The best mobile apps are those that address a specific need in the marketplace, solving a problem or offering something specific to a new audience. Ride Along is a ridesharing app that gives college students exactly the kind of ride that they want and need.
Let’s be real – college students have different ride sharing needs than other people. There are a few reasons for this:
- Safety concerns
- Lack of transportation
- Tight budgets
- Need for socialization
Safety is a big issue for college students. This is their first foray into the adult world. Ride Along offers rider reviews and GPS tracking to help riders to know they’re safe. In addition, drivers must upload a photo of their driver’s license. Sign in requires a university email address, ensuring that all people riding and providing rides are students.
Not all college students can afford to have a car on campus, nor do they need one. Ride Along solves that problem by allowing those who do have transportation to provide it for a reasonable fee to those who don’t. The process is simple, and it means that students who do have a car can get compensation for gas and other expenses, which those without can get a ride for a reasonable fee. Whether students need a ride across town, home for fall break, or for a road trip on a long weekend, it’s easy to connect with this app that’s been specifically designed for their needs.
College is a time when it’s possible to connect with a wide variety of people. The constraints that hinder social interactions later on just aren’t there in college. Part of the fun of the whole experience is the socialization. Ride Along is the only app on the market that recognizes that and allows riders to connect with drivers through personalized profiles and secure messaging. Users can create profiles and add likes/dislikes. For example, if someone loves punk rock, they can find a driver that also likes punk rock and BOOM – no disagreements over the music played in the car during the ride.
Payment is securely done through Venmo, a platform that’s been developed by Paypal. This free digital wallet allows riders to pay for their ride through their bank account, debit card or through money that’s been added to their Venmo account. It’s a platform that’s designed to integrate seamlessly with mobile accounts. Payments through many of the methods are free to those sending payment.
For drivers, Venmo allows them to get money into their bank account in as little as one business day, or to use their Venmo account to pay for other services. It’s a perfect match for the needs of Ride Along.
Costs for trips are calculated within the app based on distance and other factors, which takes the pressure off drivers and riders. Once the ride’s over, it’s a simple tap to complete the transaction.
In creating this app, it was important that it’s design appeal to tech savvy college students. This audience is one that’s had smartphones in their hands since they were in middle school. It’s critical that any app targeted at this market be easy to use, perfectly integrated, and flawless in its execution. This is a group of individuals who are familiar with technology and ready to jump off to something else if things don’t work perfectly. That’s why it’s so important that the tech behind Ride Along is solid.
To create an app with the right framework, Imaginovation built a base using Swift and Java. These two programming languages offer the kind of foundation that keeps everything running smoothly inside the application. For Ride Along to be effective, it’s got to have impeccable reliability. Users need to know that when they open up the app in the middle of the night to get a ride home from a late study session, that it will be there for them. The code was created with constant access in mind.
Similarly, the backend of the website has to be impeccable in its consistency. To achieve that, Imaginovation used PHP, MYSQL, and Laravel. These are platforms that ensure functionality will always be available for users on both ends. Braintree and Venmo, both subsidiaries of Paypal, are incorporated directly into the app to allow for easy payment that both sides can count on.
The other critical piece of the puzzle is the website. Ride Along has a simple, functional, and beautiful site that’s built with PHP, WordPress, HTML, and CSS. It looks fantastic across devices. The single page design is easy to navigate, but also offers a wonderful depth of information for potential users. Screenshots give users a great feel of what the app feels like, in addition to selling the features that are available.
Ride Along is free to download for both drivers and riders. That’s an important feature in today’s market, where users expect free downloads in order to test out whether an app is going to be something they’ll use.
The key to success is a design that works from the outset. Even a free app has to offer consistent and usable functionality. That’s exactly what Ride Along was designed for – to solve a need within the market in a way that engages the audience. College students can ride easier with Ride Along, as well as making some extra cash to pay for that college car.
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