Fisher Guiding is a company that was formed out of the notion, “do what you love.” For founder Edward Hill, naturally, that love is fishing. When we started working with Edward, he had a basic website and a big idea: an all-inclusive online platform for individuals to find and book guided fishing trips around the world.
The Fisher Guiding team charged us with crafting a custom web application to connect the guided fishing industry. Part of the challenge, as it is for most start-ups, revolved around its newness. The project included leading Fisher through initial discovery, applying our UX process and technical expertise to wade through a long list of possible features, all in an effort to find an optimal solution to give this early phase start-up the best chance to gain traction and grow. The resulting application would need to meet Fisher’s business requirements and resonate with their users, including professional fishing guides and recreational fishers around the globe.
Our UX strategy was centered around learning all about who Fisher’s users are and what they would want and need from the application. We researched the fishing industry, conducted a competitive analysis, and got direct input from potential users. Based on our findings, we outlined the required functionality for our two types of user accounts: fishers and guides. Our initial research helped us to understand what each user type needed most in a successful application, allowing us to refine our feature list by focusing our attention on each user group’s unique personas.
With a list of features in-hand, we created user flows for fishers and guides, thinking through the steps required to perform each action, such as sign up and login, creating a guide profile, booking a trip, making a payment, and more. As we identified each page of the application that needed to exist, we provided high-level content strategy and created wireframes, maintaining a focus on achieving an interface that was pleasant, practical, and intuitive.
We continued to refer to Fisher's user personas for the treatment of the application's interface. Taking a mobile-first approach, we placed a heavy emphasis on mobile layout and functionality since many users are typically on-the-go. It was also important for the look and feel of the site to be universally appealing, considering Fisher's diverse, global audience. We partnered with Mark Wells, founder of Antistatic Design, to bring our wireframes to life with a clean interface and modern design.
Intentional development planning is key to a project's successful completion. For Fisher, we needed to launch in time for the upcoming fishing season, so we knew that an organized development process would be crucial to our success. We divided key development areas among the project team, developed a technical implementation plan, and went to work.
Weekly sprints and code releases allowed us to measure progress against our tight project schedule. With an emphasis on making the platform easy-to-use for guides, we devised and implemented a custom-built calendar, multi-country payment integration, robust search solution, and step-by-step on-boarding process for new users and guides.
The custom calendar for schedule management is at the heart of the application, allowing guides to set one-time or recurring availability, access trip details, and communicate with customers.
Stripe Connect and PayPal integrations place an emphasis on secure and easy-to-use payments, getting funds to both Fisher and the guides as quickly as possible. Stripe Connect allows near instant payment transfers to guides in supported countries.
Through thoughtful UX planning and strategic development implementation, we delivered a custom-built web application with a robust set of capabilities and features to get this startup off the ground. Successfully launched in March of 2017, the platform was met with approval soon after its release as guides started signing up. We continued to work with Fisher post-launch to refine and advance the application in its early stages through internal testing and direct user feedback. As a result, Fisher Guiding continues to grow and expand its network as more fishing enthusiasts catch wind of this simple, attractive, and user-friendly place for fishers and guides to connect, so they can spend less time working out details of booking a trip and more time on the water.
The Foster Made team is diligent, thorough, and collaborative. Not to mention, they are a pleasure to work with! It was a challenging project, and we are very happy with the website build and continued maintenance from Foster Made.
- Fisher Guiding