Here’s how you can build the next Uber-like App!

Heres how you can build the next uber like app

Here’s everything potential on-demand businesses need to know to develop an app like Uber!

Taxi apps are just snowballing everywhere. There was a time when Uber was the only online taxi provider company in the market. But if we look at the present-day situation, so many small and medium scaled online taxi provider companies have been introduced in the market. New apps have sprung up to enrich people’s experience of boarding taxis online. However, out of the lot, Uber still manages to show incredible success.

According to Statista, Uber’s global presence has increased extensively over the last three years. The total value of Uber bookings has more than tripled since late 2016, reaching over 40.7 billion U.S. dollars in the first nine months of 2020.

Table of Content:

In the peer-to-peer ride-hailing market, Uber is in charge of 77% of the business. Many of its competitors have tried to pit against but Uber still manages to reign. How? In this blog, you will figure out exactly what makes an app like Uber stand out from others in the market and how even you can benefit from the Uber business model. Remember that the core objective is not to create an Uber knock-off, but rather a more advanced web & mobile app.

How Does the Uber App Work?

uber app flow

Before getting into the technical aspects of how to create an app like Uber, let’s first briefly review how the app works and what are its core features.

If anything that makes Uber the sole winner in the market, it’s the way the app operates. If you have ever used the Uber app (which we’re pretty sure you have) you’ll know that it takes only a few simple steps on the app to get to your desired location. The app keeps the process far efficient and plain sail. That is why if you want to develop an app like Uber, you need to first understand what these steps are:

  • Step 1: Ride request

The customer creates a trip request to their desired destination. They check the fare of the trip and choose between various car types.

  • Step 2: Trip verification

The request is then sent to a nearby driver whoever will be able to pick up the customer as quickly as possible. The driver can either accept or reject the ride. If one rejects, the request is quickly sent to another driver.  Each other’s contact details are shared with both parties.

  • Step 3: The ride

Once the contact details are shared, the customer tracks the taxi approach and can see the estimated time of arrival.

  • Step 4: Payment

The app gives you an exact estimation of the ride cost beforehand which makes the process even easy and smooth. The process by which the Uber app calculates the trip fee is through time and distance indicators.

  • Step 5: Rating and Review

Once the ride is complete, the app requests you to rate each ride. This may help future riders pick drivers accordingly.

How many apps are involved?

apps involved

Contrary to what most cab-hailing app owners assume, Uber is not a single app but a company that runs three distinct apps. The original platform comprises a Driver App designed for the drivers collaborating with the company and a Passenger App meant for ordinary customers who book their ride. Apart from that, the platform should also come with an admin panel that is responsible for managing and monitoring the platform’s work.

If you want to make an app like Uber (or a similar taxi booking app), it is crucial to understand these three major components that make up this whole system.  Let’s understand the basic features of each of these applications in detail.

Also Read: From Idea to Product: A comprehensive guide to the product design process

Passenger Features in Apps Like Uber

Uber App Features for Passengers
  • Registration – The user is asked to log in or sign up as soon as they download and open the app. This can be possible via email, social media, or phone number for verification.
  • Taxi Booking – This feature allows users to enter their address, select the type of car, and adjust the pickup location.
  • Fare Calculator – As mentioned above, the fare for traveling from one point to the other is already calculated based on the distance, the car-type, and estimated traffic. The price is shown to the customer beforehand.
  • Driver Tracking – The driver’s movements are tracked in real-time and timely updates on travel routes and estimated time of arrival are sent to the customer.
  • Texting or Calling the Driver – As soon as a driver is allotted, their contact and vehicle details are sent to the specific customer. The customers can then easily contact the driver to stay up-to-date with the trip-request status.
  • Travel History – Provides a track of record of the driver’s past rides and transactions.
  • Payment – Various payment methods including credit and debit cards, PayPal, gift cards, or simply in-cash can be implemented through the app. Once the ride ends, the selected payment method is charged.
  • Rating & Review – The customer can provide ratings based on the journey, driver’s behavior, and the overall experience.
  • Customer Support

Following are some advanced features that can be included in a subsequent version of an Uber-like app:

  • Ride Cancellation – Allows users to cancel the ride within a specific period.
  • Split Payment – Riders can opt for sharing a ride with other passengers and split the payment.
  • Book for Others –  This feature lets a user book a taxi for someone else.
  • Share My Trip – With this feature, one can share their trip details with contact.

Driver Features in Apps Like Uber

  • Driver Verification – This gives the complete information of the driver including his verification, license, documents, etc. This feature is also used to check the driver’s availability.
  • Trip Alert – This notifies the driver when a new trip request is placed including the passenger’s location, route, and travel history. The driver has the ability to accept or decline the request.
  • Push Notifications – These are used to notify any change in route, pick up location, or request status.
  • Navigation & Route Optimization – Shows the best and fastest trip route with the integration of Google and Apple Maps.
  • Revenue Reports – Provides information about the driver’s trips and earnings, allowing them to look up statistics on daily or monthly earnings.
  • Texting or Calling the Passenger –  Allows direct communication between the driver and the passenger within the app.

Apart from the above mentioned basic features, an Uber-like app can also have some of the following advanced features:

  • Driver Destinations – the ability of a driver to select a ride only with a preferred destination.
  • Quest Earnings – the ability of a driver to earn more for completing a predefined number of trips.
  • Waiting Time – the app charges extra to the passenger in the event of trip cancellation or exceeding the wait time of 5 minutes.
  • Forward Dispatch – allows the driver to accept another trip request while performing the current ride.

Admin Panel for Taxi Booking Apps Like Uber

admin panel

The Admin Panel works as a Fairy Godmother to the whole system making sure every component is organized and is under control at the driver’s as well as the customer’s side. It is a control panel for admins to manage customers, drivers, requests, payments, and everything else that comes in-between to function an app like Uber.

Hence, the admin panel must include some high-level set of features including:

  • Managing the locations & fares charged;
  • Managing the User & Driver accounts;
  • Taxi Booking Management;
  • Reviewing the ratings;
  • Push notification management;
  • Promotion and discounts;
  • Customer and Driver support;
  • Integration with multiple analytics tools (like Google Analytics) Integration with Google Analytics

What Technologies are Used to Develop an App Like Uber?

