Overview and challenge
iBackpacker founder Shane Martz engaged with us to make his idea a reality. Shane was looking for a design and tech partner who could help him take his product to the next level. To do this, we supported Shane in building a Pitch Deck and shopped it around together to successfully close iBackpacker's first outside investment. Before long, a strong and ongoing partnership was formed. In fact, we closed a Series A round together in May, 2016 to add and improve many features, while helping to augment the growth engine of the platform.
Findings and insights
Without users, there is no business. Without the business, there is no technology to develop. Through workshops we quickly discovered that the 2 main personas were backpackers and small businesses owners.
We remove assumptions and get to know the users by conducting questionnaires, interviews and phone calls.
Strategy Workshops & Tools
Together we redefined the business model and its value proposition, forming a roadmap for implementing, testing and iterating on how and when to monetise, and how to articulate the features and benefits conveyed to a purchaser.
We looked at the wants and needs of employers and backpackers (what, where, why and how) and outlined a plan to test and measure the implementation of marketing and growth hacking strategies for acquiring new users.
With a product development and growth pathway, we engaging with various Angel Investors and Venture Funds successfully raised a seed round for the re-development of iBackpacker. We joined as Venture Tech partner responsible for actioning and implementing the strategy, as well as earning a minority equity share of the business. This funding allowed the project to move forward into the implementation phase of Product Development, beginning with User Experience.
We prototyped screens that clearly distinguish between each side of the market (employers and backpackers) and provided a flow that accorded with everything we learned from interviewing early users on both sides.
We matched the common wants and needs of the users to the most recently iterated version of the business values, storytelling around the identified archetypes of iBackpacker users. This transformed the overall look and feel of the platform, with a significant update and refresh of all visual design assets.
Based on user feedback and the branding and communication guidelines, we were able to clarify the style guide for iBackpacker and update the platform based on the user experience design. We also implemented print collateral as part of the overall growth strategy, intersecting with the branding and communication guidelines.
Web Application / Website
We built iBackpacker as a mobile responsive application which reduced the downtime to market and allowed for the implementation of data tracking tools so that the platform can be further optimised for conversion in the future.
iOS and Android app
iBackpacker mobile apps required an update to meet the identified functionality requirements. To get to market, our strategy was to develop a responsive web application, wrapping the new apps in a container so they could be deployed to iOS and Android. Using React, we were able to develop functional code on the web application, which was easily portable to a native mobile version using React Native.
iBackpacker has seen a significant increase in user sign-ups, with approximately 1000 new backpackers and 100 new employees per week in May, 2016. Conversion rate (%) in the form of jobs filled is also steadily increasing with feature improvements.All internal feedback has been positive around the new application, and the flow of transactions through iBackpacker between backpackers and employers.
iBackpacker now has over 50,000 users!