Behind a fantastic e-health app Kale Coach, there is Adel Kadyrov, a mobile marketer and citizen developer with expertise in the gaming industry and various verticals. Recognizing the immense potential in mobile apps and their significant marketing budgets, Adel delved into the world of mobile marketing and development. As he ventured into startups, he encountered challenges with high development costs and limited access to product marketing.
And that’s where Directual turned out to be the perfect solution.
Our mobile app development company, at some point, decided to try a new hypothesis: a mental health and digital well-being app. Complete with real coaches, instructions, and alerts.
The strategy was different from our previous endeavors: try and sell the product first, without building it. An extreme CustDev approach, you could say. We found our client base and indeed there was a market for it. So instead of committing to building an app, we’ve decided to start with a Telegram bot. If that takes off, then we can fully commit to the project.
We did so, knowing that we have to move fast, and we’ll have to scale the project at some point. A developer team would take too long and would be too expensive to quickly try this hypothesis out. I needed something faster, something I can use myself.
Once I started to look for ways to build software myself, I turned to the courses available online. I was originally looking for Adalo and Bubble to suit my needs (and Bubble still does, in a way), but there I found Directual.
Of all the available courses, this one seemed professional. The platform looked like it can indeed get things done. At that time I also had a new assignment—producing an MVP of this e-health project, in 3 weeks, including the learning process.
Success! Finding Directual’s communities also helped. It wasn’t as populated with no-coders as it is today, and even then it was really helpful. Pavel helped me get to the end of the project, and there was also a handy promo code there and then.
Backend – Directual
Frontend – Directual, Bubble, FlutterFlow
The Telegram bot conducts user scoring and provides them with a content plan on health, mental well-being, sleep, nutrition, and so on. It's a bot that releases three-minute content every day and asks important questions from time to time to help you stay on track—how much did you sleep this week? How are you feeling right now? Basically, it’s your personal health assistant.
We also provide the right coach for particular users with certain areas of expertise required, like family questions, weight loss guides, and diet recommendations. Sometimes we make a point to recommend them to see a doctor, if our indicators show that a person needs medical assistance.
The bot itself is quite smart on its own. With the arrival of ChatGPT, we hooked up AI, and give a limited number of users the opportunity to chat with it as well.
The app is highly profitable. The best thing is that the overhead is very low. We don't need developers because I can build anything we need on my own.
After a year, we created an interface for the app using Bubble since React is not one of my strong suits—we needed a web presence with an actual iOS app. We assumed that there are people who don't use Telegram, so we made the app and realized that everyone is on Telegram, and the app itself wasn’t needed as much. That too was just a hypothesis, and it was inexpensive and quick to test, even though it didn't turn out to be useful in the end.
Currently, we're attracting big clients for the next iteration of the app. We're building it on FlutterFlow, with Directual handling the backend. Chats, podcasts, recordings, the ability to interact with a robot, and various payment options. It's an international project, so we're scaling well. We expect it to be a super project that continues to grow.
Because as soon as I want to build something or connect something, it’s so easy to make it happen. Directual is also great when it comes to scaling, and that’s why we also created the framework for the consultants, customer support, and coaches on it as well. That includes notifications, meeting details, dates, a CRM, analytics, messaging, etc. Full package.
What’s more, it’s all done using Directual’s scenarios and pre-made front-end elements. A classic Telegram bot couldn’t allow for such a degree of functionality and customization.
If you are to consider Directual purely as a backend platform, there's nothing to improve, it’s perfect. The visionary approach of the Directual team is really impressive. It all just works.
However, sometimes we lack certain web-related features. It would be great to have more web elements. I’d like an easy way to build cool dashboards directly based on Directual’s pre-made elements. That includes beautiful dashboards for end-users as well so that they can see their progress visually. Mind you, I’ve still managed to create it myself, but it would be nice to have it as an element.
UPD: the Charts plugin for Dashboards has been released!
Another personal thing is the pricing grid—the JS SDK is only available in the top pricing tier. I would gladly pay for it as a separate feature (a small teaser from the editor: in the coming weeks we’ll add such a feature), but on the other hand, it's great that the team is accommodating toward our needs anyway. I reached out to Pavel to talk about it, and he immediately made sure we have it. A direct line of communication with the platform architects is truly fantastic.
Lastly, It would also be useful to have a pre-made chat element that is not based on Telegram. Currently, I can either create chats through Bubble or use FlutterFlow for that. If an easy way to create this kind of interface for our employees would happen, it’d be amazing.
We're rolling out more projects and expanding to more Western and some Eastern markets. There's a big pool of AI-related tasks and opportunities to tackle through AI. We have a backlog of tasks for the next six months, all within Directual’s functionality. Everything we've planned is being done by just me, a citizen developer. On top of that, we're seeking international partners and offering more flexible customization of content selection.
Will we continue with Directual?
Absolutely—it easily fulfills all our needs. The pricing is excellent, and the ROI is incredible. The biggest advantage is that as a marketer, I can quickly test different features. Following the traditional programming approach, it would be impossible. A week of coding, then a week of testing, then a week of assessing results. Not a thing with Directual. We receive good evaluations in almost all the accelerators we participate in as well. Whenever we are working together with a curator, we can quickly integrate all the solutions and provide results faster than anyone else. That's what no-code is for.
Directual is a tool that marketers and product owners will definitely need if they don't want to stay behind. We all use no-code for marketing tasks, but with Directual, we can solve more challenges and stay afloat with AI becoming more widespread.
With proper skills and knowledge of Directual, we can tackle anything.
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There will be more from Adel, as his experience with Directual is not limited to this particular project. Stay tuned!
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