In this part of the blog, we’re going to discuss the technical aspects of building an app like Uber. What are the key technologies that can play a pivotal role in the development of your Uber-like app? What are the technical integrations that you might need during the taxi app development?

The most important technology that is used in any taxi booking app is Geolocation. Other key features include push notifications, integration of payment gateways, and route building.

Below is an overview of all technological integration with the time (in hours) taken to  develop the following in-app services:

Technologies used to build an App Like Uber

Besides the above technological integrations, the development also requires you to implement other technology and programming languages for both iOS and Android app development. Most taxi app developers would apply Swift and Kotlin programming languages for iOS and Android apps evenly. As for the system’s backend, some of the top taxi app developers highly commend the Ruby-on-Rails framework.

How much does building an app like Uber costs?

Now that you have a perfect idea of how you can develop an app like Uber, you may ask “How much does it cost to make an app like Uber?”. The cost to make an app like Uber can be expensive if you consider an in-house team to build it. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to go for a mobile app development company that understands the rhythm of the market and avail the best methodologies to develop apps.

According to BuildFire, hiring an offshore development company could cost you as low as $25 per hour. To give you an overview here is the average hourly cost of skilled developers in the top three major countries:

  • USA: $150-120/hr
  • UAE: $90- 150/hr
  • India: $25-49/hr

Hiring a mobile app development company can help you deploy the latest technologies and the best of features to your taxi app development.

To Conclude

One thing is for sure, to develop an app like Uber is indeed a considerable and profitable idea. Keep in mind that apart from using your app to book a taxi, your audience also demands a sleek user interface and a smooth experience. Hence, you need to pick and customize your app structure suiting those needs – and at the same time, your budget. We’ll be glad to help you decide how to create an app like Uber and launch it in the market with minimal time and financial resources. Write to us at coffee@sparkeighteen.com.

How to turn your app idea into reality?

how to turn your app idea into reality

Cheers! You have a great app idea but how to turn your app idea into reality?

With the app economy booming, this is the best time to transition your vision for an app into a full-fledged reality. The user base is growing so is the spending on mobile apps.

Source: Sensor tower

This provides a great opportunity for entrepreneurs and enterprises to nudge into the greatest mobile trend of all times!

But it isn’t as easy as it looks. Once you’re at it, you might find yourself mystified in the process. What should you do? How to get from A to B or B to C? Where to start from?

You’re not the only one asking these questions. Often it’s hard to know where to start from, especially if this is your first time making an app. At Spark Eighteen, we master in providing you solutions to these problems. Here is a step-by-step guide that can help you on how to turn your app idea into reality:

Don’t stop researching!

There is already a surfeit of poorly planned apps that fail within weeks because they do not research well. You would not want to imagine your app among these!

Once you have your basic idea at hand, the very next step is to check if the idea in itself is viable. Below are some of the questions you need answers to:

  • What are the problems that you’re solving through your app?

If there isn’t any problem for which your app is the solution, your product will basically remain non-existent.

  • Is there a market for your app?

Research online industry journals run a search on Google Trends, conduct keyword research, talk to industry experts – gather as much information you can about your potential market and your ability to scale an idea here.

  • Who is your competition?

There can be similar apps in your space that are targeting the same problem and users as you are. Search who they are, check what they’re doing, read online reviews, and run through their social media handles. Collect all this data and analyze the expectations for an app like this and what you can improve upon as you build your own app.

  • Who are your users?

Identify your target audience and define your user persona. Uncover how do they tackle the identified problem today, how satisfied or dissatisfied are they with the existing solution, and how is your app going to improve this for them?

Create a basic outline for your idea

Once you are done with the nitty-gritty, it’s time to sketch your app together with a wireframe which is one of the most important elements when answering the question of how to turn your app idea into reality. Your wireframe is the draft of your app’s main architecture. Don’t get carried away making all the design choices just yet, rather stick to the main fundamentals or features of your application. Create a detailed and specific outline of how things are going to work and what pages and functions are needed. Before jumping on to design, keep going back and forth to find if there is any snag in the navigation or screen layout. Move ahead only when you’re satisfied with your wireframes.

Get your app designed

The sketch is ready, now it’s time to color it! This is a super important step as this will decide if your users will stick to using your app or will just delete it after one use. So it’s wise that you don’t rush or skimp through this process. Start by sketching the user interface (UI) for your application. There are various options for how you can go about it as you can either use a paper or a software tool that lets you create mockups for your app. Decide what colors, fonts, and design elements you’re going to use for your app design. Since this is such a crucial step, even a small misstep can create a big problem. We’d recommend you to hand this to a team of designers or programmers with enough technical knowledge or experience to get your product designed faster.

Time to launch and market your app!

Source: Statista

Now that you have your fully-functioning app, it’s time to put it to the test. Make sure every aspect of your app is functioning properly and is visually appealing. Before revealing your masterpiece to the world, run beta testing of your product. This means launching a beta version of your app and making it available for early-adopters. This way you’ll know how your app performs in the live environment and how the audience reacts to it. Collect valuable feedback and use it to improve your app.

After planning, designing, and testing finally it’s time to hit the shelves! But publishing your app to either the App Store or Google Play Store doesn’t end your job.  The more complex part is to put the word out there. Without proper marketing, your app will hit the pile of apps that nobody pays attention to. Use the power of social media ads, influencers, or email marketing to spark a conversation about your product.

Lastly, don’t forget to listen to user feedback. Keep improving and updating your app regularly to give users the best experience.

We hope this blog helped in simplifying a very complex process. But again, app development is an ongoing affair that will continue even after the initial launch of the product. This is why you need the best team by your side. Spark Eighteen is a professional team of designers that provide mobile app development services to companies across different industries. Feel free to contact us here.

Design for the users: 8 Key elements of a great mobile app UX design

8 key elements of a great mobile app ux design

What makes a great mobile app UX design? Hopefully by the end of this blog you’ll be able to answer this question. 

Why do people download mobile apps?

A pretty straightforward question, right?

Users have needs and look for a fast and efficient way to achieve those needs. Apps are that “way”.

Simple question – simple answer. But again, scratching the surface, we can see that it is really not as easy as it seems and requires a bigger and deeper answer.

