Hobbyearth is a dynamic social platform concentrated on user generated content. It is a startup project - newly established business with a rapid growth potential. The startup team has detailed requirements for the product and a large vision for its future.
Challenges and Solutions
Limited funding and resources
Startups have access to limited funding. This has put constrains on the scope of work. Trying to cover a lot of functionality while spreading too thin often results in a low quality product.
To address the limited resources we have designed a modular system with integration of various libraries - this reduced the development time for implementing features from scratch and allowed for more efficient roadmap.
Maintain stability during traffic spikes
At some point startups can receive a traffic spike. If this brings the site down, there is a lost opportunity, and if the recovery is prolonged - it can be detrimental for the business.
For the possibility of traffic spikes we utilized content hosting and content delivery network separated from the core web apps. While it covers far from all traffic spikes, it allows for scaling only of the required services. This also saves costs.
Startups are always in a dynamic environment. They test new things and adapt to change. For this they need to constantly add or change existing functionality. Being too slow in responding to the market negates one of the main advantages startups have over established competitors.
Considering the dynamic environment of startups, we adopted the standard for continuous integration, deployment and delivery - new features can be tested in a closed environment and then pushed to the live site as soon as they are ready. The team can get a feedback from their users on the same day.
Even for the most unique and useful platforms, it's difficult to convey it with the first impression. People are saturated with all kinds of products and they make snap judgements on if they are going to invest time in a particular product or not. This makes it difficult to stand out without initial traction.
On the design we considered three points - it should look like a social network and follow widespread design patterns. On the other hand it should look unique enough so people can make the distinguish between the project and the countless other platforms. And since the whole dynamic in such networks revolve around the user generated content - the design should put the emphasis on it. All three combined resulted in the current version.
A media combining tool and one of main features of the platform, was something we helped flesh out, and then develop in collaboration with the startup team.
The comment is a widely expected feature by all people used to social networks. The implementation supports nested comments and voting.
The search functionality allows grouping the results by type, for easier use.
In a platform there is a lot happening. The news stream, along with the notifications, helps the user to keep up with all things he is interested in.
A robust messaging system allows for real time interactions between people.
|CSS||Bootstrap & Sass|
|Cloud storage||Amazon S3|
|Package & Task managers||NPM, Grunt|