Packages Limited recently built the biggest Mall in Pakistan “Packages Mall”, located in Lahore. The Mall is spread over 1.2 m square feet, has 2000+ parking spots, more than 200 brands and 35+ eating choices. To complement the Packages Mall’s launch, Packages Limited partnered with OneByte to develop an application for the Mall visitors.
The Objective: The key objective of the application was to develop an Internal Navigation System for the Mall. The objectives were identified after thoroughly investigating the needs of the Malls’ visitors.
According to our Product Manager, Muneeb Dilshaad at OneByte:
“At the start of the project, we analyzed all available mall apps and solutions in the market. That helped us in identifying what these apps generally cater to as well as some key areas that are ignored resulting in bad UX. Our aim was to develop an app that follows latest design practices but keeping in mind that our target audience is the general public with a varying level of technical background.”
The Problem: Malls, in general, are spread over thousands of meter squares and people tend to lose their way easily and sometimes they are unable to find what they are looking for, either it’s a brand or an appetizing meal, even though it is always there.
In order to get a clear picture, we conducted an online research to find out what difficulties do people face when visiting a shopping Centre and asked people what bothers them most when they visit a mall. We found out some interesting responses. The main issues were:
- Going back and forth between stores
- No shorter path
- Most of the times, forget where they parked their cars
- Couldn’t find the store they were looking for
- Little knowledge of promotions and social events
The Solution: The solution was to build an application which will help the Mall visitors:
- Find their way fast and easily.
- Provide a more efficient way to find the products.
We then formulated an easiest and interactive solution i.e. An Internal Navigation System specifically designed to cater the needs of the Packages Mall and thousands of people who visit the mall every day. Using this app, the users will have the facility to select their favorite store and get directions to and from that location.
The challenges: Even though the road to accomplish this was acutely blurry which indicated, there will be pressure points that will try to push us off-course but with the end in mind, we stayed focused to achieve the ultimate goal.
The major challenge was to build this application from scratch with limited resources and time.
“At first, we took the requirements for the Packages Mall App. Some part of the application was usual shops and events listings which we have done over and over again and did it in a jiffy. But there was one part that stood out. Which was, the indoor navigation feature across multiple floors. Now, we know, Maps, Google and Apple to name a few have been doing it for years. Even few of the companies have tried indoor navigation, like Jibestream. But our internal navigation system needed to work completely offline. Which meant we could not use the power of high-performance servers to compute shortest paths between the two shops.”
Head of Engineering at OneByte– Shahqaan Qasim
Prototyping: After the initial development, we tested the application with a focus group to find out their personal experience and usability of the application. The key feedback that our focus group provided was: they needed navigation rules for escalators and a replay button for the map. So, based on their feedback we devised navigation rules for escalators. Added a replay and path flip feature too.
Key Features: A mobile app empowers over hundreds of brands to reach the most potential customers by the design of the dynamic dashboard. Every time the customer launches the app; the dashboard shows promotion relevant to shoppers’ interest. It gains users’ attention and increases purchase.
- Internal Navigation system: In Mall map, the shopper can turn on the navigational system, which will then draw a path, the shopper can then follow the route to reach the desired location.
- Mall Directory: Packages mall app keeps a directory of shops in an alphabetical order, and restaurants with information about the location, opening times, events, mall services and contact info.
- Custom Search: Instant search icon on the top right corner of the app can always come in handy.
- Keep track of your favorite store: Visitors can favorite shops in their profile, they like to return later or next on visit.
- Mall Services: Includes a complete list of mall services which allows the users to receive customized assistance without any inconvenience or delay and much more.
Benefits: This Internal Navigation Application will make outlets easy to find which will put customers in a better frame of mind by eliminating the frustration of going back in circles. Through this app, the users will have an improved experience which will not only increase the frequency of visits but also customer loyalty.
Read what our client has to say about the App:
‘We selected OneByte from among four strong contenders for the Packages Mall mobile app. It was a decision we made with a lot of faith inspired by their past work and references. At this stage, our app is in a soft launch phase, but we are getting excellent feedback. The team has taken personal interest and responsibility for our app’s success and we really appreciate working with them!’
Head of Marketing @Packages Mall – Saadia R. Bukhari
Conclusion: In a nutshell, it was a bumpy road but the end result was highly satisfactory, which is bound to provide a world-class user experience. We are really proud of what we have created as a team. As well as, the managing board and the people using the app at the Packages Mall are amazed.
By: Humayun Sohail, Senior iOS Engineer @onebytellc
Looking for an Internal Navigation Application for your mall. Get in touch with us at email@example.com.
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