The co-founders of book-finding app BookGuruz realized that, in a world where so many books are published every year, it can be a challenge for people to find quality books that match their individual tastes.
To help solve that problem, they decided to develop an app that helps people to find, according to their slogan, “books-that-matter”.
The BookGuruz app is an eclectic book finding service that aggregates books by reviews from critics writing for well-known newspapers. By perusing the app's listings, you can select a book to read which is recommended by experts in the field. The app is easy to navigate, shows new releases, and has a wishlist as well as purchasing features.
The creators of BookGuruz, who are passionate book readers themselves, noticed that it is becoming more difficult to find the 'right' book.
There are so many books published each year that it can be challenging to select what you would enjoy reading, to keep up with new releases, and navigate the market. BookGuruz already had a working version of their app, and came to DO OK with their vision of transforming the old app into a product that helps people to find the 'right' books - in their words, the “books-that-matter”.
BookGuruz 'old app, besides the book finding service, was packed with features that were not intuitive and difficult for users to understand. In the end, the old product was just not successful.
The challenge for the DO OK team was to emphasize the core book finding service, declutter the old app from features that confused users, refresh the UI, and build a new backend platform from scratch.
Our goal was to develop a well-functioning MVP that BookGuruz can test in the market, get feedback on, and then continue improving and developing. As a start-up, they had limited resources and were excited to get the product to the market as soon as possible.
By taking into account the project and client’s needs, we created a dream team that would deliver the MVP. It consisted of a Business Analyst, who was involved more at the early stages of the project to clarify project requirements and scope, a Backend Developer, Android and iOS Developers, a Project Manager, DevOps, and a Client Experience Specialist. For the tech stack, we decided to use Python, Swift and Kotlin, which we saw as the most efficient solutions for the creation of this kind of mobile app.
The scope of work included the full development of a functional MVP of the mobile application. The timeline was short and high-velocity, so the delivery had to be high quality and fast. One of the key success elements for this project was consistent and transparent communication with the client. Every week, the client received weekly reports and participated in weekly meetings, where we could review the project process together, give two-way feedback, and make sure that the product was aligned with the BookGuruz vision. In order to tighten communication and streamline requirements elicitation, the Business Analyst was meeting with the Client up to two or three times a week in the early stages of the project.
One of the biggest challenges of the project was starting with the old app’s code which was developed several years ago for a similar product. Since the current project was time-sensitive, we assumed that the old solution would allow us to cut some corners and save some resources by reusing the majority of the code. However, the developers soon discovered that the technical debt was too high, and the back-end technology had to be changed. The team reacted quickly, consulting and proposing a solution to the client which had a minimal impact on the timeline. The challenge was successfully resolved.
Finally, the product was successfully delivered and published in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Its functionalities focus on aggregating books that have been reviewed by experts from well-known newspapers. In the app, books can be found in a section of new releases in various categories, allowing easier navigation. The categories include, but are not limited to Literature to Arts, Science, Politics, and Comics. The app shows key information about each book, a summary, and the newspaper (s) where you can find the expert review. When you find a book that matters to you, you can simply add it to your wishlist, and / or instantly purchase it through a link to Amazon.
- A project which was completed successfully in less than 3 months
- A fully functional MVP app that BookGuruz can test in the market
- A client with a 9/10 NPS score for DO OK