Deterge was an online laundry solution that solved laundry troubles for college students and anyone who needs laundry service, providing fast and economical laundry service. We were definitely solving a real problem and grew fast within a short span of 6 months.
Back in September 2015, I was in the third year of my college, was having a discussion with 4 of my classmates about the irregular and unreasonably priced laundry service that we had. We did some research and asked several other students if they would like to have an app for that, and launched Deterge Laundry. As full-time students, we didn't want to raise the capital to purchase equipment and lease space, and it didn't make sense for us to manage a full-time laundry business, so we decided to be the technology provider and aggregators.
We came up with online laundry solution for university students and people living around the area. We focussed on making the app easy to use and service affordable and fast in comparison to the other existing service providers. We aggregated few small local launderers (dhobiwale) who agreed to be a part of our service. And later we got a deal with a major laundry service provider who then was under contract with Indian Railways. With the help of their massive infrastructure and manpower, we were able to provide a fast and affordable service for everyone.
User research was done of more than 100 potential target users from different colleges around the area.
Results of the research were that most of the users cared about only booking feature. Lot of them don't like the hassle of signup process and wanted easy signing up process. To view the survey form responses, click here.
So based on research we found out that the main purpose of the app was to request for laundry pickup. We decided to avoid registration or login as the first interaction of the app, so we kept the first screen to be the main function of the app, that is to request for laundry pickup.
At this point we've dealed with UX stage and moved on to designing stage. In this project the key part was exclusively based on designing, since the architecture of the app was pretty clear; it was all about the details in UI and interaction.
I did some initial sketching on paper with pencil and pen. After some review and iteration, used XD to create detailed wireframes. The key here was to design, review and iterate until we had a smooth user experience. Google’s Material design with little bit touch of our own that looks well in both Android as well as iOS was used as the guideline to create a slick, modern UI.
I used the Adobe XD to design the interface of the app. With symbols and text styles, it was easy to iterate the design and integrate user and client feedback. For user testing, I uploaded the preview on Adobe XD Live Preview From observation and their feedback, I re-iterated the design.
The designs initially were quite subtle and followed the usual practices of laundry apps that were there in the market. But we eventually decided to strip down steps that weren't needed and make it an easier experience. So we avoided using Login or Sign up screen to be the first screen and replaced the welcome screen with the booking screen which is the most important objective of the user.
Intially we had developed website for the service which was coded in ASP .NET frameworks and C# language, but later we replaced it with landing page to download our mobile app. We developed an Android mobile app using IntelliJ platform Android Studio provided by Google using Java as back-end language, XML for front-end and Firebase for database. I was part of the frontend development process and with the help of my other team members developed the app.
We got inspired by minimal text logos like that of Uber and Google which is easily identifiable without going through much graphic designing for the logo. Blue being indicative of colour we decided it to be our primary colour. I used Adobe Illustrator to design icons and logo.
As a part of laundry service's user experience, the laundered clothes were packed in a reusable tote bag with personalised tag.