Executive Summary

FreshWorks redesigned the Grouse Mountain mobile iOS and Android application, improving upon overall user experience and adding cutting edge augmented reality map elements. The brand new application features a summer-winter toggle, a ticket purchasing portal, webcam feeds, event lists, snow reports, dining locations, Grouse Grinds® tracking, and 'what’s open' reports for lifts, runs and terrain.

The new app focuses on functionality and the team has added convenient capabilities for users, including: Purchasing tickets & passes, viewing the locations of the mountain's attractions in augmented reality, multi-language support (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese), and a completely redesigned user experience.

The Grouse Mountain app is a convenient way to get the latest information on what’s happening at Grouse Mountain, to track your Grouse Grinds®, to purchase quick tickets and to navigate the mountaintop with the assistance of the Augmented Reality Map.

The Challenge

When Grouse Mountain first approached FreshWorks Studio, they were maintaining two separate mobile applications. One that was focused on activities on the mountain only, while the other’s main goal was the Grouse Grind® tracking.  Not only did that require twice the effort spent on maintaining a mobile app, but it also divided the app’s user group or required a user to download multiple applications. Furthermore, the apps were only available on iOS, resulting in Grouse Mountain potentially losing out on over 2 billion monthly active Android devices (Google, 2017).

With over 1.3 million guests per year, Grouse Mountain is one of the top tourist destinations in Vancouver. Therefore, creating an app that supports multiple languages was essential to allow visitors to get the most out of their experience when visiting the mountain.

Another goal was to incorporate cutting edge technology, such as the augmented reality map, to stand out from other attractions in the area.

The Solution

Beta testing at Grouse Mountain.

The FreshWorks team submitted the proposal to Grouse Mountain, including some initial design thoughts from FreshWorks designer Karen in the spring of 2018.

Once accepted, FreshWorks started working with Grouse Mountain on combining the functionality of the two existing iOS applications and adding the new features while also creating the Android app.

Utilizing The Jibe’s API, the team was able to take advantage of the existing backend. Weekly calls with The Jibe ensured that continuous progress was made.

When the beta version was completed, the FreshWorks team went to Grouse Mountain, championed the Grouse Grind®, and was able to see their hard work (especially on the augmented reality map) live in action.

“Being able to go and see how many people are doing the Grind and other activities on the mountain brought us even closer to the project.”

Alexa Rowe, Project Manager

 
 
 

The Features

The app was built from scratch, combining the functionalities from the previous two apps and adding new capabilities. The user can now switch their language preference, purchase tickets and lift passes directly from their mobile device, and view locations of the attractions on the mountain in augmented reality.

The FreshWorks team created a toggle that lets a user switch from summer to winter and it shows the current conditions through imagery.

The “What’s Open” section of the mobile application shows the status of summer activities, as well as that of the runs, terrain parks, and lifts in the winter.

Another new feature is the capability of ticket purchase. The user can now purchase a mountain admission ticket from within the app. These currently include, snow tickets for skiing or riding, or a Grouse Grind® download ticket.

Additionally, the mobile application lets a user track their Grouse Grind® statistics. By signing up for an account, the user can also participate in the leaderboard community and compare their stats to those of other participants.

Testing the augmented reality feature on Grouse Mountain

You can check in on the famous Grizzlies, Grinder and Coola, and take a look at what is currently going on on the mountain from within the app using the webcam feature. Winter enthusiasts can also get the latest snowfall update with one click in the app.

One of the highlights of the app is the newly implemented augmented reality tour once the user is on top of the mountain. It helps users navigate the mountaintop by pointing them in the direction of the World Famous Lumberjack Show, the Scenic Peak Chair, and various other mountaintop activities through the lens of AR.

If you’re interested in a more detailed look at the process of building the AR portion of the app, FreshWorks team member Skyler wrote a great blog article about the process on Medium. Read it here

Tech Stack

iOS: Swift
Android: Kotlin
Backend: (existing)

What’s Next?

With the rollout of the new iOS and Android application, Grouse Mountain already has plans for the next version of the mobile app. Currently, for example, ticket sales are limited to day passes. In the near future Grouse Mountain will allow users to purchase all types of tickets, including season passes, directly from their phone.

Lastly, Grouse Mountain plans to integrate a tracker for the Snowshoe Grind® and use 360° video to encourage users to have an even more interactive experience while visiting Grouse Mountain.


 
 

Read the full review here.

 

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