Launching a mobile app

Banner with scale logo and cartoon illustration of a person holding their phone with scale app open.


Founder and sole designer.


scale is a fishing tournament app for your local pond. It's the easiest way for a group of fishing buddies to compete in real time, without having to be on the same boat.

The React Native app was published on the App Store in 2021 and Google Play in 2022.

700+ users have caught over 2,700 fish using scale.


After college I started to fish more with my Dad. Like all anglers, we liked to compete—mainly on who'd catch the largest collection (bag) of fish.

But with solo kayaks, we had no idea who caught what until the end of the day.

Birds eye view of two kayaks in separate corners of a lake.
No intuitive way for me to know how my dad was doing on the other side of the pond.

Sure, we'd text back and forth a bit. But a linear conversation can't easily manage individual, aggregated, live totals.

We needed a shared space to be able to compare totals in real time, so we knew exactly how we stacked up against each other.

Unfortunately, nothing on the App Store solved our problem, and my Dad started begging me to make an app with him.

Years later Covid hit. I was stuck in my tiny Boston apartment with ample time on my hands. I remember agreeing with my Dad over the phone it was "now or never".


Widespread adoption or profitability was never the goal. We just wanted to solve our specific problem. As long as my Dad and I could use the app on our kayaks I was happy.

That being said, I was eager to start on a project where I could wear all of the creative hats, with no restrictions. I got to be the founder of a pretend company, while providing a real product.

Screenshot of scale's website, with a title of "Never fish alone".
Being the founder allowed me to own the website from start to finish.
A digital collage of marketing material from scale, including t-shirts, Instagram posts and stickers.
I also made everything from stickers to alternate logos.


Create / join a game

Any user of scale can create a game and only invited participants could join. This helped further distinguish scale from social apps or permission-filled tournament apps.

Screenshots of the scale app showing the homepage's empty state and the Create game page.

Add catch

Any angler knows when you catch one fish, you are likely to catch another. That's why we made adding a catch as simple as filling in one auto-focused field. Anglers can also add a photo, but they don't have to do that right away, and are even allowed to upload photos after the game ends.

Screenshots of the scale app showing the Leaderboard page and the Add catch page.
Add catch (+) button is easy to click with one hand. Numeric keyboard appears on page entry with auto-focus of WEIGHT field.  

Live leaderboard

This is the gamechanger to just using a messaging app. A screen that shows live totals so you know exactly where you stand at all times. And who doesn't like a big, bold countdown to the end of the game?

A screenshot of the scale app showing the Leaderboard page.
Each row shows total weight, fish count, and most importantly how much they are winning or losing by.

Game notifications

Even though this is a mobile app, the spirit of scale is to be fishing more, and checking your phone less. Game notifications give you all the critical information on your lock screen, meaning you really only need to open the app to add a catch.

Notifications include (1) game invitation, (2) all catches that are not your own, (3) game completion.


A major aspect to this project was getting scale approved on the App Store. Features like Report Photo, Report User and Block User, had to be added before we submitted the app for review.

Google Play was much easier from the approval perspective, as their guidelines are less stringent. What needed extra work was ensuring native feature, like push notifications and photo access, behaved the same as on Android as they did for iOS. Building the app with React Native certainly helped with this but there was still Android-specific work to be done.


scale has been an extremely rewarding project. I've received countless DMs telling me the app does exactly what they want, and nothing more. The target audience is small, but aligns with what scale provides.

And that is exactly how my Dad and I feel. Sure, we dream about adding features like "offline mode" and "add catch via Siri", but in reality we know the app has gotten the job done over the last 3 years.

Birds eye view of two kayaks in separate corners of a lake. This time they know how much the other has caught during the game.
We solved our problem.

Special thanks to

The engineers

We needed a team that could solve some complicated backend problems while also having the frontend thoroughness to create exactly what I had in Figma. Enter Forward Digital, who was small enough at the time take on our project, and experienced enough to see it through. These guys are still maintaining the app to this day and I can't thank them enough.

My Dad

To the one person who pushed me (and inspired me) to make this happen. Consistently optimistic, full of ideas, and never hesitant to test the app at 5am for bugs.

I get a sense of nostalgia every time I launch the app. Not from what we made, but from the time we spent together making it.

He also helped me "dad-proof" the app, which was a UX challenge in and of itself :)