Android and iOS apps built with React Native. Elasticsearch, Serverless Framework, AWS Lambda, AWS DynamoDB.
iOS and Android apps designed, specced and delivered in eight weeks. Trial launched in specific location with rollout to come.
beebooked is a marketplace business without a specialist user base. The product released to trial had to be relatively feature complete with a slick user interface, while also being technically complex. Our client did not have a technical background, which meant that we needed to collaboratively engage in designing and specifying the product to meet their business requirements.
Startup founders without a technical background often comment on how intimidating it can be to find and engage an engineering team. We made sure that technical team members were present from the very first meeting with beebooked. Being able to have direct, friendly and transparent dialogue with the technical team was essential to building our client’s confidence in their own product. We collaborated closely with the client at this stage to flesh out the details of what they wanted, helping to guide them technically where they were unsure as to what was achievable.
Our first step was to carefully wireframe and storyboard the mobile application. Based on our initial requirements capture we knew that the apps were going to be deceptively complicated with map-based search and user chat components, but only by sketching out exactly how the application would work were we able to identify the real technical and UI/UX challenges. It became very clear for example that a user’s dual personality (buyer and seller) would need to be carefully managed across the entire stack, from database to UI.
After wireframing the application to better understand the required feature set in detail, we decided that React Native would be able to provide a complete and mature enough ecosystem of libraries to be able to develop both the Android and iOS applications simultaneously – something which simply isn’t always true.
The client received weekly updates on the development progress, including bringing them directly on to the development rig so that they could use the app on their own phone as it was updated.
Both iOS and Android apps were launched inside eight weeks of the formal start of work. They are being trialled in a specific geographic location before a managed rollout nationwide. One Big Circle continues to support the beebooked team, managing releases of new features and bug fixes where required.
Tools and Technology
beebooked was a simple idea with a deceptively complex technical underbelly. Our use of React Native and Elasticsearch simplified the challenges of cross-platform mobile development and location-specific functionality.
Using React Native enabled OBC to develop both Android and iOS apps in parallel
The API backend was run on AWS lambda and orchestrated using the Serverless Framework
Elasticsearch’s support for geolocation motivated our decision to use it for booking search
Scalable production and development environments running on Amazon Web Services