Mobile App for Parking Spaces Search, Reservation, and Rent


Parklook is a British startup that set out to revolutionize short-term parking. The team wanted to help drivers save 60 hours a year by letting them find and book parking spaces via a mobile app. To bring this idea to life, Parklook chose HeyInnovations as their app development partner.

3 months

to bring the product to market


users joined the service in 2 weeks

less than 5%

cost over run

Business challenge

The Parklook team set out to change what it means to find the right parking space for busy drivers in Bristol, UK. Their idea was to launch a mobile app that would allow drivers to share information about free parking spaces. Those who let others know about a parking spot would get a fee from those who were looking for it. This way, parking would become less stressful.

“The idea of Parklook came to me when I lived in a big city. The most annoying thing ever was finding a parking space near the office in the morning. I came to work on time, but was still late because I couldn’t park my car!

At some point, I thought: why not let drivers tell each other about free parking spaces? That would make it all a lot easier.”

Co-Founder of Parklook

The client came to us with two major challenges.

First, they needed help with a product strategy. No one had come up with a similar idea before, so the team wanted to work with someone experienced in mobile product strategy.

Second, they didn’t have the internal resources to build a fully functioning app before the deadline. There was a marketing campaign with a fixed start date, so the release couldn’t be pushed back a single day. Any delay would cause an enormous loss of money.

Our work started in August and had to be completed in November, so we worked quickly and efficiently. During one week, together with Parklook’s founder and tech director, we defined all the killer features and the product roadmap. After that, we started building the app.

How we tackled the tasks

1. Changed our approach to development to meet the deadline

Given the deadline, we changed our usual approach to projects to be more flexible. Instead of working stage-by-stage, we split the project into iterations and combined several tasks. For instance, working on one iteration, we wrote specifications for the following one and tested what we’d built in the previous one.

It was a challenge for the project team. We hadn’t used such a flexible method before, so the project manager did an outstanding job in helping the team adapt to it. Eventually, all the efforts paid off.

With this approach, we managed to help the client get from the concept to full launch across two platforms in 3 months, right on the target date.

2. Found the right solution for mapping and location to keep the project under budget

Geopositioning and navigation are the two core technologies in the Parklook app. We needed to use the most accurate maps, like Google, but they were expensive. Hence, the challenge was to provide high-quality geo-service without exceeding the budget.

Our solution was to combine two third-party services: Google for mapping, and Mapbox for GPS navigation. We have integrated the two on the backend so that for the users, it worked as one GPS service.

1. The driver chooses the time when they plan to free the spot

2. The spot location is defined automatically and can be adjusted

3. If someone takes the spot, the driver sees their details and receives the fee

The combination of two services turned out cheaper than using just the expensive one. It helped the client keep the budget as it was and stay confident about the map accuracy.

3. Came up with unconventional tech decisions to implement the desired features

The client wanted the app to be easy-to-use, safe, and convenient for all the drivers in Bristol and potentially abroad. For ease of use, we introduced larger UX/UI elements and voice control. To make the app safer, we made in-app calls anonymous. Finally, to cater to foreign drivers, we set up multicurrency.

Large UI elements

The app was designed for use while driving. If drivers had to stop the car to use the app, the service wouldn’t have any value for them. Thus, we needed to let drivers find a parking space via the app while still focusing on the road.

We solved the issue by making the key UI elements larger. Buttons of this size are quite hard to miss.

Voice control

On top of that, we integrated Siri and Android Speech. This way the driver could start the search without touching the screen.

In-app calls

The app allowed drivers to make and receive calls to exchange info about parking spaces. But no one would’ve liked the idea of sharing their cell phone number with a stranger. Thus, we needed to find a way to protect users’ privacy.

For this, we integrated a third-party service, Twilio, that would hide drivers’ numbers from other users. The same service helped us set up authentication via SMS.

Multicurrency support

The client wanted to make the app convenient not only for local UK citizens but also for foreigners who were not used to paying in pounds. Besides, the company planned to expand internationally. To tackle this, we added multicurrency support.

We set up a conversion logic on the backend and connected the app to a banking service to request current exchange rates. The currency was defined by the user's phone number. Thus, the app converted prices in pounds to the relevant currency automatically.

Our tech decisions helped the client avoid data privacy complaints and negative feedback on the app’s design. Besides, we made the app friendlier for users from abroad, which was Parklook’s first step to entering a foreign market.

4. Set up a geo-distributed data store to ensure legal compliance

Some European countries require storing users’ data within the country’s borders. It wouldn’t have been a problem if all the users had been from the UK, but we couldn’t count on that. That’s why we needed to find a way to store the data in compliance with the law.

To achieve that, we set up data geo-distribution. It meant that the data of a user would be stored on the servers in their country of origin. Distribution logic was based on the user's phone number. This way, British users’ data would be kept in the UK, French users’ data in France, etc.

Data distribution ensured that the client was compliant with the local laws, regardless of their users’ origins.


Thanks to our efficient work under tight deadlines, the client could test their idea quickly and make conclusions about where to go next. Since its launch, the Parklook app has won praise across the drivers' community in Bristol. The Parklook team continued to work with HeyInnovations to expand its feature set after the release.

3 months

to bring the product to market

less than 5%

cost over run


users joined the service in 2 weeks

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