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planning, development and app creation for Snowball

planning, development and app creation

We were approached by our client, Simon Sansome, who had a brilliant idea for a new app design and needed a team with the expertise and know-how to bring it to life.
Well – he came to the right place! Inspired by the premise of Simon’s app concept – to create a “TripAdvisor-style” experience for people with disabilities, making it easier to find accessible venues – our team at b4b got to work.
The app was launched in early 2022 and has gained an international following, with reviews praising the way in which the programme makes it easier for those with physical disabilities, mental health issues and learning disabilities to explore and travel with confidence.
Based on his own experiences, and the challenges he has faced as a wheelchair user, Simon developed the idea for Snowball long before the app itself was realised.

With a dream to inspire confidence in others and remove some of the unknowns that could make activities - like going out to dinner or visiting a new venue – a frustrating experience, Simon had already started running a Facebook page. The page, Ability Access, is a place where people can share their reviews of how certain establishments catered to (or failed to cater to) their specific needs.

From here, the idea for an app was born, aiming to make this information even more accessible and easier to find - it was just a case of building it!
plan to succeed
Our software team started the app-creation process with several idea-generation sessions, aiming to begin with a strong foundation of possibilities. These sessions were held both with Simon, and internally, to collate all the best ideas which we thought were essential for the app to thrive.

One of the first hurdles to overcome was the app’s name. The name is always such a huge part of any brand, so we wanted to make sure we got it right. Simon had the genius idea of calling the app Snowball, with the tagline “a rolling review of accessibility” - and so the name was born!

In fact, our idea-generating sessions were so successful, we also mapped out phase 2 and 3 of the app build! We were, you might say, on a roll!
framework makes the app work
Once we had an understanding of what needed to go into the app, the software team started to create the “wireframes”. These are the app’s framework; they lay out how the different functionality aspects will look on each screen.

After we were happy that the wireframes included everything on our list of requirements, we started to overlay the final design on top.

During the design stage, we made sure the app itself was fully accessible, using specific colours and fonts to create an easier experience for users with disabilities such as visual impairment.

Before sending the app off to our development team, we created a full end-to-end prototype. This was fully interactive and allowed Simon to navigate through the whole thing as if he were using the final app.

We always view this as a crucial final step in the design phase, making it easy for clients to check that they are completely happy with the app’s appearance and usability.
under construction
After the designs were signed off, we handed the project over to the development team. This is when everything really started coming together; they got to work building the app and the accompanying customer relationship management system (CRM).

Module by module, the app was released back to our software team to test. Every time we received a module, we became more and more excited for the final product to be delivered.
loading... Snowball
Once the development team passed the finished app back to us, we spent time testing the app and ironing out any bugs. Then, we were ready to submit to the app store!

In early 2022, we successfully launched Snowball to the public. Since its release, Snowball has amassed over 2000 reviews and is already making positive waves throughout the disabled community. The app is succeeding in Simon’s aim to help users feel more confident about finding suitable facilities whilst out and about all over the world.
We were thrilled to work with Simon to make Snowball become a reality, and are extremely pleased with the growing success of the app. It even has Team GB as ambassadors: 7x gold medallist Hannah Cockroft OBE and Tokyo gold medallist Aaron Phipps MBE. As Simon anticipated, it is snowballing into a key resource for the disabled community!

Got an idea for an app that you want to bring to life? We’re a friendly bunch here at b4b - give our design team a call on 01202 684400 or send us a message and we’ll get back to you!
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