Table of Content:

  1. A Clean Layout
  2. Easy-to-Flow Navigation
  3. Minimum User Input
  4. Legible Text Content
  5. Big Enough Tap-Targets
  6. Hand Position Controls
  7. Provides Personalization
  8. Well-Tested

According to a study by TechJury, an average person has around 80 different apps installed on their phone, out of which only 9 of those apps are used daily. Further data by Statistics show that users abandon 25% of mobile apps on their phones just after one use.

The main reason why a user downloads an app is that they are looking for a unique experience that they won’t possibly get on a website. An experience that justifies the reason for why they should be downloading an app in the first place. After all, the more usable the app is, the higher user engagement it gets and the lower chance of uninstalls.

Implementing the best of mobile app UX design principles at every step of the design process can help you attain this. Following are the 8 best mobile app UX design practices that you need to consider for your app today!

8 Mobile App UX design principles

1. A Clean Layout

Users aren’t necessarily looking for a meaning behind your design. It’s a mobile app, not a Vincent Van Gogh painting for god sake!

They won’t take much time to drop out of an app that ruffles their feathers. That is why a simple and clean design that makes it easy for users to navigate, explore, and consume content is what we consider the golden recipe of a successful app design. Just have a look at this example below:

clean layout mobile app ux design

Absolutely no clutter! The mobile app layout seems fresh and feels relaxing to the eyes, doesn’t it? A minimalist and simple design is your best defense against the paradox of choice and will help you create the most holistic and satisfying mobile experience for your users.

2. Easy-to-Flow Navigation

Good navigation is a vehicle that directs users where they want to go. You know navigation is bad if you have to stop and wonder “How to reach a specific function?”.

To avoid this bummer, make your UX navigation intuitive so that users can immediately figure out how to get around your application. Use familiar icons (such as a “home” icon for the home page or “speech balloon” for messages), fewer options on the menu bar, and give users a visible indicator of which screen they are at the moment.

navigation

This is one of the most important elements of UX for apps. If a user finds it difficult to navigate through your app, they’re more likely to disengage and close or even uninstall the app before even using it.

3. Minimum User Input

The biggest challenge with smaller devices isn’t the screen size, but the typing experience. Typing on mobile screens isn’t always the most comfortable experience as in most cases the keyboard takes up more than half of the screen. With this situation at hand, you would not want to overwhelm users with a form that contains endless amounts of fields. Try and reduce the number of fields in a form by asking only the most relevant details.

Minimizing the number of fields isn’t enough – also focus on the areas where extra user effort is being put. For example, filling out an address is often the most difficult part of any form. Make it easy by using smart features like autocomplete which uses both geolocation and address prefilling to provide correct suggestions based on the user’s exact location. Similarly, customize the keyboard for the type of query like displaying a numeric keyboard when asking for a phone number or including the ‘@’ sign when asking for an email address. Ensure that these features are applied consistently throughout the app instead of just certain forms.

4. Legible Text Content

Text is one of the most critical elements of mobile UX design. If users are unable to read your content, then how will they use your app? As screen sizes are getting smaller, the strain on our eyes is increasing to read texts. This is why legibility is everything. This means that your texts should be easily distinguishable that the users do not find it troubling to read or analyze them. In fact, they shouldn’t feel the need to re-read it. Adjust the spacing, length, font, and style to find the most legible tuning for your mobile app.

5. Big Enough Tap-Targets

Ever played darts? Hitting the bulls-eye is way harder to do than hitting any other part of the dartboard. This is because bulls-eye is the smallest target on the board.

The same principle can be applied to mobile UX design. Smaller touch targets are hard for users to hit than the larger ones. So when you’re designing your mobile app, it is best to make your targets big so that they’re easy for users to tap If a user clicks on a tiny portion of the screen and if that doesn’t create the expected action, the user might get annoyed and exit the app. The solution is to make the tap-size at least 7-10mm so that they are able to locate the button and easily tap on it.

6. Hand Position Controls

Are you reading this blog on your phone? Even if you’re not, pick it up and see where you naturally place your fingers and thumb. Where can you tap? Which areas do you have to stretch your thumb to tap?

Hand positions and grip influence a large part of mobile UX design. In a research on mobile devices usage, it was found that 49% of people rely on one thumb to get things done on their phones. Even when you look at the image below, the colors indicate the areas where a user can reach their thumb to interact with the screen.

Green shows the area where they can easily use their thumb, yellow are the areas where they have to stretch a bit to reach, and red requires users to change the way they are holding their device. This means:

  • You need to place common actions in the easy to reach the green zone;
  • Place negative buttons (such as delete or cancel) in the hard to reach red zone so users do not accidentally tap on it.

7. Provides Personalization

We’ve been hearing the word ‘personalization’ a lot nowadays. It has become an integral part of designing in the digital system due to the ability to build a connection with the end-user. It gives users the content they’re searching for in the first place and eliminates any distraction in-between.  The best part is, even the user is looking for it!

Personalize the user’s journey by allowing them to change settings, control push notifications from the app, and cancel actions. Apps can suggest or provide warnings but the end decision should be of the user to make.  Let them ask questions or queries by integrating various types of feedback into your interface. Give users a sense of freedom and transparency.

8. Well-Tested

A thoroughly tested app prevents any future user problems.

The earlier you test your app, the earlier you fix any problems and win the trust of your users. Review different features, layouts, and variations of your mobile app design to see what is working best. Build a user-centered approach by testing your app with real-users, With each round, you’ll uncover different ways of improving your app design to meet the user’s needs.

Conclusion

Congratulations! Now that you’ve made it to the end of it, we can assume you’re equipped with the knowledge of creating an extraordinary design for your app. We hope now you understand the importance of UX for mobile applications. Following these mobile app ux design principles, you will be able to give users a better overall experience.

Get one step further to your dream app by joining hands with a great team like Spark Eighteen. Take a look at our work here!

Watch Out: 5 Biggest UI Design Trends Of 2021!

ui design trends 2021

The fast-paced digital environment of UI design is evolving at a rapid rate. You may work on one design for some time, and it will get replaced with a more advanced version within a couple of months. But wait! The idea isn’t to scare you out of your wits but to help you stay up-to-date with all these changes. We’re here to help you get inspired to produce the best online experience through your website or mobile app. We browsed through hundreds of blogs available online and talked to our best designers to serve you these UI design trends for 2021! We’ve done the dirty work, all you need to do is sit back and read. Are you ready? Let’s go!

Table of Content:

  1. 3D elements
  2. Dark mode
  3. Storytelling
  4. Soft-gradients
  5. Neumorphism

Why is a good UI important?

