With the clock running, Blocshop delivers an ambitious app prior to major hardware release
Fairphone, a social enterprise company that designs, develops and produces smartphones with a lower environmental impact, was planning a new app to coincide with the release of its latest model.
They wanted the app to help build a sense of community among its users by helping them navigate sustainability issues that are important to them. The Fairphone team had many ideas for what they wanted the app to do, but time was running out. With three months to go before the phone was to be released, they turned to Blocshop.
Getting to work
Fairphone and Blocshop teams worked in two six-week cycles to create a minimally viable product (MVP), followed by one test cycle. Once those phases were successfully completed, they were able to get in another two cycles of development before launch to create additional features from the wish list.
“Blocshop helped us to formulate what we were looking for more concretely, and they did it in a short time,” said Jennifer Goddard, Fairphone Technical Product Manager. “Once they saw the vision of where the app was going, they didn’t need to be told every detail. They made suggestions of their own, and that really added value to the product.” said Goddard.
In its initial release, the app helps users learn about material sourcing for their device, and offers green challenges to reduce CO2 impact.
“One thing we wanted was a map that showed locations across Europe where you can access drinking water for free,” said Goddard. “At first we thought the map data had to be added manually, but Blocshop found an API that had thousands of free water points. They tested it, integrated it in just a day, and fixed bugs. Now works great and it’s more than I could ever have wanted.”
Ready to launch
As a community tool, the app will evolve with time. Fairphone and Blocshop will continue to develop features from the initial brainstorming, and make further adaptations based on user feedback. “Blocshop was enthusiastic and dynamic the whole way through. It was a pleasure to work with them. A few weeks in, I was a bit worried that we wouldn’t make it, but then they blitzed it and it was all done and amazing.”
Fairphone believes a fairer electronics industry is possible. Its products do not contain conflict minerals, and provide fair labor conditions for workforces throughout its supply chain. In designing phones whose components can be easily replaced, Fairphone works to help customers use their phone longer.