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Brightec Ltd

App Development, Mobile Design & Development, Mobile

Helping Virgin Red Expand Its New Loyalty Programme….

Helping Virgin Red Expand Its New Loyalty Programme…. header image

The Challenge

In 2020, the team at Virgin Red decided that they wanted to launch a new train ticketing feature as part of its new rewards club. This new service would take something ordinary - the necessity of purchasing train tickets - and make it extraordinary by giving members the chance to earn points on their everyday travel. The service would not only reward existing members, but also help attract new members into the Virgin Red rewards club.

Virgin Red approached us to help build out their new loyalty platform and help them to come up with exciting new ways to reward existing members and attract new members too.

In September, the design and development of a minimum viable product began. Working as an extension of the Virgin Red team with their delivery and product managers, as well as other third parties, we collaborated to ensure that all developmental challenges were thoroughly solved.

Through detailed app design and development, we addressed performance and memory limitations, network speed, cross-device compatibility, battery consumption, and assisting with app store releases.

Working within React Native, we produced some middleware to sit between the train's data and the application. We designed everything in Sketch, version-controlled with Abstract and handed over designs through Zeplin. Carrying out multiple rounds of user testing to ensure users would understand and enjoy the proposition.

The application was built within an agile framework running two-week sprints. Working closely with the Virgin Red team to plan the work in short cycles allowed us the opportunity to meet regularly to discuss any issues, overcome any roadblocks, and keep the project running smoothly together.

As a team, we reflected on each two-week period and used this information to improve upon our approach for the next two-week sprint. This helped us continually refine our processes and streamline the app's development.

At Brightec, we know how important it is for applications to work seamlessly across a range of technologies and devices. Applications that work well on mobile only to fail on the web can be damaging to a brand's reputation, so prioritising web app flow is essential.

Therefore, during November our primary focus was to develop a seamless web app flow. Led by our web engineers, the web app mimics the design, aesthetics, and usability of the mobile application on the web, ensuring the Virgin Red brand remains consistent across all platforms.

The Results

Before the app was released, it had to pass certain accreditation criteria from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) to ensure it was ready to handle user demand. The app was subjected to careful testing to ensure it could handle everything from basic journeys to complex ones, including the uncertainties of travel; from late trains and ticket cancellations to multiple changes and rail replacements. Following this extensive testing, we were reassured the app was ready to be released to the public.

We are delighted the application has received an overwhelmingly positive public response. The application is making travel more convenient and more enjoyable for Virgin Red members, as well as helping them to earn Virgin Points to spend on everyday treats and extraordinary experiences. Hear what users have to say about the app:

“I was very pleased with the easy joining process and the ease then to link it to my Virgin Red account which worked straight away.”

“Great App and even better support. I think they are working 24/7 to iron out any bugs and make sure all is ok for everyone”

“Great app. Brilliant functionality, easy to use. “

Brightec’s ethos is to produce meaningful technology that makes people’s lives better, so knowing that thousands of people will use and benefit from Virgin Trains Ticketing on a regular basis is something we take great pride in!

Our team loved this project from the get-go. It was fantastic and inspiring to work with the Virgin Red team and we are grateful to have learned new things and grown as a team during the process.

We’ve already begun work on the next Virgin project and it’s a big one, so stay tuned because there is more to come…

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