Think about it.

When you first enter a website where do your eyes go? What is the first thing that grabs your attention? It’s pretty easy to imagine that every letter you write or content you put out on your website sparks excitement among visitors. The truth is, it really doesn’t.

As soon as a visitor enters a website, before taking any action they scan through it and only stop when something catches their eyes. What adds up to the challenge is the dwindling human attention span that won’t sit at one place for more than mere 8 seconds! This makes catching your audience’s attention a tough cookie. But, does that mean it’s impossible?

Enter, User Interface!

A good user interface is crucial. It makes it easier for users and visitors to browse through your products and clearly see what services you offer without obscurity. To put it simply, a good UI turns potential visitors into buyers by drawing their attention and simplifying their interaction with your website or mobile application.

You cannot be more wrong for thinking that UI only focuses on the aesthetic aspects of a website or mobile app. It is quite a detailed process as it involves anticipating the user needs and preferences then producing an interface that understands and satisfies those needs. After all, a visual design that is both interactive and informative is what makes a good user interface design which further increases conversion rates.

2020 stumbled upon some of the most creative and promising trends like animations and full-screen mobile layouts that are indeed going to stick for longer. The upcoming year is going to be even grand with trends that will take the design world by storm.  Here are the 5 hottest UI trends 2021 that we think are going to shape the near future:

5 Hottest UI Design Trends 2021

1. 3D Elements

3d elements

3D elements are engaging, emotive, and even better – in-trend! This immersive design is already being used in the UI arena for years and with the popularity of VR and AR technology, it is expected to reach its peak in the upcoming year. As a web and mobile app development agency, we think 3D modeling will be a great way of owning a more realistic and futuristic presence in the digital world than the old and repetitious two-dimensional one.

2. Dark Mode

According to a recent report by Built With, around 1,658 websites have used Dark Theme to attract customers, out of which 1,007 are live websites while 651 sites have been using dark modes ever since.

dark mode ui design trends 2021

Do you realize why this many websites (and even apps) today feel the need to provide an optional dark mode to their users? Due to our increased screen-time, the strain on our eyes increases too. Dark mode helps with it especially in low-light and nighttime situations. This means a user is able to spend more time on your website or app if it provides an optional dark-mode feature. When adding this feature, predominantly use blacks or grey with the right contrast between different elements and typography. It is not only timeless but also adds a certain elegance to your page and make it look classy!

3. Storytelling

We’re all for good stories, especially if it is able to hook us right. Often times digital storytelling is thought of in terms of UX. But no! UI has the power of deliberating and narrating the storyline of your product too. How? With the use of color, typography, animation, etc.

For example, take a look at Google’s Pixel Earbuds landing page. As you scroll down the page, you will find yourself guided through the various benefits of the product with animations, solid imagery, and stellar typography. This brings out the uniqueness of the page and creates a positive emotional response which can make the art of storytelling one of the biggest UI design trends 2021.

4. Soft-Gradients

soft gradients

Gradients were THE THING of the 90s. It was a popular way to add color and depth to any design and make it look lively. Guess what? Just like every 90s trend that is making a comeback, so are gradients! They are showing no signs of slowing down and are going to be a big UI design trend in 2021 too! Today we see them as backgrounds, buttons, cards, graphics – almost everywhere possible on the internet. The combination and the blend of two soft contrasting colors bring an element to life and give the design a very modern feel.

5. Neumorphism

Neumorphism ui design trends 2021

Neumorphism introduces hyperrealism in websites and mobile apps by bringing out the design elements to life. Combining flat design elements with skeuomorphism, neumorphism creates real-life imagery with new and improved 3D graphics. The UI design takes simple and flat icons and gives them a rich dimensional makeover to make it look like it is popping out from the screen. Neaumorhphism creates a stylish and clean design with very clever use of shadows, highlights, and gradients.

Conclusion

And that’s it!

Now that you know the UI design trends 2021 that are going to create a buzz in the future, it’s your time to make the best use of them. As we know, the UI design area is saturated with fast-changing tendencies, however, there are always long-term trends that may stick forever – and trust us, the five mentioned above can make the list.  To conclude, holding on to the trending UI designs can help you sustain valuable visitors to your website or mobile app that may turn into your future customers. So if you have made up your mind or are still confused about which technique should you go for, get in touch with us here and we can help you take a step forward.

How to build a better product with user research

How to build a better product with User Research

User experience is important because users are important. The millions you invest in your product or the high-class technologies that you employ will go in vain if no one actually uses it. Understanding the user’s needs is difficult but it doesn’t have to be. The user research process contains numerous techniques, analysis, and other feedback methodologies to know what the user is really looking for. In this way, companies will be able to create the right product for their customers.

Table of Content:

  1. Define the problem
  2. Build an MVP that fits
  3. Analyze & improve

User research basically focuses on understanding their behavior, needs, and motivation to buy a product. The method for user research you can or should perform depends upon the kind of website, system, or app you are developing and how much time you have at hand.

user experience user research process

So whether you’re looking to improve your existing product, or want to develop a brand new one, user research is the first step. Further, we will talk about the need and importance of user insights and how you can conduct user research in order to succeed.

The need For User Research

An exceptional UX design is closely knitted with great user research – one that uses data-driven strategies while also balancing feasibility and viability.

UX research is where you will disinter and validate the end user’s needs that will form the basis of what you are designing. Without understanding the user’s behavior, motivations, and needs, the design process is only dependent on your own assumptions and experiences- which is not objective.

It is considered to be the first step in the designing process. Think of it as the foundation of the product design process without which the design may fall apart.

User insights are also important because they enhance the performance of your marketing campaigns. The insights backed up by strong data about the end-users can help your company better understand the behavior and motivations of your target audience which can further let you build campaigns that are more user-focused.

How to Conduct User Research

There are various ways you can conduct user research. Following is one of the best user research methods you can follow and define your route:

Step #1: Define the problem

When entering a market, there will be certain questions you would want answers to. At this stage, you only have an idea at hand which you need a bigger and broader understanding of. It’s great to first steer clear of the objective of your idea. Understand the problem you’re trying to solve with your product and what are the core features you have in mind.

user research process

Note down all the important points and form your problem hypothesis. This will help you draw a route and understand the purpose of your product better. You can also add up better questions on the table to formulate a research question you want to pursue.

