Bringing Personalised, Intuitive Travel to Victorians with RACV

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"I am incredibly proud of the arevo team and our partners, Intelematics and Transpire, who worked together to deliver our next generation arevo app! Thank you all for the incredible team effort!"

– Elizabeth Kim, GM arevo Mobility, RACV Tweet
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The Challenge

To help fulfil a strategy of improving the lives of Victorians by addressing their needs in the areas of mobility, home and leisure, RACV launched the one-stop shop transport app ‘arevo’ in 2019.

Its central feature, a personalised journey planner, enables the user to set their preferences to either the fastest, cheapest or greenest route to reflect a path that suits their lifestyle.

Due to the level of interest in arevo during its pilot phase, RACV wanted a partner who could help improve the in-app experience for customers and achieve greater flexibility for new feature implementation.

Transpire was chosen thanks to a track record of helping customers evaluate and enhance existing digital products using an evidence-based approach to design and development.

Kicking off in February 2020, the project took place against the backdrop of an unprecedented global pandemic. For both RACV and Transpire, this meant working 100% remotely from discovery through to delivery.

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User Experience and Design

In order to gain a better understanding of the direction RACV wanted to pursue with arevo, Transpire’s UX team conducted a workshop where key challenges were turned into potential opportunities. This helped define the product vision for arevo as:

“How might we provide Victorians a personalised and intuitive product to help them plan, pay-for, and access the most relevant modes of transport for their journey?”

As part of the same workshop, RACV and Transpire worked collaboratively to define the project’s design principles:

  • Promoting the product vision – This would be the primary job to be done over other features and functionality.
  • Following Google Material Design – This cross-platform design pattern translates well on both iOS and Android, enables consistency across design and code, enhances brand expression and is accessibility tested across all components.
  • Following Apple and Android Guidelines – Originally it was proposed that the application be developed using the React Native framework. But due to the nature of arevo, where user experience and deep integration with smartphone functionality (GPS, personal data security etc.) took precedence, both Transpire and RACV decided to go Native.
  • Following universal design best practices – To ensure the app meets at least AA conformance with WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines for a more inclusive experience.

The project could then begin in earnest, with story mapping and business canvas sessions creating team alignment around the roadmap for arevo.

Throughout the design and development of key features and functionality, Transpire conducted usability testing to validate hypotheses and assumptions. Initially this utilised interactive prototypes using the vector graphics editor Sketch and product design platform InVision. Once a beta version of the app was available on mobile devices, representative users were recruited for more comprehensive testing.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria, our usability testing took place remotely. Although this presented a number of challenges, Transpire continued to apply the same academic-level rigour to this process for high-quality recommendations without compromise.

For an insight into testing beta apps remotely, download our step-by-step guide.

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Architecture and Development

In terms of solution architecture, arevo required:

  • The creation of API and business services to support mobile app functionality.
  • Core MaaS services such as weighted routing, preference management and transport service provider integrations.
  • Extension of transport APIs to include relevant colours to match transportation types/routes in Victoria.
  • Integration of a range of COTS and custom components.

Where possible, Transpire utilised existing RACV tools, systems and platforms for greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness. A range of common technologies that both iOS and Android could use were also deployed to make future development and updates easier.

To ensure consistency across iOS and Android, development teams for each platform were in constant communication throughout development. Even though their architecture differed, things like business logic could remain the same to save time, effort and resources.

This reaped several rewards when it came to testing, as the architecture was designed and provisioned in a way to allow for maximum flexibility. As always, Transpire assesses the product under test to determine where automated test coverage would best suit.

To support the thorough unit testing coverage already provided by developers, the team embedded a comprehensive API testing framework, as the client side apps heavily relied on a series of varying services. By integrating with Transpire’s CI/CD pipeline, testing took place every time code was pushed to commit.

Despite the complex architecture behind arevo, visual representations of user journeys and how the backend worked to fulfil these requests were presented to RACV stakeholders throughout. This level of transparency is something Transpire takes great pride in when working closely with key customers such as RACV.