Cross-platform mobile app development for a startup | Case Study

Cross-platform mobile app development

Mobile app giving contractors the edge


How the Wise team delivered a product with a strong competitive advantage and helped the startup company scale.

Cross-platform mobile app development for a startup
Industry

Commercial Construction
Location

United States
Time frame

12 months

Project Scope

Our client, a Blue Collar Lists startup company, approached us with the idea to broaden their existing iOS app’s functionality, launch the cross-platform app, and create a landing page for further marketing promotion.
The Wise team selected the most efficient ways to implement the requested features and helped the Blue Collar Lists app become a unique source of information for all US blue-collar workers it is today.

Technology stack

Mobile app: React Native & Expo
API: Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL database, AWS services
Admin: Ruby on Rails, Bootstrap & jQuery
Landing page: WordPress, AWS

Dedicated development team
Cross-platform development
Mobile app wireframing
Website migration
Web development
Quality Assurance

Background

Developing a mobile app for contractors
Founders of the Blue Collar Lists company wanted to make an intuitive mobile application that would allow contractors to rate customers and keep information on their projects in one place. The app also was aimed to provide quick access to the property data in the nearby areas. The client already had an iOS app published on the App Store that lacked the necessary functionality.
The Blue Collar Lists team approached us with ideas on building new features and improving the existing ones. There were also functional bugs that required fixing before launching product marketing campaigns and bringing the iOS and Android apps to a broader audience.
Developing a mobile app for contractors

Business & Tech Challenges

The client had already a basic cross-platform app developed by the external team and planned to extend the existing codebase.

01 Reinforcing product value proposition

To support product growth strategy, the Blue Collar Lists team started planning continuous improvements and launching new features for the mobile app. All to increase the competitive edge of the product and attract more customers.
02 Ensuring consistent UX for all app users

Creating a clear user experience for both iOS and Android platforms simultaneously was challenging as each platform had its requirements for building notifications, file sharing, and other functionality.
03 Implementing native features

The existing app was built with React Native, a popular technology for cross-platform mobile applications. Yet, to add some app capabilities, the approaches for different platforms vary and require using React Native libraries with native modules.
04 Deployment with Expo OTA updates

To make new features available to end-users instantly, without releasing new app versions to the App Store, the Expo OTA updates were configured. This technology was challenging to configure as multiple previous app releases had to be supported.
*Other technically complex aspects

  • Handling multiple Firebase accounts for different environments from the mobile side.
  • Ensuring API changes that reflect Expo over-the-air updates for specific app builds didn’t break any other app builds.
  • Keeping cross-platform technology React Native and its dependencies up-to-date in the long run.

Research & Project Assessment

Our collaboration with the client started with extensive technical research that helped us evaluate and define the most effective methods for the required features' implementation.

Prototyping mobile app
React Native libraries analysis

To address the challenge with the app capabilities that require using native modules and to maintain consistency of the iOS and Android app versions, we conducted profound research and testing on how push-notifications and in-app purchases work before using any React Native libraries.

Wireframes & prototypes

Together with the client, we discussed user stories and communicated a lot to understand the business logic behind the mobile app. Afterward, we worked on wireframes and sample prototypes to present our implementation concepts and make sure our vision was in line with the Blue Collar Lists team.

Estimates & deadlines

We agreed upon the required resources, allocated a dedicated team for the project, as well as agreed upon the deadlines of the new releases so that our client could plan promotional campaigns with their marketing team.

Establishing сommunication

The WE team established a close communication loop with the client to ensure that everyone stays on the same page. The team had weekly sync meetings and ad hoc discussions with the client, as well as communicated instantly via Slack.

Cross-Platform Mobile App Development in Progress

During the implementation step, the Wise team empowered the app with the following new features.

Project Setup Form – to confirm details with homeowners


Developing new functionality for cross-platform mobile app

With the new functionality, contractors could send forms to their future clients directly from the app. This allowed them to collect information on the project like requirements, schemes, photos, files, reference web links, and notes in one place.

Developing new functionality for cross-platform mobile app

Important data on the searched property


Mobile development in progress

The Wise team integrated the mobile application with the 3rd party API service with the data on properties located in the USA. As a result, app users got access to the information on 140 million properties all over the USA and could access data like assessed value, year built, living space, zoning, and more.

Mobile development in progress

Directions to the searched property


Mobile app integration with Google Maps

With Google Maps API integrated, the Blue Collar Lists app users could check directions, see the distance to the properties they are bidding on directly via the app interface.

Mobile app integration with Google Maps

Integrated push-notifications


Push-notifications for cross-platform mobile app

Notifications for the Android and iOS apps were set up with the native modules. It allowed users to receive alerts when they got responses for the Project Setup Forms from their prospects.

Push-notifications for cross-platform mobile app

Proper setup for the Expo Over-The-Air Updates


Over-the-air updates in mobile app development

To deliver updates to app users instantly and not roll out new app versions on the App Store and Play Market each time there were new features deployed, our engineers conducted proper setup for the Expo over-the-air updates technology. It started to support all the previous builds previously submitted to the AppStore, as well as all versions within all application environments.

Over-the-air updates in mobile app development
rails
expo
bootstrap
postgresql
react
wordpress
aws
jquery

Website & Analytics

The Wise team also was in charge of the Blue Collar Lists website migration to Amazon Web Services and configured analytics tools to help the startup company make data-driven business decisions.

Dashboard with crucial app data


Analytics for cross-platform mobile app

Together with the client, we defined the key metrics on app users and their activity the Blue Collar Lists team could retrieve and then interpret, analyzing both iOS and Android apps performance.
So the Wise team created an interactive dashboard to help our client access the defined data in a convenient format and accumulate it in one place.

Analytics for cross-platform mobile app

Integration with Firebase


Mobile app integration with Firebase

With the Firebase connected to all environments and the necessary events configured, the client could collect data on the app users and how they interact with the product.

Mobile app integration with Firebase

Landing page speed improvement


Landing page speed improvement

The website was previously built with WordPress and hosted on GoDaddy. Because the landing pages were loading too slowly, especially on mobile devices, we suggested improving the website loading speed and migrated it to Amazon Web Services.
After migrating servers to AWS from GoDaddy, page speed increased by 50%, with a PageSpeed score rating of 89%.

Landing page speed improvement

results

  • Outsourcing the project to a mobile app development company allowed the Blue Collar Lists team to reduce time to market for the new product version.
  • The dedicated mobile development team built an app with a strong competitive edge and helped the client to reevaluate the product’s value proposition.
  • The Wise engineers helped to deliver the required functionality in time for launching planned marketing campaigns.
  • Integration with Firebase and an intuitive dashboard with key metrics helped to evaluate the app performance in the long run.

Latest News on the Project

The Blue Collar App app is now available on the App Store and Play Market and has a business website with the key information on the product. While the core work for the product has been already done, the Wise Engineering team continues to provide tech support for the company, as well as develop new parts of the mobile app and tune up the existing ones.

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