Ziber was one of our most exciting projects because we were entering a market in a brand new country. The app was quite relevant for the proximity and we were delighted that we could work for such a nice cause. In many parts of the world, life is not exactly as we are used to. Even the necessities like food, groceries, or handymen are not that easy to come by in many places. Such a place was Iraq, and this is where our story began. There is an extremely relatable saying that necessity is the mother of invention. For Ziber, this was exactly the case. Their CEO approached us after going through quite a few other providers and given our global track record, was happy to collaborate with us. He reached out to our sales department manager in early 2020 and shared his vision, excited to turn it into a reality. For years, Iraq had been insensitive situations and it had become harder for people to access essentials. Team Ziber wanted to change all that and give the people an app where they could access multiple services from the safety and comfort of their homes while providing employment opportunities as well. His vision inspired us a lot. The manager then handed it over to our development team, and from there, his dream became our dream. From here we started our journey with Ziber.
With more than hundreds of delivery apps available in Iraq, it was a tough task to compete against the delivery heads like Ice cream cake maker, Talabatey, Talabat, etc. However, to our advantage was the technical expertise and a wider range of services on the app. Our motive was to create an on-demand app where users could access all the necessary services they needed, with a few gestures.
The Software Development Life Cycle is a project management model, which consists of seven stages.
Planning: Our developing team will plan for the upcoming project and help to outline the scope and problem of the existing system and determine the objective of the new one.
Analysis: This stage includes gathering all information required for the new project. The developers then create an SRS( software requirement specification) document.
Design: In this stage, they create the overall structure of the application along with UI/UX, System interfaces, Databases, Networks, and their requirements.
Development: The actual development happens here where the developers write the code and build the application according to the client’s requirement
Testing: it must be tested to make sure that there aren’t any bugs and that the end-user experience will not negatively be affected at any point.
Implementation: After completing the testing phase, the product is ready for implementation, it’s an important phase where we release our product to the target audience.
Maintenance: The process doesn’t end when it reaches the market. Developers are responsible for implementing any change after deployment.
Before starting a project we will conduct a product discovery workshop. During this phase, our teams interact and collaborate with the clients. We conduct several hours of face-to-face meetings with them via video conferencing to get the big picture of the product. This process covers gathering information such as the type of audience it targets, why such a platform is needed, how long it will take to develop, etc. At the end of this workshop, everyone in the team comes closer to the larger vision of the project and knows exactly what they need to do.
The market in Iraq tightly stands out with well-known food delivery apps. The competition was quite tough. Our main goal was to make the application more user-friendly and packed full of multiple services where the company and the customer could benefit equally. Quality is the best business plan. So, delivering quality and diverse service is what sets Ziber apart from its competitors.
The major challenge with this project is of course the COVID-19 pandemic. During this pandemic period, the on-demand delivery industry, especially food delivery, touched its peak point, and the number of delivery apps entering the market each day began to skyrocket. Our development timeline was set for seven months where we have to complete everything from design to quality analysis.
It was quite hard because collaborating remotely meant that we had to rely on another medium for communication, rather than communicating directly in the office.
Another challenge was data collection. Our teammates could not be directly involved in the data collection process. Due to this pandemic, everyone was working remotely and had to work harder to achieve productivity goals.
We always try to bring something new with every project. User research is one of the most crucial stages of a project. We want to know our end-user preferences and customize the platform accordingly. The Ziber project included several unique features. Our client had a clear picture of how the product should be. He provided us with well-defined user research, which helped us carry this forward.
The platform was going to be deployed in a Middle Eastern country of Iraq, with many food lovers. Each Arab country has its unique rendition, Iraqi cuisine in particular. The world’s oldest cookbooks (in the form of 4000-year-old tablets containing recipes) were found amongst the Mesopotamian ruins. This is proof that the people of Iraq are food lovers.
However, the app could not be limited to just-food. Just as food is important to the people of Iraq, oftentimes, they had no convenient way of accessing other basic necessities.
Iraqi citizens are our target audience. They are going to make use of this platform, and we need to build it according to their needs.
We split the design process into two. It consists of Paper Prototypes and High-Fidelity Prototypes. This process promotes the client’s collaboration on the project as an active member.
High- Fidelity Prototypes give you a true representation of the user interface. Likewise, Paper Prototypes allow fast visualization and testing of various ideas.
Using Paper Prototypes, we can see the perfect mix and match of colors appropriately in the user interface.
Paper prototyping can be very helpful during the early-stage conceptualization. Our design team starts designing with paper to produce a clear picture of the product. They drew several scribbles and the best of which was sent to the client. After conducting several calls with the client, our teammates and client select the best designs. Which are then made into High-Fidelity Prototypes.
High-Fidelity Prototypes refer to an interactive digital representation of the final product. These are the digital conversions of the Paper Prototypes. The process of UI/UX design is imperative to the project as it plays a vital role in influencing the users and improving the user experience.
After the design phase, the final UI designs are handed over to the development team and the actual development of the app starts. One of our major advantages was that we already have a robust delivery application script that we can customize to suit Ziber.
Building an app from scratch is quite a tedious task, even if you have a big team of developers with you. Having a good base product helped us cut down the development time dramatically, and eliminated multiple points of failure.
The Ziber on-demand delivery platform is built on top of one of our flagship products “Eatzilla,” a highly versatile and stable on-demand delivery script. It was the perfect starting point for us as it had performed successfully for all of our clients in various delivery-based industries, the world over. The process of cloning the application script was straightforward, the challenge was customizing the features to suit the audience.
We conducted meetings with the client after most of the work was completed. Both the client and we wanted to launch the product at a tentative time, with a few convenient features built-in. Such as,
Multiple payments options: All kinds of electronic payment options and Cash-on-delivery options.
A guest checkout option: Even non-registered users could order their food with ease if they were in a hurry.
Ziber credit and wallet: An in-app credit system and wallet for easy payments.
Iraqi Arabic language support: Also known as Mesopotamian Arabic language, this language was integrated into the platform, as it is mainly designed for the Iraqi audience.
After seven months of extensive development, we were very happy to be on the verge of victory. The hard work of team members and the cooperation of the client paid off in the end. It was not just another project for us, we made their very precious dream come true.
The app was released to the public in late 2020, and in the first few weeks of launch, it raked in 6500 downloads and 2.1k active users. Now, the overall downloads have hit 10k + in android and more than 10k in iOS.
We paid close attention to the customer feedback and the response was more than satisfactory. Some people did experience a few issues with their app, which were rectified immediately and sent out as an update. Unlike other apps before it, Ziber provides its users with a wider range of options to choose from and delivers items to longer distances, all over Iraq.