Stfalcon task was to develop an Android mobile app for special-purpose equipment rent. In the app the users should be able to:
- look for the contractors for rent without registration;
- get notifications about the new customers;
- submit requests for equipment rent and place orders 24/7.
For whom this App is?
The application is for special equipment owners, who can:
- get rent proposals for their technical devices rent;
- set the price per work shift and way of payment;
- indicate the characteristics and the names of additional equipment;
- manage the availability of the equipment and orders in their accounts.
For those who need equipment for some special purposes. Customers can:
- get proposals from the equipment owners;
- leave the device search requests and get offers;
- manage the date, time, region, address, and the characteristics of the special-purpose machinery needed, way of payment;
- manage the availability of orders and specialized vehicles.
The symbol of the app is an excavator. The search of ideas did not take much time, because we had known already that our client liked that very kind of special machines. Initially we wanted to create an extremely simple icon, but in course of the work it turned out that the more details we added the better the icon looked and the more interesting it was to look at it.
The first step in design is collecting data and interface creation. Our task was to create an MVP, that’s why we designed a simple interface (Equipment map, orders map, user personal account) with minimal features set, which is necessary for app work.
We created a high fidelity prototype and it resulted in spending little time on UI. It helped us to match the budget. The design was created in accordance with the material guidelines. We used standard components, such as date picker, time picker, dialogs, inputs, and some others, to save the time of project fulfillment.
The application is written for Android in the modern language of programming Kotlin and clean architecture approach was used.
The solution we have developed does not have any backend, but a BaaS solution. It contains a database, an environment for scripts running and Google services integration, that’s why Push notifications, as well as other external services, are integrated into the product with the help of firebase.
The project had a tight budget, that’s why Stfalcon team initially created the backlog with optimal features, but then got rid of some features and optimized certain functionality to match the financial part of the project and meet the requirements of the client in the best possible way.
We also used Firebase, for the backend. It’s a perfect solution for small projects, especially with a tight budget. Firebase speeds the development up. It helped us to save time and money, but it is important to keep in mind that the possibilities of Firebase are restricted and further scaling of the project might be problematic.
Only the users, who want to publish the equipment offer should register in the app and then, after the authorization, they can submit equipment for rent or answer the orders. Besides everybody can use the platform completely free of charge and without registration if no content is created. The user, can, for instance, find the necessary equipment, its provider and contact him directly over the phone which is indicated in the app.
In case you need to place an order you should indicate the type and characteristics of the equipment needed. To create a new unit, you need to indicate the category of the vehicle, it’s specifications, price, and address where it will be rented from. Additionally, you can upload photos, make some comments about the possible additional devices and options and some minor characteristics, time of work.
The equipment owner can quickly manage his personal information (photo, contact details, working time) and close orders when the equipment is not available. Besides the orders are closed automatically, according to the indicated time of due fulfillment.
The search can be realized on the map, where all equipment is displayed by default, but special filters help to sort the orders according to the equipment type and characteristics. There are 2 maps – equipment map and order map. Each can be watched separately. Instead of simple pins, one can see equipment icons, which differ in color depending on the chart chosen.
In case the order is placed, which matches some equipment parameters, the device owner gets push notification about it and can offer his services to the client.
At present, the app is functioning in the so-called launch mode, though it is already offered for download on Google Play and has even received first feedback. The users’ problems are monitored to fix the application failures in the future. The long-term future plans of the customer include app monetization and possibly iOS version development, but it will only start when all the mechanics and functionality is tested and polished on Android.
Mobile Team Lead
QA Team Lead