Established in 2017 by Nicola Addison and Claudia Newland, Cover Ninja is on a mission to connect fitness venues in need of class cover with a community of qualified, validated instructors. It’s set to achieve exactly that through an innovative and intuitive smartphone application, which has been developed with the help of Lumico Digital.
The app, soon to be launched on mobile with a complementary venue-targeted web version, has been designed to remove all the hassle and risk that typically comes with arranging cover at short notice; user ratings ensure venues and instructors know who to trust, while a simple interface keeps the process fast, smooth and secure every time.
Cover Ninja already had developers on hand but needed a partner with experience in using the cross-platform development tool React Native. Lumico fitted that bill perfectly.
With the initial ideas and designs established, we were tasked with turning Cover Ninja’s vision into reality – and, with multiple investors to please, we needed to do so as swiftly as possible.
The app itself had to run perfectly on both iOS and Android devices, hence the requirement for a cross-platform developer. And, with chunks of investment arriving at different times, we needed to work in sprints to produce regular deliverables – fortunately, this was a familiar approach for us.
Lastly, the end-product needed to be scalable; Cover Ninja will launch to users and venues in the UK later this year, but the fitness entrepreneurs’ long-term plan includes international expansion.
Seeing as Cover Ninja had started with the design phase, our first step was to understand what work had already been done and to find the best way of continuing with minimal disruption. This meant that some of our early discussions with the client were about how differently we worked to the company’s previous development partner, and how we’d be able to find an approach that suited both parties.
Then, we began adapting to meet in the middle with Cover Ninja. At the start we were talking in screens – how many screens we could develop and in what timeframe, for example – but we evolved to focus on features instead; this was a much more effective and manageable approach for us and the client. Knowing exactly what parts of the application would be completed and when suited them perfectly.
Like most of the start-ups we work with, Cover Ninja had investors to please throughout this project. Our agile development approach worked well here, as regular two-way feedback and the constant update deliveries meant there was always something new to report back with – we kept a close relationship throughout, rather than just disappearing until completion.
Although we joined the process a little later than we were used to, it quickly became clear that Lumico Digital and Cover Ninja were a great match. Our range of specialist skills and experience put us in the perfect position to help Cover Ninja achieve its goals, and the personal approach we took helped to ensure that everything moved along quickly throughout.
By always being available to answer questions and discuss what we were doing, we built a strong relationship with Cover Ninja. This relationship involved the whole team at Lumico Digital, rather than just one point of contact – a real plus-point for Nicola and Claudia who had purposely avoided larger agencies due to concerns around weak communication.
The project was made a lot simpler by the trust Cover Ninja built in us. By explaining all our major design and development decisions while adapting to regular client feedback, we were able to build a high-quality, resilient app that meets all the original objectives.
The project’s success was confirmed by an extremely smooth testing phase, in which beta users were given login credentials but no explanation of how the app works. Despite having no instructions, everyone took to it immediately and Cover Ninja received no negative feedback or queries on functionality.
With the finishing touches currently being added, we’re expecting a fully functioning app to go live this summer, at which point life will be made a whole lot easier for fitness instructors and venues across the UK.