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Zazazu’s founders wanted to build an entirely better dating app for young urban singles. They came to BiTE to transform their inspired concept in a stand-out brand and mobile product.

The Virtues of Behavior Driven Development:
A Case in Point

Zazazu serves as a textbook example of the power of Behavior Driven Development. BDD is a lightweight, agile process that eased the development of this complex app with its intricate economics, multiple use cases, sophisticated features and elaborate backend.

Conversation Before Code

Developing code without a clear understanding of your product is an invitation for bugs, premature optimization, and a host of costly risks. Using the BDD framework, BiTE seeks input from all stakeholders to get insight from different teams with varying areas of expertise. BiTE uses those conversations to document examples (BDD scenarios) in plain English, which we then translate into code. Thus, the plain-English descriptions of the app’s functionality serve as the actual tests by which we check whether everything works as it should.

Zazazu illustrates a game-changing advantage of the BDD process – strengthens the products being built by allowing developers to efficiently change code to execute major revisions in how an app functions.

“BiTE is the startup app development company that took us from a great idea and to a fully realized beautifully branded product. They crafted the right strategy to get us to MVP, and developed a fantastic app so we could prove traction.”
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Robin Leigh
Director of Communications

Executing Complex Changes With Ease

Our client’s original in-app currency model was a clear and simple 1-1 transaction system. But as the app evolved in complexity, Zazazu needed to revise its in-app economy. The simple in-app purchase evolved rapidly into a free-to-play system with a multi-tiered currency model that included bulk discounts and sales- and behavior-based incentives.

These modifications would significantly improve Zazazu’s bottom line and the user experience. However, such sweeping changes affected every aspect of the app. Under a traditional development framework, the impacts would have been severe. Programmers would have to halt new development to focus on tedious and time-consuming tasks like manual code searches and rewriting out-of-date dependencies.

Instead, we simply added some new scenarios and updated existing ones relevant to the required change. Changing the plain-English scenarios indicated precisely where we needed to overhaul the code. A process that would have taken weeks took less than a day. When we were done we knew every failing case had been addressed and that the app was once again shatterproof.

BDD methodology ensured that the client could easily communicate change and that our designer, architects, QA, programmers and the client always had complete clarity regarding what was being built.

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Building a product that solves the problems your competitors don’t see

Frustrated by their own experiences with popular dating apps, Zazazu wanted to build an entirely better dating platform for young urban singles. They came to BiTE to transform their inspired concept into a successful brand and mobile product.

Creating software capable of real market disruption requires powerful insights into the problems your competitors are failing to solve for customers. Dating apps are a crowded, mature, two-sided market. They also serve some of the most important jobs a person will ask a product to do. For a new dating app to succeed, it has to be built to do the jobs other dating apps are failing to do.

“BiTE is the startup app development company that took us from a great idea and to a fully realized beautifully branded product. They crafted the right strategy to get us to MVP, and developed a fantastic app so we could prove traction.”
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Robin Leigh
Director of Communications

Using Switch Interviews to discover a market in search of a product

To unearth the subtle and complex help that young urban daters wanted from an app, we began with the cornerstone of Jobs-to-be-Done product strategy—Switch Interviews.

Switch Interviews are qualitative, long-form conversations with customers. The process is designed to unearth the real reasons a customer chooses to “hire” or “fire” a product. Because these reasons are often subconscious, these personal, conversational interviews give a unique insight that is superior to traditional product research. We interviewed a sample group of young urban professionals, evenly split between men and women and targeting straight daters for MVP.

Our product research showed that 90% of respondents not only fired and hired new dating apps repeatedly, but actually rehired their dating apps when they failed to find a better alternative. This was a clear signal of a market in search of a product.

Building an app to eliminate the sources of daters’ discontent

 

Our Switch Interview process brought to light specific areas of discontent:

• Image and profile skepticism

• Chatting fatigue

• Troubling options for payment

• FOMO (fear of missing out)

• Difficulty gauging the success of a first date

Armed with these insights, we crafted features for Zazazu that not only served daters’ functional jobs but the more important social and emotional jobs that other dating apps were missing.

A key example is presented by how we solved the problem of image skepticism. Zazazu required clear photos and videos that showed a dater’s face. Photos, video capture and editing was all done in-app. There were no image improvement filters, and no pictures of shoes or dogs. And because the app required users to periodically update their images, photos and videos were never out of date. To reinforce these rules, we built a backend that enabled rapid acceptance, rejection or even permanent banning of users based on Zazazu’s community profile guidelines. The review system was seamlessly connected to our client’s Slack instance to enable scale as the platform grew.

By unearthing the key problems urban singles had with existing dating apps and then mapping every feature back to those problems, we were able to ensure that both the client and BiTE had absolute clarity as to what we needed to build and why. Our team-wide understanding of the goals led to a well-organized and focused development process and rapid deployment to market.

HOW CAN WE HELP WITH YOUR NEXT MOBILE PROJECT?

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