Case Study: Online Workplace For Hail Damage Repair Professionals
Client: Sublink, a product company, an independent offshoot of a vehicle repair business with 19 years on the market
Business goals: Creation and deployment of an online platform that would unite all service providers in the niche of hail damage repair as a subscription-based marketplace
Product: The platform comprises Node.js-based back end; Nuxt.js-based front end; native apps for iOS and Android; and administration panel, which allows to monitor all activities and coordinate users
• Web: Node.js, Redis, Nuxt.js, Vue.js, Docker Engine, PostgreSQL, AWS, Express.js, Sequelize, Socket.IO, Nginx, Swagger-jsdoc, Element UI
• iOS: Swift, Generamba, HydraAsync, R.swift, XCTest, VIPER architecture
• Android: Kotlin, Moxy, RxJava 2, Retrofit 2, Dagger 2, Glide, MVP architecture
• UI/UX design, prototyping, manual testing with Zephyr for Jira, Agile management framework
From an idea to a deployed product under strict time constraints
The clients themselves are an established hail damage repair company. They conceived Sublink as an independent product, a powerful workplace for their entire niche. Being well-versed in their business—owing to 19 successful years on the market—they knew well the needs of those who provide repair services and those who require them. They wanted to create all the tools for service providers to connect and negotiate with clients with minimum effort. What they needed was a dedicated development team that would evolve an idea into a working product.
Business analysis and initial design
The main goal was to build a platform that would be similar to Upwork, but at the same time would consider the specifics of the niche. A massive amount of effort was put into business analysis and initial design, including an elaborate screen flow. We formed and visualized the logic of the future system.
Node.js stack: dealing with time constraints
The launch was scheduled prior to November, the season when the demand for hail damage repair services typically reaches its peak. Additionally, we needed enough time to test this rather complex system comprehensively. The initially suggested PHP was left out in favor of Node.js. This would help us meet both the functional requirements and the deadlines.
Real-time chats in mobile apps
One of our main goals was facilitating effective interactions between contractors and vehicle owners. The cornerstone of it all was a real-time chat, implemented in native iOS and Android apps by means of Socket.IO.
Effective regression testing for a large system
Since the product was created by our team from scratch, its documentation has been properly created and maintained to facilitate easier work in the future. A good example is QA documentation: sets of prioritized regression tests for each platform (in order to save time performing high-priority tests), as well as sets of cases for happy path flow and smoke testing.
Well-timed release and plans for the future
The product took an approximate year of business analysis and implementation. It went live just in time for the Mobile Tech Expo in January 2018, where it was successfully showcased by the clients. To quote them, Sublink received "undeniably positive response from both attendees and other exhibitors." As of now, it is evolving further, while the clients are planning to eventually cover contractor services for more types of vehicles, including aircraft.
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