Case Study: Rover.com
For all those who treats dogs not just as pets, but as true members of their families, websites like Rover.com can prove invaluable. It's a place where dog owners can get local dog boarding, dog sitting, and dog walking services across the US. On the other hand, it's possible to join Rover.com as a dog sitter and offer these services. Dog sitters can join the community by professional approval upon successful completion of a test. This is the place where both parties can meet each other.
Our task was bringing these services to the mobile. All the thoughtful dog owners surely want to keep in touch with their pets when they are away traveling on a vacation or a business trip. That's how the handy Rover.com app for iOS originated. We had to define the most essential activities that could be performed on the go. The app had to be useful and simple enough to win popularity among the Rover.com community.
Once an owner or a sitter has an account on the Rover.com website, they can access the Rover.com app. It was initially designed as supporting iOS 4 and 5, specifically iPhone 3G, 4, and 4S. It allows direct communication between owners and sitters, simple, yet functional. The primary task was developing a convenient messaging tool, available free of charge for everyone who's registered on Rover.com.
- • The signup was available through the website only, so here one can just sign in with an existing account (the usual email/password combination). A convenient bonus of signing in with Facebook is added.
- • Direct chat that allows to communicate with a selected dog sitter.
- • Built-in feature of taking immediate photos and sending them within the same chat. They can be shown in the full screen mode.
- • Dog owners, as the main active users of this app, can check their sitters' working time and the amount of payment, and as well see whether they are currently online or offline.
- • Push notifications that alert of new messages.
- • iOS SDK + Objective-C
- • XMPP (Extensible Messaging And Presence Protocol)
- • Push notifications
- • Facebook API
The back end was provided and maintained by the Client.
RESULTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
The Client decided that there was no need in a dedicated QA specialist for the app iterations. The code was tested by the developer who was creating it, and it certainly took a while more than it would take otherwise. Features were discussed mainly on the go, and lots of small changes were introduced by the Client all along the development. However, at the later stages a QA engineer joined the project, the app was developed within the scheduled time and successfully launched on the App Store. As a result, this little app earned lots of active use, and over these years Rover.com remains a powerful and prosperous company that gathers together dog lovers throughout the USA.
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