Based out of Zürich, SimpleFind GmbH is a sui generis service broker. Our client aims to help small- and medium-sized vendors from multiple industries in Switzerland go digital and expand their horizons by tapping into newer markets. SimpleFind also offers a unique booking software add-on to businesses with existing websites to make the appointment scheduling process increasingly efficient for their customers.
Our client realised the hassle that service providers and their customers have to go through
regarding booking management. For customers, it can be difficult to effectively communicate with
vendors, particularly for booking appointments or cancelling them. Vendors, on the other hand,
often have a tough time juggling multiple appointments and organising their schedules. There was
also a lack of a unified cross-industry marketplace dedicated solely to services in the Swiss
As their software partner, our aim was to develop a software solution that addressed both these problems in the best way possible. For enhanced user experience, the web portal had to be built in such a way that it would run smoothly on all screen sizes and offer maximum ease of use.
We came up with an optimal solution for our client: a web-based marketplace portal that would a)
allow vendors to showcase their services to customers b) enable customers to book appointments
and pay for them online. The primary goal of developing this portal was to make the management
and process of booking services simpler and more efficient.
It was decided that we would first develop an initial version – an MVP – of the web portal, where basic features would be implemented. In later releases, we created an evolved version of the platform with more complex features and additional functionality for the users.
The web app has three intended user roles – SimpleFind administrators, vendor administrators, and customers. Each type of user has a specific sub-portal they can use to perform their respective actions.
The marketplace cum booking management system is mobile-optimised for customers. The clean and sleek interface of the software makes it easy to use.
The web app that we built is meant to facilitate four different types of users. The
functionality and features that each user can access depend on their role.
SimpleFind administrators can log into the app via a dedicated admin portal. They can then perform various functions, such as accepting vendor registration requests, managing customers, and generating reports containing details of all appointments, bookings, and reservations made via the portal.
Vendors are allowed to view and modify information related to their particular business
only. They cannot, for example, view appointments of other vendors on the site.
None of the backend functionality is accessible to customers even when they are logged into the system. They can perform actions on the main website, e.g. conduct searches, make or cancel appointments, or edit their profile, but cannot operate in an administrative capacity.
Customers who sign up on the marketplace platform can update their personal details, such as their contact information, via the user profile section. They can also add a photo of themselves and reset their password. On this dashboard, the customer can also view details for the appointments that they have made via the platform. If they cancel any booking they do not wish to go through with, an email is automatically sent to the vendor to notify them.
The Super Admin are the platform managers. They can accept or reject requests from vendors who submit their registration forms via the vendor portal.
SimpleFind admin has access to both vendor and customer management functions. When approving
a new vendor’s registration application, the admin decides how many staff members the vendor
can add to their business profile. Super Admin can also review the performance of each
vendor and place well-performing vendors in the Trusted Vendors category displayed on the
customer website homepage.
While the SimpleFind admin cannot add new industry sectors to the portal, they are allowed to add new service categories to existing industries.
Vendor administrators, aka Super Users, once added to the system and assigned their personal login credentials, can further create user accounts for each of their staff members. They can even add other staff members as co-administrators. The admin panel also offers the option to reset passwords.
Through the admin panel, vendors have the liberty to set up a profile for their company so
that customers can get to know their brand better. Super Users are responsible for defining
the operating hours for their organisation as well as each of their staff members. Managing
the services that their business offers also falls under their authority.
The vendor admin panel has a section where Super Users can pick a certain day and view a detailed list of all appointments booked for that day.
Each member of the vendor’s staff has their own profile on the platform. They can update their profile as they wish. For example, they can change their login credentials, edit their personal information, change their working hours according to availability, and view their past and upcoming bookings.
A key feature of this platform is the management of services that can be done via the vendor dashboard.
At the time of registration, the vendor has to pick an area of specialisation, i.e. the
service industry sector that they are part of. Once they have joined the online booking
system and set up their business profile, they can add pre-defined services to their
portfolio as they go.
Each service can be assigned to multiple staff members according to their skillset. Customers can choose from the list of all available experts when booking an appointment.
As vendors expand their operations or diversify, they can list additional industry sectors and service categories on their business profiles. The latest version of the web app allows vendors to add and offer custom services.
If a customer knows exactly what they want, they can utilise the search feature and look up the service they are interested in. All vendors who offer that service will be displayed in the search results; they can be filtered by location and date of availability and sorted according to distance.
One of the most interesting aspects of the appointment booking management system is the
calendar synchronisation feature. This marketplace portal offers calendar sync options to
both customers and vendors. Users can choose to sync SimpleFind appointments to their
personal off-site calendars, such as their phone calendar or Google/Outlook/Apple calendar.
The initial version of the app incorporated one-way sync where users could have bookings from SimpleFind automatically added to their personal calendars. However, the new release offers two-way sync. When a customer cancels a booking on their off-site calendar, it is automatically synced to the vendor’s SimpleFind calendar. Thus, reducing the chances of double bookings and errors.
The second phase of this project included the development of an add-on to facilitate the appointment booking process for both customers and vendors. This custom-built add-on offers the vendor’s website visitors the option to book appointments via SimpleFind without having to leave the vendor’s site.
In order to facilitate customers in the vendor selection process, the marketplace has a transparent rating and feedback system, SimpleRate. Once an appointment is completed, the customer can rate the services of the vendor with respect to its staff’s friendliness, timeliness, location, and overall value for money. There are two ways to provide feedback. The customer can either rate the vendor within the pop-up box on the website, or follow the link to the feedback form that is sent to them via email.
The web portal is available to administrators, vendors, and clients in two languages: German and English.
The MVP of the marketplace portal cum booking solution was evolved to include an online
payment system, so customers can book appointments without using cash.
API integrations for Payrexx, Google Pay, and Apple Pay have been implemented within the system.
“To start off with the booking management system development, we spent close to fifteen hours with
our client, conducting extensive requirements gathering and analysis. We wanted to be absolutely
clear about what our client expected from this project.
Our client was deeply involved in the planning and design phase. We worked on the wireframes together. We discussed the UX design of the booking management system at length. It was critical to ensure that all of our client's potential customers have a smooth journey navigating through the portal. The web app was also to be mobile-optimised for users, to cater to varying screen sizes.
Our client wanted us to build an initial version – an MVP – for their software, incorporating all the basic features that they wished to see on their platform. After a successful release of the MVP, we developed the app further, adding more complex logic and features to it. This process was heavily dependent on feedback from registered marketplace users, which our client communicated to our team. There were weekly updates and feedback sessions between our project manager and the client throughout the development process.
The development team consisted of two software developers, a quality assurance engineer, an analyst and a UI/UX designer. headed by the project manager, was tasked with the responsibility of seeing this project to a successful launch.