Guidr App

Helping expats and locals connect.

2014-2016, Javascript, Mobile App
Guidr Cover

Discovering new countries and new cities is always exciting. Guidr helps expats and locals connect. Do you also get a bit scared at the idea of going abroad? Get in touch with the expat world!


Evolutions in the world of expats.

The problem

Over 200 million people currently live abroad. The community is huge, and new expats still have to face a fair number of challenges. When you arrive in a new country, there are so many things that need doing. You may not be sure exactly where to start, or how things work...Most people often lose heart because of all these new challenges, and some end up not going abroad at all.


Along with two friends of mine, discovering new countries and cities is something we love. We had the same train of thought when discussing these issues: making processes and integration easier for expats. Guidr was thus created.

Guidr is a mobile application that connects expats with locals or more experienced expats. You can browse through them and sort users according to nationality or how much time they have spent on-site, so you can then chat with them and find a guide that can help you around town.


Who are we?

Joseph Urvois Project manager
Gleren Meneghin Lead designer
Kevin Bizien Lead developer

My role

I was personally in charge of the project’s technical development. Scroll down a little lower for more details about technical aspects.


From ideas to development.

Project management

Once we had decided to launch the project, we first had to get ourselves organised. My partners and I live in different countries (Scotland, United States and France). This is of course was real advantage, as we have experienced the expat world. Yet it also required good organisation, which was not an easy feat at first. Trello, Slack, Skype and Dropbox became our daily tools to ensure good project management.

  • Logo Trello
  • Logo Skype
  • Logo Slack
  • Logo Dropbox

Project design was at the core of our team’s ambition. How could we offer a simple solution to new expats? That question came up very often. It helped us re-focus our work on the real task at hand, and implement the most essential functionalities.

Design & development

I worked in close collaboration with Gleren on the application’s technical production. He focused on design, and I took care of development.

Zoom on my work: development

The technical choice I made was to develop a hybrid application using Cordova. This enabled me to only maintain one code base for the different mobile operating systems available (specifically iOS and Android). The stack was developed entirely in Javascript, with BackboneJS for the application and NodeJS for the API.

I developed the API based on the Node-starter, that uses the light framework ExpressJS, the ORM SequelizeJS and the authentication middleware PassportJS. This starter enabled me to quickly implement an API.

  • Logo Cordova
  • Logo Backbone
  • Logo Sass
  • Logo Inuit
  • Logo Gulp
  • Logo Webpack
  • Logo Node
  • Logo ExpressJs
  • Logo Sequelize
  • Logo Socket
  • Logo PassportJs
  • Logo Git

Concerning the front-end stack, BackboneJS organised my Javascript, Sass compiled my CSS and Gulp + Webpack served my assets in watch, development or production mode.

I developed reusable UI components throughout the entire application. I used the InuitCSS module collection to organise and architecture all these components.

We created a style guide to ensure better UI consistency within the application. I greatly value the importance of good understanding between team members - as poor communication and poor understanding leads to poor reflection and can potentially harm the project. All these habits made it possible for us to run smooth iterations between the design and development phases.

Screens Guidr
Brief technical overview
  • NodeJs, ExpressJs, SequelizeJs, MySQL, and PassportJs
  • Socket IO
  • Cordova
  • BackboneJs
  • Sass, InuitCSS
  • Gulp
  • Webpack
  • Git

Feedback and lessons learnt.

What I learnt

I learn a lot from my job every day. Yet this project gave me that extra boost I needed to bolster my skills. Firstly thanks to the development of the Node-starter with ExpressJS and SequelizeJS. Secondly, I learnt to use the BackboneJS library, and generally improved by Javascript skills.

Above and beyond technical aspects, I suppose the most important thing was learning how to really work as a team. Organisation, communication, management, etc. Thinking of and building a project together, always with the users in mind. Building up a vision for an entire community was the most exciting part of the project.


Kevin Bizien

Product Designer
Design System Jedi

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