Stepfamily Association of Finland

Gamified mobile application supports stepfamilies in daily lives

Children have the right to all their parents. Compared to other family types, stepfamilies are in a more vulnerable position. The Stepfamily Association of Finland (Supli) aims to improve the well-being of stepfamilies by providing peer support and information services; in fact, the Association sees as their mission the happiest stepfamilies in the world. Together with Supli, we developed a mobile application that helps involve not only the parents, but also the young people and children of the family in the coaching programme. With the application, the themes discussed in the coaching sessions can now be more firmly integrated into the relationships and daily life of the family. 

Our work

Baseline and challenges

The StepApp-valmennus® coaching programme is a five-week programme providing support, information, and tools for stepfamilies.  Guided by professionals, the adults receive peer support, guidance, and concrete tools for running the daily life of the family. The application developed specifically for the programme helps involve the family’s children and young people in the coaching as well. The governing idea behind the application is that the coaching would not only consist of five unconnected sessions between and after which daily life would go on almost unaffected.  Therefore, the purpose of the application has been to give families the opportunity to practice themes related to the daily lives of stepfamilies by means of gamification. The application also enables the utilisation of researched knowledge and provides the families with the opportunity to revise on things learnt during the coaching sessions. Children and young people play a major role in stepfamily dynamics, and the application serves as a channel for their voices to be heard as well. This has been the guiding principle behind the entire StepApp programme.

The StepApp mobile application was initially developed in the Stepfamily Association of Finland’s’ Stepping project, to be used in the coaching provided for stepfamilies. The old mobile application contained partly outdated technology, hindering its further development. The user experience and user interface were also in need of redesign. The application also had a low utilisation rate among children and young people in particular, which is why these user groups would be prioritised in the project. Upgrading the previous application would have required a great deal of reduction of technical debt.

“We unanimously agreed that Identio would be the best fit for us as a partner. Identio had a relaxed approach to work, and when we gathered around the same table, we immediately reached a consensus on what we were setting out to do. We also felt good about their price-quality ratio,” Supli’s Heidi Karvonen explains.

"Our cooperation has been effortless, and there's been a high level of mutual trust between us. Finding the solutions has been much easier than I had anticipated, and I felt that we were in good hands. The atmosphere has been relaxed and communication easy."

– Heidi Karvonen, Specialist, The Stepfamily Association of Finland

What did we do?

Concept design, graphic design, and UX design

The goal of reinventing the entire application provided us with opportunities for broader creative design. Our UX designers’ experience in concept design and graphic design enabled the formation of a comprehensive creative process around the application concept. Supli gave our development team a fairly free hand with the design. The goal of the new concept was to make the application more appealing to children and young people in a way that would encourage them to return to it even after the end of the coaching programme.

A space journey was chosen as the theme for the application. The timeless theme helped ensure that the look and feel of the application would not become outdated or susceptible to changes. The space theme also enabled the utilisation of different kinds of visual and gamified elements, such as collecting stars awarded for exercises. The app’s avatars and environments are universal and suitable for all families.

Havainnekuva mobiilisovelluksen avaruus-teemasta ja sen käytöstä.

The majority of working hours reserved for the project was allocated to programming. As the aim was to create an application that would be not only modern, but also visually impressive and high-quality, the decision was made to buy licenced illustrations and graphics for the design. The space theme made finding suitable illustrations quick and easy, and with small changes and modifications, we created a unique visual identity for the application.

Havainnekuva mobiilisovelluksen avaruus-teemasta ja sen käytöstä.

Software development

We shared the responsibility for the technology decisions and technical implementation of the new application with Supli. In technology decisions, particular emphasis was placed on cost-effectiveness and opportunities for further development.

All frontend views of the application were created with FlutterFlow, which enables the building of applications with the help of a visual user interface. FlutterFlow is built on top of the Flutter framework, a popular open source UI toolkit. After the user interface has been designed, FlutterFlow converts the visual appearance into code that can be used for developing the application.

Our full stack software developer responsible for the project used the source code downloaded from the tool and cleaned it up and edited it to meet the needs of the project. The use of FlutterFlow helped accelerate the development work and improved cost-effectiveness. In backend development, we were able to make extensive use of the code of the old application, which also helped speed up the project.

As there were more than 60 views to be created in the project implemented together with Supli, using FlutterFlow was a great choice. The tool enabled us to save more than 20% on the development budget and direct the surplus to the development of the other functionalities of the application in accordance with the client’s wishes.

"We were given a lot of responsibility, and there was a great feeling of mutual trust throughout the project. Children and young people are a demanding target group, which made the design process particularly important and interesting."

– Veera Ahonen, UX designer, Identio

Results and the future

The new StepApp application was implemented on a comprehensive turnkey basis, taking into account all aspects of the development. The mobile application has been published in app stores and will be introduced to stepfamilies in future coaching. In addition, users of the application will be formed into test groups, which will be given the chance to provide feedback on the app. The Stepfamily Association of Finland believes that the redesign of the application will increase its number of users and time of use. The content of the StepApp application has proven necessary and insightful, which will bring added value to the entire coaching programme.

The further development of the StepApp application is somewhat dependent on financing, but Heidi Karvonen remains optimistic about the future: “Of course, we would like to make development continuous and dynamic, making decisions based on user feedback.”

Erilaisia sovellusnäkymiä Suomen Uusperheiden Liiton StepApp-sovelluksesta.


  • Application concept redesign and graphic design
  • UI designs and component library implemented with Figma
  • Technology mapping and choosing technologies in a manner that enables the cost-effective implementation and effortless further development of the application
  • Full stack development using agile methods

Stepfamily Association of Finland

The Stepfamily Association of Finland (Supli) is a multi-level organisation whose aim is to improve the well-being and equality of stepfamilies. Supli provides peer support and researched information and does advocacy work at the structure level of society, helping influence attitudes. In addition to offering services to families, the organisation trains professionals on stepfamily issues and working with stepfamilies.

Supli’s activities are versatile: in addition to the StepApp coaching programmes implemented in the basic public services provided by wellbeing services counties, the Association organises different kinds of events, holidays, and peer support weekends for stepfamilies, low-threshold chat services, online and live courses on themes important to stepfamilies, peer support telephone lines, support for neurodivergent step-couple relationships, and stepfamily counsellor training for professionals.

Stepfamily Association of Finland is a unique organisation, even at an international level.

Read more about Stepfamily Association of Finland and the StepApp programme: and

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Joonas Korgan

+358 40 568 4617

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+358 40 568 4617

+358 40 568 4617

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