Step #2: Build an MVP that fits

Now that you understand the problem you’re solving, it’s time to build a solution that might help you start off with your user research. This could be attained by building a Minimal Viable Product. An MVP is simply built on the basic idea of giving users perception and an understanding of the product before finally launching it. It is built before the research is done as it is a visual and tangible representation of a product.

It is basically a version of the product that helps teams collect the maximum amount of validated learning about the customers with the least investment.

Your MVP can consist of the minimum set of features that satisfies a given problem. Once you test your MVP with the initial users, you are able to identify the friction points, fix errors, and avoid unnecessary headaches as you move through the process.

Also Read: 3 Easy steps to build a successful Minimum Viable Product

Step #3: Analyze & Improve

Gather all your results and feedback, don’t take too long before analyzing them. What did you learn from the first round of the experiment? It’s impossible to get everything right in the first test. That is why it is wise to keep listening to the feedback, iterating your product, and go back to testing it to see if you’ve nailed it.

Try to not overlook the negative feedback. While positive and good comments are all we want to hear about our product, they won’t help you improve it.  Identify the common issue where most users find difficulty in and fix it. By tracking down the metrics or user behavior, you can learn which features to improve, add, or delete in your final product.

Conclusion

User research guides you to design smarter and effective products that are mainly-focused on the end-user. If done right, it helps you enhance your design with the support of the needs, experiences, and motivations of the user. This user research strategy will help you back up relevant data about the user that you can use to improve the product for your customers.

It takes great expertise and experience to get the process right. Fortunately, here at Spark Eighteen, we deliver on what counts. Learn more about our services by getting in touch with us here.

3 Easy steps to build a successful Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

3 Steps to build a successful MVP

How to build an MVP that validates your startup idea? What is the process of MVP development? And, how can it help you make a splash in your industry with less time and costs?

If you’re searching for answers to the questions above, you landed on the right page!

Table of content:

  1. Identify Your MVP’s Core Features
  2. User Testing
  3. Release and Keep Iterating

It may look like apps like Airbnb and Uber have rushed into our lives at full tilt and immediately gained global recognition with millions of users. However, only a few people would remember that these apps didn’t start as polished as they are today. The businesses that they have grown out to be today,  it’s almost difficult to imagine that once they were undeveloped apps too. And it is even more difficult to imagine how succeeded exactly due to gradual growth.

If you’ve read about Eric Ries’  ‘Lean Startup’ methodology, you must know how widely it is used all over the world. It is aimed towards shortening the development cycle and building startups according to the needs of the early customers in the international to reduce risks and outlays.

In today’s IT industry, developing an MVP is a basic practice. It is considered to be useful in the planning and building of a product. So if you’re planning to launch your own product, here’s how to build an MVP to quickly test and validate your idea!

What is an MVP?

Before we list down the benefits of an MVP and how you can build one for your startup, let’s first understand what exactly it is.

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is an initial product with a minimum set of features that solves a definite problem of the users. The basic set of features are enough to attract early-adopter customers and validate your value proposition.

Eric Reis, the person who introduced the concept, says:

minimum viable product

A startup may decide to develop and release an MVP because they want to:

  • Introduce the product as quickly as possible;
  • Test if their target market is actually ready to adopt the product or not;
  • Learn about their target market through feedback.

Also Read: From Idea to Product: A comprehensive guide to the product design process

Benefits of Building an MVP

In today’s competitive business landscape, an MVP can help you provide immediate value to your customers while also minimizing development costs. By gathering data and feedback, businesses can then improve future iterations of the product.

Below are 5 major reasons how building an MVP can benefit you:

  • User-Focused Design Approach

An MVP is developed to solve a user’s key problem and is constantly iterated as per the user’s needs. It gathers valuable feedback constantly to provide an improved version of the product at each iteration.

  • Immediate Testing

By offering the core set of features rather than a fully developed product, organizations can easily establish if their product’s concept resonates with their target audience or not. Based on the findings, it further provides an opportunity to make changes. An MVP also helps businesses identify which social group, in their target audience, are the most active users and how they interact with the product.

  • Developing Early Relationship With Customers

The immediate goal of a business is to build trust with their existing customers while also connecting with the new ones. It’s no secret that timing plays an important role in developing that relationship. An MVP helps in engaging early adopters and stakeholders during the initial stage of the development process. These early users will then spread the word about your product and also give valuable feedback. All this nurtures the relationship between a business and its customers.

  • Protects Credibility

An MVP is the true image of your product shown to the public. You build an MVP to explore the market and your target audience before making the actual commitment to investing a fortune into it. So even if it fails, it will fail quickly – without you spending too much money. This is a better business idea than pouring in a big amount of your budget into a project that fails within a year – and trust us, you won’t like that.

How to build an MVP in 3 easy steps:

1. Identify Your MVP’s Core Features

The first step to MVP development is finding out what features you want to include in your early product? These are the core features that are going to be the identity of your product. This is how you’re going to make a mark in the market. Start off by answering the following questions:

  • What are the problems of your users that you’re trying to solve with your product?
  • How are they dealing with the existing problem today?
  • How does your feature help them tackle the problem in an easier way?
  • Which of your product’s features are ‘needed’ and which of them are ‘wanted’?

There is a big difference between a product needing the feature and wanting it. Features that are ‘needed’ are the ones a product cannot exist without. For example, Uber’s location tracking feature. Without it, a user won’t be able to provide their exact location to be picked up, hence the app will be of no use.

On the other hand, features that are ‘wanted’ are unique and are able to convince users to try out your product. A user able to change their location or able or see the contact details and past history of a driver who is picking them up are useful features that can help your MVP stand out from others in the market. If you’re unsure about if a feature will be used or how often it is going to be used, it is likely to be a want and not a need.

In order to make a great MVP, you do not only cover all the needs but also a good number of wants to validate your product idea. It highly depends on your business and your product to identify what is the right amount of features they want to target.

2. User Testing

Now that you have your MVP’s core features listed, it’s time to identify and find out if they are worth to be included in your final product. How do you find out if the user really ‘wants’ or ‘needs’ that feature? How do you know which features are worth investing in or which are not? That is why we recommend user testing using as many mediums as you can. While doing user testing, don’t forget to include the core features you want to test. Don’t fully invest in these features yet, Instead, create a dummy project and see how many users are interested in it.

dropbox how to build an mvp

This is how Dropbox’s founders got the answer to the simple question – “Will anybody use this?”

