Background

Mountain Trek is North America’s premier all inclusive health and fitness retreat. For the past 16 years they’ve been helping people reach their health and fitness goals in British Columbia’s beautiful outdoors. We worked with Mountain Trek to create an app that makes their programs core tenants accessible to people beyond their retreat. With a combination of health lectures from their expert staff, guided hikes, morning yoga, massage therapy and an amazing menu, the Mountain Trek experience is something that we knew would be difficult to adapt to an app. Sitting down with the Mountain Trek team we spent a lot of time getting to know why their program is so effective and distilling it down to elements that could work within the digital space.

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User experience design

We began the design process by getting to know the intricacies of Mountain Trek’s business and program. Then we really got to know their customers whose needs the app would ultimately aim to address. To do this we developed personas, each of which represented a clusters of users with similar behaviours, goals and motivations. Identifying and profiling the end user helped us nail down a UX strategy that would work for Mountain Trek’s target demographic of men and women 40-65 yrs old.

All of this provided a base for discussions which determined a strategy for the apps UX. We understood that the success of the project relied on effectively addressing both Mountain Treks business objectives and the end users needs.

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During the discovery process we created extensive requirements documentation and wireframes that would act as a guide for the entire design and development process. The wireframes were refined until we felt that the user experience would allow for an intuitive framework that tied together the different sections that make up the app.
 

UI Principles

Simultaneously, we began to design the identity and visual language that would define the app. This meant establishing a style that would tie together various UI elements while still remaining true to Mountain Trek’s long established brand.

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Goals Section

Mountain Trek encourages incremental change one habit at a time to achieve long term health and wellness goals. The Goals tool facilitates and supports habit formation by allowing users to track their progress while providing a variety of different reinforcement mechanisms that help people stay on track.

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Guide

Mountain Trek’s guides are the cornerstone of their retreat. Besides being amazing outdoorsmen and women, each specializes in a different tenant of the Mountain Trek philosophy; fitness, nutrition, stress, detoxification and sleep. The Guide section brings that knowledge base to the app with an array of multi-media articles, diagrams, videos and audio podcasts.

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Cookbook

Bringing their acclaimed menu to the app we wanted the functionality and user experience to encourage a healthier approach to nutrition. We created a Shopping List function that makes weekly meal planning easier. A user just added the recipes they would like to cook over the course of a week to their Shopping List where all of the ingredients from the selected recipes are combined into one easy to use list, which makes planning for a week’s worth of healthy meals much more convenient.

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Forum

For over 16 years Mountain Trek has developed a community of people from all over the world that are interested in supporting one another on their health and wellness journeys. Creating a forum was a way for that experience to continue beyond the Mountain Trek retreat.

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Easy and Flexible App Management

We created a comprehensive Content Management System that allows Mountain Trek’s staff to control and update the content of their app in real time through an intuitive administrative platform.

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Technology

The project consisted of an iOS app and content management system tied together by a robust backend. The technology stack we used to make it all happen was iOS8+ and Swift for the mobile frontend. HTML and ExtJS for the CMS frontend. PHP, Symfony Framework 2 and Doctrine 2 for the API and PostgreSQL for the database.

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Results

After a successful initial release we have continued to work with Mountain Trek on new features and improvements. This iterative development approach allows us to quickly test new capabilities, shaping the apps functionality to the users needs while addressing Mountain Trek’s underlying business goals.

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