On-demand business model successfully used by Uber is attracting attention of digital entrepreneurs all over the world. Dozens of services are claiming they are Uber for X. They belong to various industries: from grocery delivery and ordering a hairstylist to your home to cargo carrying and making appointment with a doctor.
Studio stfalcon.com has developed on-demand service for ordering in a massage. The project included interaction design, UI creation, development of two separate apps for massage therapists and their clients for two platforms: Android and iOS. We have also developed back-end and API used by mobile apps for communicating with server.
App for ordering in a massage is not an unusual idea, since there were several services offering it before. But what is special about this particular app is quick order. The idea is that massage is a type of service clients might need here and now. That’s why when creating the first version of prototype we were trying to design user interaction with the system in a way that will allow to turn quick order into a significant advantage of the app. Service was also limited to massage therapists working in offices and gyms, places where they don’t need to take massage table with them thus making the service really fast.
Another feature of the app is making an order without registration. Just like online shops we get all the necessary data on users when they are filling in data for their first order and have their full profile after they’ve completed it.
What exactly happens is this: after the first launch app registers an anonymous user on the server. It allows visitors to use all the functions available to registered users (order history, binding orders with places, saving payment option, etc.) without undergoing registration procedure. If a visitor decides to become a registered user (for example to use this account on various devices) all he or she needs to do is add email and password or authorize via one of the social networks. Anonymous user data is saved this way.
On the start screen we show a short welcome message and then users proceed to their order. Since app has few basic options, they all fit nicely into one screen. It is only logical to encourage a user to increase massage time. That’s why when increasing massage time users see a discount growing. Light interactive elements were used for visualizing choice and putting accent on price change.
We wanted the app to look smart: when users are making their second order we check their location and pre-fill options according to their previous order made from this location. For example, when ordering message in the gym they will see options they used last time for gym massage. And for office those will differ.
App has a lot of non-standard interface elements that’s why when developing interface for Android app we created our own custom views. It guarantees that all the elements will look identically on various versions of the OS and it will be possible to use this elements in the future.
Searching for massage therapist
After setting massage options users need to specify their location. Initially we get data on location using geolocation services of the mobile device but if data wasn’t received, user can specify the address manually or move the map with a finger.
In order to decrease search time we send a search request right after receiving location data. When users are filling in their personal data (name, phone number, full address) and choosing payment option we are already sending requests to the free massage therapists nearby.
After massage therapist has accepted an order via personal mobile device, server sends GCM notification to the client app which allows to receive a Realtime status without additional data reload.
In the ideal situation thanks to a well-though search right after specifying personal data users are notified that a massage therapist was found and is approaching their location. In massage details users can see all important information about the order as well as request additional 30 minutes massage. After the massage procedure is over users are prompted to rate it. In the future rating can be used to range massage therapists using the app.
A lot of elements of the Android app UI (for example, rating box) are dynamic with animation being shown when they change their state. We used Property Animation for implementing them. It allowed us to decrease time needed for their implementation and save app resources.
App for massage therapists
Apart from the app for ordering massage we have designed and developed an app for service providers — massage therapists. It is a fairly simple app with two main functions: receiving massage requests coming from locations nearby and notifying service about the end of the massage session. Apart from it we gather statistics on orders completed and money earned. By integrating Google Maps Navigation service we allowed massage therapists to navigate to destination sites.
Back End Developer