Praber, an on-demand marketplace app that connects people needing a service to skilled providers who can perform it, is using Layer to power its most crucial function: messaging.
Based in Milan, Italy, and New York City, and with plans to expand throughout Europe in the next year, Praber uses a bidding system to help its end users find the perfect service provider — whether it be a house cleaner, a lawyer, a personal trainer, massage therapist, or anything in between.
Well-communicated logistics + trust = a great mobile marketplace experience
All marketplace apps have at least two primary groups that need to maintain perfect communication in order to function: the service provider and the end user. For Praber, making sure those communications are handled perfectly is product and business critical.
“Messaging is extremely important to our users’ experience,” said Nicolas Nemni, CEO of Praber. He and team feel that it’s through excellent in-app messaging that expectations are properly set and trust is established. The ability for service providers and end users to communicate effectively and reliably before, during and after a job ensures information is properly interpreted, understood, and handled.
“Think about the experience of hiring a lawyer. No one would hire a lawyer before speaking to him or her, or go through the process of having a lawyer represent them without touching base frequently,” he said.
Praber, which is already seeing impressive growth just weeks after its launch, aims to make it easier to hire people, lawyers included, to perform all manner of day-to-day tasks through a mobile device, but the team firmly believes communication lines must be rock solid in order to meet that goal.
Buy vs. Build? Let Layer do the heavy lifting
Once the Praber team established that in-app messaging was mission critical, they explored ways to build the service in house, subscribing to the thinking that if it’s important, they must build it themselves. Instead, they resolved that because of a messaging system’s complexity and the entire app experience’s dependency on its performance, it’s rather too important to build themselves.
“What we learned quickly is that building a fully-featured messaging system was extraordinarily hard,” said Nemni, who along with his team was able to add messaging to Praber with Layer in just one week. “Layer is extremely good at powering messaging, and with Atlas (Layer’s open source UI toolkit), we were able to build something quickly that works great, and looks great, too.”