Web App / Dashboard

Changing the way online meetings are booked by designing and developing an app used by US Ivy League professors

Appoint.ly

Appoint.ly is a web-based appointment scheduling tool. The app is fully integrated with Google calendar, iCal, as well as a number of other popular scheduling tools. The application is used worldwide an by people from different industries: tech companies, recruitment agencies, real estate agencies, doctors, or university professors (including the US Ivy League!).

Introduction

About project

The story behind Appoint.ly’s development goes back to 2016 when we identified the market need for an all-in-one easy to navigate solution for booking meetings online. Back then, meeting scheduling looked way different than it does today. Our team of developers in Neoteric decided to change it and develop a new product – a SaaS tool that would change the way people book meetings online.

Our tasks

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Conducting market research & surveying target customers

To ensure that we build a product the market wants to use, the development phase was preceded by extensive market research that helped understand user needs better and account for product development.

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Launching the product to the market and collecting feedback

The product development of Appoint.ly did not stop here. After launching a product on the market we kept collecting user feedback on its functionalities and continued with improving the product later on.

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Creating a prototype

Before building a fully functional product with the key finding about the market needs we started with a prototype to later present it to real users and gather their initial feedback on the basic product functionalities.

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Developing a functional tool

After gathering positive feedback on the prototype our team started a development process of the fully-functional tool – the first Neoteric’s own SaaS product, developed in-house.

Challenges

01

1. Increasing the chances for the product success before developing the tool

Working in line with the lean product development process, Neoteric’s team started with examining customer needs and identifying problems people faced when booking meetings online. This was a crucial element for identifying solutions to the problems and building app features clients would love to use.

2. Achieving product-market fit with a newly developed tool fast

With limited resources, the product team had to develop the features clients would use once a fully functional app would be launched to the market. The team had to develop and launch a product that would gain market traction fast.

3. Taking full ownership over product development

A cross-functional team of 4 developers, 1 product owner and 1 project manager were put in charge of developing a product from scratch to launch a Neoteric’s company product – a SaaS tool.

Creating applications that work with time zones is always extremely challenging. People usually don't pay much attention to those, outside of moving their clocks by 1 hour twice a year. Once your developers have to calculate time differences between Tokyo and New York in their heads, you realize how difficult it can be.
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Daniel Wegner / Senior Developer

Solutions

02

1. Discovering customer needs and creating a prototype

Appoint.ly’s development started after a thorough market research and surveying target customers. Further steps were organized into a process leading to developing the prototype ready to be demonstrated to the public.

The actual prototype, ready to be used on production, was finished successfully within 11 weeks of work. Efficient development and market launch were possible with Saas Manager, another tool Neoteric developed in-house, that helped speed up the process, especially with accounting, payments, and customer management.

2. Developing and launching a fully functional tool with the right features

Accounting for the feedback from the market we collected during the research phase and when testing the prototype, we later build the features such as calendar integration and time zone synchronization. They helped users book the meetings in their calendars as well as share their personal account link with others to choose from time slots available.

3. Identifying features market did not need and cutting time spent on development

Although we were ready to develop the application further extending it to other languages, research conducted within the target audience showed that other than English-language versions were not useful for the end clients.

Technology we used

Amazon SES
Angular
Docker
Java
Mongo DB
RabbitMQ

Project Results

03
Growing the app to 27.000 registreted users

27000 registered users reduce work hassle with Appoint.ly. Every month approx. 1000 new users sign up without huge marketing budgets involved in its promotion – the app’s popularity grew mostly due to content marketing and the activity on Quora.

Building the product according to lean development methodology

When building the application our team of developers understood the challenges target clients faced when booking meetings online, analyzed the feedback gathered from the market to later build a prototype in less than 3 months and launch a successful product that gained market traction fast.

Taking full ownership over the process of building the product

This has all become a great learning experience for our team that took ownership over the project and managed to launch a product easily gaining product-market fit within a short period of time… all by themselves.

Conclusion

Scheduling an appointment can be a challenge sometimes, especially when you don’t have time to do it. That’s why Appoint.ly has been created. This product offers various functions. We, however, set ourselves three goals that needed to be developed at the beginning: a basic feature to schedule appointments, a 2-way synchronization with an online calendar and time zone management. It was a hard nut to crack but despite this, the team has developed a ready-to-use solution. Now, our tool is live and helps many people save time!
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Monika Ciemiecka / Product Manager, Appoint.ly

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