Not everything needs to be owned

Hello, this is Lainappi

Lainappi is a rental service both for consumers and business customers.


The idea that lies behind the project is to let people take or give items for rent. In Finland, where the Lainappi team is from, the idea of reuse is super popular, which finds reflection in the company’s slogan: “Not everything needs to be owned”.


Sharing is more sustainable and conserves natural resources. Therefore, both the branding and the clean, green style of the app were born from the idea of caring for the environment. For the UI design, we decided to choose a pleasant green and white palette.


The UI kit was based on the iOS guidelines. We use similar UI-kits in most of our designs, as it's compact but contains everything we need to quickly design almost any screen. From time to time — for example, when we came across a non-standard screen, which needed unique controls — we added new components to the UI-kit.

Design problems

We had to develop an application using the design provided by the Lainappi team. But after a quick review, we realized that the provided design had a number of issues:

It had problems with logic
It had problems with the visuals
It was difficult to implement
It did not express Lainappi’s core values well enough
To solve all those issues, our initial task was to rebuild the design.

Our goals

Goal 1
Implement all essential features for both user roles and possible states
Goal 2
Create a simple and clear user interface for renting items
Goal 3
Emphasize sustainability idea of the app
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What did we change?

Payment process
The prototype app didn’t involve a payment process at all. To make it easier for users to make transactions, we added a screen for booking and paying for items
Lainappi also thought of adding an "I want to rent" section, where users could leave their requests for the items they would like to rent. But we decided to reject this functionality because it was an unlikely scenario.
Item search
To get access to the ads, users have to fill out a form like the one below. We dropped the tabs and made product categories, with a standard search bar and filters
User profile
We also added a user profile, where users can see everything they rent, while in the prototype there was no such feature at all
Learn more about our design process at Stories & Articles.


To receive payments from the app, users need to verify their account by filling in their personal data first, confirming their identity, waiting for the verification results, and adding bank account details for withdrawal. After a quick analysis, we were able to simplify everything to a single block on the profile screen.

This is how we managed to organize the entire rental process:

Instead of different screens with status, actions, and interaction with the owner, we created a chat to show not only messages from the renter and the owner, but also system notifications and related actions in it. And it was there where we added the “Open box” feature to let renters receive an item.
On the availability calendar, users can check all Mondays or Tuesdays, a whole month, six months ahead, and then deselect the days when the item is unavailable. Plus, we added an option to specify business hours.
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Initially, we planned to develop an iOS app first and build an Android version later. But in order to reduce costs, Lainappi decided to create a hybrid application, which would also let them reach the audiences of both platforms at once.

User flow
The Lainappi team came to us with a thought-out flow, however, after the first release, we decided to simplify it. This is how the user flow looks now:
The item owner fills in the product descriptions and sets a price for a rental period
The renter uses the search bar
to find the item
They make a deal in the chat.
Tech stack
We chose React Native because it allowed us to implement the needed functionality and speed up the development at the same time. With react-native-maps and expo-location libraries we quickly implemented the map and user location features, while @react-navigation made navigation flexible and consistent.
The combination of React and Redux allowed us to follow Loosely Coupled Architecture with reusable and flexible components. To implement product search, we needed to control the condition of filtering from different screens, and Redux greatly simplified it. The condition of products is stored in one place, so users can skip any stages of creating and editing products, and get back to them later.

First release

These are the key features that we included in the first version of the app:

first release
first release
Item management
Verification of item owners with Stripe Connect
Сhat between owners and renters
first release
Searching items on the map with filtering
Renting and payment flow
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In the new versions, we added the following features:
Function to group chats by rent status and to search chats by name which makes them convenient to use
Ability to control phone number visibility in active chats
More hints and helpful system messages for users
Improved guest mode to browse items for rent without signing in
Rent history
Ability to delete user profile
We decided to give up on these features:
ability to set place and time for making a deal
displaying phone number in user profile

Killer features

The renting process is based on the chat, so we enhanced it with multiple system messages and hints that make this process user-friendly.
killer features
killer features
Flexible map search with the ability to narrow search results with distance filtering, category filtering, etc.
The rental process includes two levels of authorization — the renter should verify their paying capacity, while the owner should verify their willingness to give the item for rent.
killer features
The app also has an additional protection mechanism. If a user chooses to rent from the Lainappi box, they can only open it at the appointed time.
killer features
Development problems
In the early stages of development we faced a few insignificant bugs mostly related to animations. The same app components worked differently on different platforms, which we fixed with further updates.
development problems
Not everything needs to be owned ♻️️ Not everything needs to be owned 🧩 Not everything needs to be owned ♻️️ Not everything needs to be owned 🧩 Not everything needs to be owned ♻️️ Not everything needs to be owned 🧩 Not everything needs to be owned ♻️️ Not everything needs to be owned 🧩 Not everything needs to be owned ♻️️ Not everything needs to be owned 🧩 Not everything needs to be owned
Not everything needs to be owned ♻️️ Not everything needs to be owned 🧩 Not everything needs to be owned ♻️️ Not everything needs to be owned 🧩 Not everything needs to be owned ♻️️ Not everything needs to be owned 🧩 Not everything needs to be owned ♻️️ Not everything needs to be owned 🧩 Not everything needs to be owned ♻️️ Not everything needs to be owned 🧩 Not everything needs to be owned
Total users who have launched the app
2 397
Total accounts
3 096
First Android downloads
3 088
First iOS downloads
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