3. Release and Keep Iterating

The whole idea behind an MVP is to release early and keep adapting to users’ feedback. As soon as you release your MVP, keep iterating by including features as per users’ needs. You’re likely to iterate for quite some time before it is fully ready to go to the market.  Find those crucial features that are tested, validated, and loved by your target audience and make them the main focus of your product. You may need a couple of MVP’s combined before you release your final product in the market. The moment at which you’re ready to launch the final product is called the Minimum Marketable Product (MMP).

In essence, an MVP aims to allow a business to quickly release its product out in the market with just the essential features and minimal investment. As you constantly iterate and build multiple MVPs to create an MMP, you’ll be able to build a product that is validated and thoroughly tested.

To Conclude

A good MVP is like a pilot that doesn’t sacrifice the overall vision of a product. Stripping down a product to its core features allows you to see how your audience will perceive it in the market. An MVP allows you to develop flexible business models according to customers’ needs.

This easy step-by-step guide on how to build an MVP will help you maximize your project’s value in front of your customers. All you need to do is plan out your core features and understand your target audience.

Need any help in building an MVP for your next project? Reach out to us here.

5 Best B2B website designs that convert visitors to customers

5 best b2b website designs

Not only does a website work as the storefront for your business, but it also a representation of what you stand for as a brand. However, for B2B businesses, a website has a much bigger impact. It plays as an important marketing tool that can bring in more clients by generating leads. Here are the 5 best B2B Website designs that convert visitors to potential customers.

Table of content:

  1. Reputation Squad
  2. Powerwest
  3. Pulse 220
  4. Sysdoc
  5. Drift
positive interaction

In this ever-crowded online space, it is vital to seek ways to get noticed by your target audience. How? By standing out! The main elements that make a website stand out from the others are when it:

  • appears at the top of the search results when someone searches for certain keywords related to the business;
  • is visually appealing;
  • is simple and easy to navigate;
  • has great and insightful content.

However, not all of these factors are considered equally important for a website’s success. The relevance of each is sometimes determined by what kind of business it is. For instance, the website layout can be more important than content if the B2B is an online payment platform. Similarly, design and user experience can be a much important element for a B2B media management platform.

B2B Website best practices

The key to attracting good organic traffic that converts into quality leads is by following the best B2B website practices mentioned below:

  • Your website design and other elements should communicate to the website visitor by delivering a clear and unified message. While a  lot of quality information is a good thing, it can sometimes get in the way and make it difficult to communicate clearly with visitors. Remember that the lesser the text, the better it is.
  • Create high-quality content related to the industry you’re in. Developing consistent and educational content can help the website earn quality organic traffic which in turn can boost the site’s search ranking and increase brand exposure. Offering diverse content formats like blogs, how-to videos, eBooks, infographics, etc can strengthen your page in terms of search and user experience.
  • Include clear and convincing call-to-actions (CTAs) that usher visitors to a particular task or explain what to do next. A simple “Contact us” button will not work here. CTAs should be descriptive, specific, and active like “Get your free eBook now” or “Click here to know more.”
  • Ensure your website is visually appealing. The more attractive your website is for users, the higher the chances of them staying longer. This means you have a higher chance of converting them. Use the right color scheme, typography, graphics, images, etc to elicit a good response.
  • Use industry-relevant terms to add value to the SEO of your website and increase visibility on search engine result pages.
sites on world wide web
  • It is crucial to consider the mobile-friendliness of your website because, without it, your organization can lose out on a fast-growing audience.
  • Analyze your website navigation and make sure it’s clean, crisp, and simple.
  • Keep checking your website using available data about time spent on the page, conversion flow patterns, loading times, actions taken, and more to decide what can be improved.

5 Best B2B Website Designs

1. Reputation Squad

reputation squad b2b website designs

Reputation Squad is an online business monitoring solution for small to large-scale businesses. As soon as you enter their website, you are intrigued by fun mouse-over animations that are interactive and help reduce the effort you have to make to look for details, access crucial information, or see different views on the website. Their landing page offers multiple sections that you can scroll down to see. You will also see a clear “Get a quote” CTA on every page you land on.

Mouse-over animation is a creative and unique effect to play around with. Additionally, it will help you in saving more space on your website to show important information in the most clever way possible.

2. Powerwest

powerwest b2b website designs

Australia-based B2B company Powerwest builds and designs power generation solutions for mining and resource companies. The moment you land on their website,  you already know what the company can do for you. They use clear and concise language to communicate their message to the website visitors. Every page on the website showcases high-quality images of job sites accompanied by strong CTA buttons.  Their navigation bar is easy to follow and the landing pages also have minimum texts.

3. Pulse 220

pulse220 best b2b website designs

Pulse220 is an agency that executes meetings, events, and live marketing to help businesses communicate and engage. One basic element that makes their website stand out is the use of card layouts. Card design is a great way to present content in a more organized and user-friendly way. On their website, Pulse 220 has used card design in more than one way: showcasing their team and case studies.

pulse220

On a design end, organizing a large amount of content – whether images or texts – on plane cards is a go-to structure for many websites. The emphasis on organization, clarity, and the ability to be responsive on every device makes card layout a practical method for web design.

4. Sysdoc

sysdoc

Sysdoc helps companies attain successful and sustainable digital transformation and change. Their website is clean and clear but also gives a very modern feel with simple and short animations. The strong visual elements on their website enhance and add to brand credibility. With on-mark copy that explains what the company does communicates quite clearly. The navigation panel accompanies as you scroll through the page, and their CTAs are very well-designed as well.

5. Drift

drift

Drift is a revenue acceleration platform that helps businesses connect with buyers via chat, video, voice, or email. Their website isn’t like any other regular B2B business using stock photography. Instead, they dare to feature their employees on their website and provide visitors with insights into who works behind the company. Human faces elicit an emotional response which further improves engagement.  Every page on their website has images of smiling faces of individuals and even a group of people knitted closely with the website design. Keeping the design minimalistic, they have perfectly balanced out a clean layout with a strong visual experience.

