GoodBarber is a DIY app builder to create native apps for iPhone and Android. Created in 2011, more than 30,000 apps have been published through GoodBarber today.
Hi Jerome, Let’s get started!
So what is GoodBarber?
GoodBarber is an app builder created in 2011. It allows for the creation of robust and powerful apps, with the best design and user experience out there. GoodBarber’s mission is to make its technology available on both mobile and the web.
We have recently made the choice to combine the development of native apps with the next generation of apps, Progressive Web Apps. The new back office is designed to allow for the creation of an app that can be used interchangeably on desktop and mobile. A website is no longer needed — a profound shift in perspective that will allow you to work from one single platform, increasing the productivity and success of the project.
The new UX introduced by GoodBarber 4.0 will provide an upgraded experience that enables the end user to interact with the same UI, regardless of the device they’re using (desktop,tablet, mobile), designed with the natural user navigation in mind — touch friendly, simple and Universal.
Tell me more about the problem you are trying to solve?
Over the past 10 years, applications have changed the way we browse the web. Users are now quick to turn to mobile navigation, both through the web and apps, before even opening their laptop. This has made it crucial for any kind of business to establish a strong mobile presence.
While web language is unique and adaptive to almost every browser and thus any device, native apps require much more effort when it comes to compatibility and the way they’re built. A specific language for every OS, a particular user experience, etc… All of this of course requires time and money, which every business cannot always afford.
With GoodBarber we want to give everyone the power to be competitive on mobile, without going over budget, but at the same time without giving up on a beautiful design and powerful features. Thanks to the 30,000 apps using GoodBarber today, we have been coordinating investment in Research & Development, with ownership costs divided by 20 for our clients.
How is GoodBarber different from what already exists in the market?
GoodBarber has always been ahead of the competition for everything related to design and in-app user experience. Back in 2012/2013, when only a few app builders like App Machine and Bizness Apps were present on the market, we decided not to follow the generic style of pre-made static and repetitive templates, but to give our clients the opportunity to craft a unique presence on mobile through advanced customization, even though they were using an app builder.
This drove us to put a lot of work into another element which, again, differentiates us from our competitors, which is the flexibility of our back office. Yes, app builders are meant to address a non-professional audience, looking to build apps without a single line of code, which does force us to keep things basic and clear so that anybody can use it, but, all the same, we wanted to leave room for customization. So this implied extra work in order to keep the workspace simple and user friendly and at the same time very powerful. This was also a requirement to meet the needs of our Resellers, our clients most eager to go deep into the customization of their project.
The last key element has been introduced with the latest version of GoodBarber. As I’ve mentioned earlier on, GoodBarber now supports the Progressive Web App technology, enabling the user to have a perfect and advanced web presence, on every device (Desktop, Laptop, Tablet and Mobile), tossing away the need to build a separate website. With the GoodBarber back office to fully manage one’s digital presence, from one single interface, the lives of our users have become a thousand times easier and more productive.
Can you tell us a bit about the different customer segments using GoodBarber?
The GoodBarber user base is really heterogeneous. With the history of our CMS technology we initially targeted content publishers, but we also quickly positioned ourselves to develop a product which could meet new needs, allowing Communities and Local Businesses to join in the app creation process, with unparalleled user experience.
We also introduced a Reseller plan, with the possibility to build an unlimited number of White Label projects, which brought many web and communication agencies our way, as well as developers and designers.
How are your customers using GoodBarber? Could you share a few different use cases?
GoodBarber has always been a generic app builder, and, as a result, all sorts of projects have been developed with our technology. More specifically, in the GoodBarber blog you can find a Showcase page where we’ve listed a selection of apps built by GoodBarber users, as well as Reseller interviews, under our our Agency Spotlight series.
Have there been unique use cases for GoodBarber that you hadn’t thought of or expected?
There are many! Some examples are TV Guará app, a digital TV which manages to make the app their primary source of traffic, or the app of Musée Fesch, which used the Beacon technology supported through the dedicated GoodBarber feature to create an offline audio guide triggered according to the works of art exhibited (using geolocation). Last but not least, the HappynGood app is another great example of a use case which really took advantage of all the customization options offered by GoodBarber to build unique and astonishing design and user experience.
Were there any early ‘growth hacks’ or tactics that have contributed to your current success?
After the release of GoodBarber 3, our team grew exponentially in a very short amount of time. It was the time when we made the jump from being a small local start up to having clients all over the world, and people coming to work for us from Brazil, Spain, Italy, Germany, Turkey, etc… It was definitely an amazing time for us but we also had to come up with a new organization, for in-house and remote team members alike. During this time, we remained dedicated to improving and updating our product while committing ourselves to regular releases, which made having a clear schedule all the more important. This is when we decided to embrace the scrum methodology. A decision which definitely helped us better organize our work, across teams.
What were some of the biggest challenges while building the product early on and how did you solve them?
For us, challenges stem from the fact that as an app builder, we are a generic product by nature. In terms of offerings as well as technology, we have to always strive towards a balance between excellence and approach-ability, between providing beginners with sufficient guidance while leaving room for customization for more expert users, etc. We also need to consider the constraints of developing across platforms, iOS, Android and browsers (for our Progressive Web App). But in the end it’s also what makes us stronger, especially in a day and age when one can no longer afford to build a digital presence without being available across screens and devices.
What have been some of the most interesting integrations you’ve added? Are there any that have been particularly impactful for you?
Actually, with a product like GoodBarber, no one integration is more important than another, in the sense that we need to meet the needs of a variety of clients. So, for instance, our social features release, which included a Chat feature in particular, was a big change for some clients, while, for some others, it might have been the release of our business features instead, with the possibility to set up a Loyalty program and Couponing. However, our Authentication feature is most likely the step which paved the way for most of these improvements, so if we had to define a turning point it would be the release of the Login.
Finally, What are the top products that you depend on to run the company & how do you use them?
On a weekly basis we use Jira (which is compatible with the Scrum methodology) to organize and prioritize our tasks into Sprints, as well as Confluence (a software which works hand in hand with Jira) to record processes, document actions, strategies and share information with the team when a history is necessary. We also use Slack daily for less formal conversations and more of a day to day chat system. On top of that, our team also includes quite a few remote team members, whether at our locations in Lisbon and New York or from various home bases, which is why we rely on Google Hangouts, for our daily and weekly video meetings. To interact with clients we use Zoho for CRM, Skype for our calls and, last but not least, Hubspot, to monitor closely our leads and clients base.