Modernizing The Flutter App Of The International Ice Hockey Federation In Less Than Two Months

flutter app development
2+ years

Find out how we helped the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) with upgrading their Flutter app while working under significant time constraints.


Gert Miltop
Business Development MENA Region

Executive summary

How do you enhance the mobile app of an international sports organization that’s used by hockey fans worldwide within a period of less than two months? Find out in this case study how Helmes helped the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) with digital transformation while working under significant time constraints.

The IIHF is a global organization committed to promoting and developing the sport of ice hockey. One of the Federation’s primary activities is co-organizing the most significant tournaments in the field. The federation has an official mobile app to engage fans and allow them to follow the games from anywhere. However, the app had been struggling with technical glitches and has received poor user feedback.

The IIHF sought the expertise of Helmes to upgrade their mobile application prior to the upcoming World Ice Hockey Championships. Our in-house design and mobile app development teams worked together to significantly improve the app’s reliability and user experience in less than two months.

After the World Championships, we upgraded the app’s technological foundation, opening opportunities for future enhancements, including introducing previously unavailable functionalities.

After the upgrade, user satisfaction increased, and the number of support requests decreased. The IIHF managers can now perform many tasks automatically and without needing intervention from the development team. Moreover, the day-to-day maintenance of the app became more manageable and less expensive thanks to the reduced need for the developers’ involvement.

Meet the customer


The International Ice Hockey Organization is the governing body of international ice hockey with 83 national member associations. One of its main roles is overseeing ice hockey in the Olympic Games and the IIHF World Championships. Across all levels, it runs around 25 different world championships and a set of European club competitions annually.

The IIHF has an official mobile app on Google Play and the App Store to promote the sport and allow fans to follow tournaments from anywhere. The app allows the fans to follow all official IIHF tournaments with live scores, instant goal notifications, and real-time game statistics and access several other features, such as fan areas.

The challenge – Upgrading a fan app under intense time pressure

The IIHF app had been created to engage ice hockey fans, but it was still grappling with many issues.

The application had some reliability issues and crashed frequently while lacking metrics and monitoring capabilities to help pinpoint the problems.

Administering information on the app involved a lot of manual work by the IIHF managers, with many tasks requiring intervention by the development team. Moreover, the app’s technical foundation was old and largely unmaintainable, making adding certain new features and functionalities impossible.

The IIHF was looking to improve their Flutter app under substantial time pressure – they wanted to upgrade the app before the forthcoming World Championships.

The process – Modernizing the Flutter app in multiple stages

Because of the time pressure, we split the project into several steps. Our first goal was to fix and stabilize the app and improve the user experience in time for the World Championships. After the event, we could upgrade the technical foundation and revisit the app’s overall design. Finally, we could add new features and functionalities to the app.

Stage One: Stabilizing the app and improving the UI/UX

In the initial stage, our Flutter developers focused on increasing the overall stability and reliability of the system. First, they reviewed the stream of unhandled exceptions and fixed the bugs. Next, they optimized the system and replaced the multimedia players to make the app faster. They also added logging and monitoring capabilities for easier issue detection.

At the same time, the design team improved the app’s outlook. They improved the look and feel of the welcoming dashboard, rearranged the menus for better usability, and enhanced the overall browsing experience.

During the World Championships, we provided tech support to the IIHF: we monitored the app’s performance and quickly responded to any issues during the tournament.

Stage Two: Upgrading the technical foundation

After the championships, our development team proposed updating the app to the latest version of Flutter, the UI software development kit. The old version did not support planned new functionalities, and many libraries were incompatible.

The IIHF had been using Flutter 1, which needed to be updated. We decided to migrate to Flutter 3, the latest version of Flutter. Due to the significant upgrade, we needed to fix incompatible libraries, replace deprecated controls, and all of the search functionality. Altogether, we fixed more than 1,000 errors in the codebase.

Stage Three: New features and functionalities

Upgrading the Flutter version opened the opportunity to add new functionalities to the app. These include widgets, chat modules, forums, and smart device connections. For instance, smart device connections would make it possible to follow the game score on one’s smartwatch or sync the app on one’s mobile device and desktop.

We continue cooperating with the IIHF to develop the app further and implement new features and functionalities. The federation is based in Switzerland, so our collaboration and communication are almost entirely remote.

The result – Higher user satisfaction

The transformation of the IIHF app resulted in many benefits for the federation, IIHF managers, and end users – the tens of thousands of hockey fans using the app to stay up to date with the games:

  • The design, navigation, and ease of use was improved
  • The app’s stability and speed increased
  • User satisfaction and app store ratings rose
  • There were reduced maintenance and support costs
  • Creating a self-service portal automated many repetitive tasks for the IIHF managers
  • The self-service portal also reduced the dependency on the development team and removed the vendor lock-in danger
  • Upgrading the Flutter version allowed the app to have new functionalities, such as widgets, chat modules, forums, or smart device connections
Working with Helmes was an exceptional experience. Their Flutter app development team consistently demonstrated exceptional professionalism and responsiveness, particularly during critical situations. Their dedication to delivering high-quality solutions and their proactive approach to problem-solving were instrumental in ensuring the success of our project.
Stefan Grauwiler
Technology Director in IIHF

Work with Helmes

Have you invested a lot of effort in a development project that is not meeting expectations? Whether you feel stuck from the development or UI/UX perspective, a digital upgrade can be a fast and resource-efficient way to get things back on track.

We can help you with mobile app development to close the technological gap and upgrade from a legacy system to the latest tech platform.

Get in touch

Get in touch

Gert Miltop
Business Development MENA Region
+372 522 4646
Contact us

More on the subject...