Restaurant reservations made easyLet's talk
Services Offered: Native iOS and Android app development, single page website, web app
Core Technologies Used: MongoDB, Express and Node.js
Project Duration: 3-5 Months
6awala is an innovative mobile application for iOS and Android (and web app for Admin/ restaurants) that allow users to find restaurants in a given location and make hassle-free reservations, even for a large group. Users can additionally access the menu, reviews and photographs to make an informed decision. As their technology partner, Day One was selected to build the app, platform and webpage to provide information and facilitate reservations. As a mobile app development solutions provider this was our first experience in building a Food Tech app for the Middle East, and our foray into the world of advanced app design and development.
How the Journey Started
Restaurant reservations can be daunting task for customers, especially when done for a large group (10+ people) or even in a busy city. Our client, the Founder of 6awla wanted to simplify the whole experience, making it seamless and hassle-free, with value-added services. That’s how the idea of 6awla was birthed.
As an app development company when we were approached with the idea, we were excited at the prospect. This was way early in 2016, and though we were looking into other Food Tech project proposals, this would be our entry into the markets of Middle East with food technology.
There were two elements we were most excited about – first the UI/UX design (considering user experience would play a critical role here) and the integration with third-party platforms (this would actually give us an opportunity to test better and with a wider audience).
With the goal of mobile app development for iOS and Android, a static single page website and the web app for restaurants, this is our story of building a next-gen native application.
Challenges we faced
Native app development has come a long way in the last five years. In 2016-17 when we started working on 6awla our essential challenge was with integrating the user mobile app with the restaurant backend, and integrate both with Admin for platform control/management. It was simplicity in restaurant bookings we were to provide with value-added services to elevate the entire experience. And that was more challenging than it sounds.
The integration between - the user app (Native iOS and Android), the restaurant app (web app) and the backend (Admin panel). This required monitoring, sorting and managing a lot of data, for which a strong backend architecture was required.
UI/UX driven Features
At the heart of the app was its design - bold, colorful, trending and yet informative and user-friendly. The platform had to be the perfect marriage of brilliant UI/UX designs and technology-driven features to provide the best user experience.
Security and Privacy
We had to build a scalable yet secure platform for safeguarding user personal details. While in Phase 1 we would only go for email verification, Phase 2 was looking at phone verification and app payments.
What we did: Our Solutions
We began the process by first identifying the key features, technology and dependencies (third-party apps). Our UI/UX app design services team began working on R&D, wireframes and mockups, while development teams conceptualized user stories based on the buyer’s journey. Some additional actions included:
- Building an automatic booking recommendation module. This would help to avoid booking delays
- This feature was particularly useful for large group reservations, looking at a variety of cuisines
- Backend architecture would book the restaurant table automatically, hence reducing time and intervention from the restaurant
- A realtime dashboard
for restaurant Admins and host app for waiters to facilitate/optimize table allocation (especially for walk-in customers or cancellations)
Core Features and Functionalities
Native mobile app development services for iOS and Android.
Responsive web application development solutions to build table databases and accept bookings.
Backend and Control Panel
Backend APIs to support mobile apps. Control Panel to monitor registered restaurants, view users etc.
Single page static website with restaurant contact details and deep links to app stores.
The Final Experience
When we think about it, the 6awla project could have been a top-notch app with the integration of AI services. In those days however, we were internally building our AI capabilities with our core strength in mobile app development. Day One has built an app that is powerful, user-friendly and top-notch in visual designs and ease of use. An intuitive UX and UI design of the website, restaurant portal and host app to seamlessly manage bookings. The journey has been one of brainstorming, creative thinking, discovery, experimentation and revelation; one that has shown the brilliance of collaboration and collective thinking.
The Journey so far and the Road ahead
Our journey with 6awla was one of learning and fun!
It was fun because our team could be creative and think extensively on design parameter; it was one of learning because each of us could relate to the problem at hand, and brainstorm to identify pain points and work towards a solution.
We built the app for Phase 1. The project is parked currently, as the Founding team (client) is looking at scaling options.