Takeaway

When listing the best B2B website designs, we can go on talking about the various great designs present here on the internet. These 5 examples of B2B website designs stuck with us because of their outstanding features and elements that make these stand out from the rest. There are many elements behind making a website that converts. Some of them including:

  • The use of an impactful CTA with a descriptive copy;
  • Strategic use of visual content and graphics;
  • Optimized content search engines;
  • Consistent testing and iterations, etc.

Are you ready to create yours today? Spark Eighteen is a web designing company based in Delhi, India that specializes in designing B2B websites for years. Contact us today and let’s redesign your website together!

From Idea to Product: A comprehensive guide to the product design process

product design process

Designing a product is just not as easy, and it will never be. While companies may come up with unique ideas for their new product, it’s hard to figure out if the final product will be profitable for them or not. Besides, there are various other challenges business stakeholders face like, figuring out their target audience, the business goals to satisfy, and which branding messages to convey through the product. This is even harder during the early stages of the product design process, as business strategies tend to evolve which disturbs the entire product development life cycle. This makes product designing a complex process that needs to start with the right plan and objective to make something that succeeds.

Table of content:

  1. Brainstorming Ideas
  2. Idea Screening
  3. Feasibility Study
  4. Prototyping and Testing
  5. Product Launch & Iterating

Know that the process of new product design has many steps and iterations from beginning to end. To better understand it, here is a step-by-step guide to the product design process:

1. Brainstorming Ideas

Any product design process starts with brainstorming ideas for the product. This begins with first understanding the customer and what they are looking for. Based on this, companies pinpoint a variety of possible solutions and ideas that can answer those needs. There are a number of sources that can help you generate ideas for your new product. Some companies choose to have internal brainstorming sessions where they assemble their team and get ideas on the floor. Some take advantage of outside sources such as consumer trends, web forums, market environment, crowdsourcing platforms, etc.

Idea generation can begin with a hyper-local situation and can even branch out to a global one, but it needs to start by identifying a bonafide customer need. Make sure your final idea have relevant answers to questions like:

  • Who is your customer?
  • What are their needs that your product can satisfy?
  • What business goals you have to satisfy through the product?
swot analysis product design process

2. Idea Screening

Now that you have a list of potential new product ideas ready, it’s time to vet every one of them. Decide which ideas to pursue and which ones you can discard. This is an important step as it will help you avoid unnecessary expenses to move forward with the design process. Assemble or send out surveys seeking feedback from your team to review and evaluate the ideas. What are the ideas that meet the company’s needs? Will they be able to fill the existing gap between the customer’s problem and the solution? What will be the potential impact on the profits? Answering these questions will allow you to avoid any extra cost on unnecessary complex ideas.

The criteria for identifying the right ideas are different depending on the project and the industry. Often, ideas are screened through focus groups and user studies. They are then ranked in order of desirability and creativity. Alternatively, a more formal discussion about each idea is performed examining the pros & cons and other important details that are enough to decide whether the idea should be considered or not.

3. Feasibility Study

Once you have refined ideas that are more suitable for further considerations, it’s time to take the market analysis followed by the economic, technical, and strategic analysis into account. A feasibility study is a process that takes all these relevant factors and discerns the pros and cons of the product before investing in it.

Market analysis will help you look at the bigger picture of the product market that will assess whether or not there is enough demand and if the idea should be considered. If there is adequate demand for the product, an economic analysis is performed which allocates the cost of production and development and compares them against an expected sales volume. Product profitability and return on investment are also included in this analysis.

Once it’s done, comprehensive technical and strategic analyses take place. They are concerned primarily with the viability of the product including technology, manufacturing process, and availability of product materials. Products that pass the feasibility study are ready to move to the next step in the design process.

4. Prototyping and Testing

It’s time to test your product concept by moving into the design and production stage. To test your product design, you will create an actual prototype or a mockup. Run a small-scale release with a set of target customers and generate feedback. This will help you evaluate and identify the areas of improvement to further develop your product.

This will also be a great opportunity to see if your product is on the right track while also working through major technical issues or add requested features. Prepare your marketing team, customer, and technical support, and sales team. Also, determine your pricing strategies and other necessary details.

Think of it as running beta tests for an app.

Constantly test and redesign your prototype until a viable design is determined. Once adjustments are made with constant testing between markets and consumer groups, it’s time to move into large-scale production and the official launch. Continuous testing the product for performance, market testing is also performed to check whether the product will be successful in serving the defined market or user group. This will give you a clear idea of whether customers are interested in what you have to offer and will purchase once it’s officially in the market. Thus, testing is the most critical step in product designing.

5. Product Launch & Iterating

It’s time to commercialize your new product by bringing it into the marketplace. When launching your product in the market, it’s wise for you to only focus on the core features so that your product can simply move forward and start generating sales figures.

When you launch your product, start your production at a relatively low level of volume and increase it slowly as your product starts to gain traction with your audience. Lastly, don’t forget to constantly update and iterate as per growing customer needs. Launching your product doesn’t mean the product design process is over. It’s an ongoing process that continues as long as the product is alive and in use. Look out for ways you can improve it further and iterate as required.

To Conclude

Designing a product is a complex process but it isn’t difficult when you understand the needs and problems of your potential customers. After all, they’re the ones that are going to use it eventually. To design a product that succeeds you need to identify a problem, define the users facing that problem, and deliver the solution. Working with a product development company like Spark Eighteen will help you steer clear of more than half of these tasks to ensure a smooth product development process.

Collaborate with us today and let’s work towards your product development and design!

How AI can help Banking and Financial startups

ai in banking and finance

Statistics by Accenture shows that AI will add $1.2 trillion in value to the financial industry by 2035. However, these predictions are beneath contempt if banking and financial businesses aren’t aware of the potential benefits presented by AI. Some of the top leaders are already reaping the benefits of AI in the banking and finance industry, yet there are still many who overlook this disruptive technology.

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It is widely believed that the financial industry was one of the first to implement AI strategies and have been operating on the frontlines of AI ever since. Even bank customers have been engaging with digital assistants like chatbots and other AI-enabled technologies. In fact, almost 80% of banking institutions today have developed robust AI strategies and many of them even have their own AI departments.

business insider

The Growth of AI and Fintech

Fintech startups flourished when technology became the central focus in the financial industry. The initial wave of fintech startups was closely associated with the public distrust in the traditional banking system followed by the global spread of smartphones.

