify key terms, and comprehensive, multi-faceted search functionality. Through shifting product requirements, we hit every deadline and delivered a mobile app that exceeded expectations. Following the MVP release, Realworld again trusted our team to implement v2 of their mobile app, which allowed us to expand its functionality further in response to user feedback from the initial release. 

On March 11, 2021 Realworld raised 3.4M in initial seed funding. Realworld’s mobile app was released to the app store on May 3, 2021. Future Foundry sunset the desktop site and Realworld completed their pivot to mobile with minimal disruption to users.

Through our commitment to transparency, quick iteration, and scalable, efficient solutions, we delivered the engaging, performant iOS app Realworld needed, and have continued to support it since the initial release. See it for yourself here.