Ruby on Rails and React MVP for used vehicles marketplace


"SINAPTIA delivered a high-end and polished e-commerce platform exceeding my expectations. They established a seamless workflow through the extensive use of communication tools."

Julián Arias

About Dunu506

Dunu506 is a self-funded startup from San José, Costa Rica. Julián, Co-Founder and CEO, had the vision of becoming the number one marketplace of used vehicles in Costa Rica.

The Challenge

Costa Rica had a clear number one marketplace of used vehicles by the time Julián contacted us. This marketplace is a very outdated one, with an early 2000’s look and a poor UX/UI. So it was obvious that the first challenge was to overpower it by giving Dunu506 a modern UI and a well-designed UX.

Having researched the market, Julián had the hypothesis that, in Costa Rica, most people would use their phones for browsing this kind of application. Given this hypothesis, the application had to be mobile-first. And so, the second challenge was to make a fast application so mobile users could enjoy the experience of using it. If it’s fast, beautiful and with lots of good features then people are going to love it.

The third challenge was, of course, time. We only had 4 months to complete the application, so Julián could start validating it in the market.

The Solution

We built a team of three people: two full-stack developers and a UX/UI designer. Then, the team would be temporarily split in two: the UX/UI designer would team up with Julián to work on the visual part of the platform, and the two developers would start working on the features.

Before doing anything, the whole team designed the structure of the platform based on the features to be developed. Then, the UX/UI designer benchmarked the competition not only in Costa Rica but worldwide. With that benchmark, the design stage took place and soon the UX/UI designer started working on the Figma prototypes to be validated by Julián.

At the same time, the development team started working on the features. To finish the application on time and budget we decided the architecture of the application to be a hybrid Ruby on Rails/React application. That is, instead of building a Ruby on Rails API and a Single Page Application React frontend (ala create-react-app), build a standard Ruby on Rails application with specific React components for components that need to be highly responsive UX-wise, such as the Create Listing wizard.

screenshot of the app

The Outcome

After the 4 month deadline we had set, the MVP was up and running full-featured, with a beautiful UX/UI and gaining organic users and listings, ready to overthrow the leading marketplace of used vehicles in Costa Rica!

The hypothesis mentioned as part of the challenge was proven as 85% of the users accessed the application through their mobile phones.

While the application grows and gains more and more users and listings we continue working with Julián on improving the experience of buying used vehicles, by developing features no other competitors can offer. The newly created feature, the DunuCheck, allows users of the marketplace to ask for a completely objective test of the vehicle of their choosing to make an educated decision at the time of buying their next vehicle.

screenshot of the app


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