Smartphones became the primary means by which people access the internet and use different financial services. This new wave of mobile technology gave smartphone users fully operational financial services at hand. It also helped newly-established financial startups with a number of technologies including:

  • gathering relevant data like the user’s location;
  • digital signature;
  • digital assistants (such as chatbots) for customer support;
  • providing custom advice, offers, and service based on this user-insight;
  • automated transactions and bills, and much more!

Another quantum leap in the banking and financial industry was followed by the rise of cloud-based software. Cloud computing became a powerful tool in providing an unrivaled level of agility, security, and scalability to banks. For use cases such as data analytics, batch processing, and data storage, banks can access the cloud as and when required, which means they can utilize such resources more flexibly and efficiently.

The integration of AI in banking and finance has given a new wave of applications and services in the financial industry. Banks are now actively evaluating opportunities to use AI for automating claims handling, detecting fraud, and providing personalized recommendations to clients.

AI also helps in improving the quality of customer service. The use of conversational AI in banking has been big. For instance, intelligent solutions such as chatbots, virtual clones, and digital voice assistants continuously engage with clients in real-time through multiple channels.

Below are some of the use cases of AI in the banking and finance sector:

use cases of ai in banking and finace sector

Fintech for startups

The finance industry has arguably experienced more innovation than any other sector and history is the witness. This is the reason why this is one of the most targeted industries for startups. Some want to enter this industry to challenge the traditional banking system while others want to improve the current banking scenario with their innovative products. Most FinTech startups make use of Artificial Intelligence to improve their solution and decisions made with them. Here are the various ways AI benefits startups:

  • With a huge array of historical data, you can compare customer’s consumer behavior. Find the smallest details and prevent fraud in advance. AI tools are constantly being trained and updated as they accumulate data with which they work.
  • Consulting services – for example, chatbots – can recommend suitable financial products and objects for investment for clients, further reducing risks.
  • Blockchain is an excellent solution in terms of providing financial data transparency and traceability.
  • Technology also prevents the user’s private information. When needed, it provides relevant information anonymously, without extracting all the information in the banking system. This way, it becomes easier to extract data while also not disturbing the banking system as a whole.

Are you ready to transform your startup? Take the plunge by joining hands with us. Click here to connect.

How to evaluate a business idea

how to evaluate a business idea

Big businesses come out of great ideas. However ideas, whether big or small, need to be thoroughly evaluated before they step out to become businesses. As many successful entrepreneurs would tell you, in order to succeed, your product should be unique, solve a real need, and offer the quality of functionality to your customers. Here we will talk about how to evaluate a business idea before planning further.

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How will you know that your product serves all the above-mentioned things before launching it in the market? How to evaluate a business idea?

Pretty simple! Answer the following question before you go ahead to launch your product:

Does your idea solve an existing problem?

No matter how good a product’s features are, they are often secondary to the reason why a customer chooses to buy it. The reason is simple; the user purchases the product to solve a real-world problem for themselves.

When a customer buys your product, they expect it to do certain tasks for them in a meaningful and more valuable way. Take a smartphone, for example. A smartphone can be able to run a number of apps at once but its primary use is to communicate. If the phone is unable to make calls, send texts, etc., its features are of little to no use.

Similarly, if your product fails to solve a problem for an end-user, everything else falls apart – even the best of its features.

Therefore, the first step is to identify what problems are you solving with your product. If you choose to solve a problem that doesn’t exist, your product is going to be worthless in the market.

There are two ways most founders come up with a product idea. The first being when the founder themselves have faced the problem and try to solve it with their product. The second way is a thorough study of user experience.

Focus on the key factors by going through a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) of your idea. This will help you understand where your idea stands as well as the potential risks it might entail.

What is your target market like?

You cannot wing your business solely with an idea – it just doesn’t happen that way. In order to stay afloat in the business world, you probably want to take time out to plan and research the market you are targeting. Consider the following steps before you take the plunge:

  • The Market Size

This is the total number of users within a given market who face the particular problem you’re trying to solve with your product. This is a major factor that shows if your idea is viable.

If you skip this step, chances are you could conduct business in a market so small that it becomes next to impossible to make any money.

potential value

This will help you create a viable business plan or be taken seriously when approaching potential investors.

  • Your Potential Buyers

Given the importance of defining your target customer, it is wise to set aside enough time to do a proper analysis. Who are your potential customers? Their location? Buying Habits? Average Income? Will they be willing to pay a price that can give you an acceptable profit margin?

  • Your Competition

Your market can be full of businesses selling products similar to yours. Identify how crowded is your industry, and what types of companies are at the forefront? Conduct competitor analysis and benchmarking to see how these businesses are working.

What is their market strategy? How much are they selling for? Does their product have distinct functions? Examine them closely. Since you and your competitors are locking horns for the same pool of customers, you can learn a lot from their experiences and strategies.

What is your product’s competitive advantage?

When focusing on the question of how to evaluate a business idea, it is important to analyze how your product differs from your competitors or if it provides additional advantages to your customers.

Marketing strategies are based on differentiation. It tells customers how a product is different and better than any other in the market. Even customers, when purchasing a product, understand its value and superiority to any other competitive offering. This is called a product’s competitive advantage.

To survive and thrive in the market, every product must have a clear and distinct competitive advantage.

Many factors that influence a customer’s purchasing decision. These include word of mouth, perceptions created by advertising or promotional campaigns, etc.

final purchase how to evaluate a business idea

So how to make your product the “better choice” in the market? Identify your unique selling proposition. Your product can be more robust, visually appealing, cheaper, or easier to use than most in the market.

Once you identify your USP, make it the heart and core of all your advertising and marketing efforts. This is the single message that you strive to convey to your potential customers in every way possible.

Once your product has achieved the perception of being superior in the market, you’ll be able to sell more and at high prices.

In Conclusion

So here is how you can evaluate a business idea you plunge into making your it a reality.

Take time out to research and analyze your data objectively before you test your business idea. First, make sure that your product addresses a real-world problem that customers are ready to pay for the value you are offering.

Next, examine your market and analyze your potential buyers and competitors. Is there a large demand for your product? Is the competition fierce?

Lastly, identify your unique selling proposition. Consider the ways you can make your product “the better choice” in the market.

Once you have the right answers to all these questions, you’ll be ready to take the next step in your entrepreneurial venture!

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be! Connect with us here and we’ll guide you through the next steps you need to take to start your business.