2020 - present
Our client’s goal was to gather a community of designers on a platform where they can share some relevant design topics and sub-topics, contribute with and vote for tips on various published materials, suggest useful resources and links, see some general statistics and personal stats, and enjoy a gamification part of the system. It was meant to be a knowledge-sharing service for designers with complex yet handy functionality.
OTAKOYI’s contribution to this project included the assistance with business and goals analysis, development of a decent frontend, and completely custom backend for both User Interface and Admin Portal. Finally, OTAKOYI conducted thorough quality assurance and project management services.
The most challenging aspect of this project was the development of a hierarchy of entities, which consisted of topics, sub-topics, and tips. These are the key elements of the web application, where the highest level of ranking is a topic, which can endlessly be divided into various sub-topics. Each of the sub-topics, in turn, includes tips written by designer community members. The platform required a delicate and skillful approach to the taxonomy to make the navigation easy and simple for users.
Besides that, the platform had to provide a complex search system that is aimed to optimize the search results. The aim was to create a search system that can be customized to fit a user’s needs and quickly find the necessary tip or topic to solve the issue.
These were the most difficult technical aspects that required a smart development approach and clean code.
During the working process, we used flexible development methodologies. As the work on the project proceeded, the client continuously provided us with feedback and remarks, which our team carefully considered and implemented milestone after milestone.
Besides, our cooperation was divided into sprint meetings, where we constantly discussed work progression and shared the results of the completed tasks. It allowed us to build a solid client-provider relationship where there is a great degree of trust.
As for the technology stack, we used Laravel, Nuxt.js, and MySQL, which allowed us to realize the following features:
- 1. Taxonomy
As it was intended, the platform has three levels of entity hierarchy: topics, subtopics, and tips.
Tips are divided into two categories: those that seem to work well (solving the problem) and those that don't work. Why including tips that don’t work you might wonder? Because it is not about bad pieces of advice, but about sharing bad experiences with others and thus spreading true knowledge. It is always better to learn from others’ mistakes, right? Other users, in turn, can react to tips, comment on whether something works for them or not.
Besides, you can sort subtopics and tips by various categories, including the top 10 tips, trends, the most recent ones, and alphabetically.
- 2. Search System
The platform has several factors that determine the sequence of search results after a user request. For instance, the word “design” is surely mentioned a lot on this designer's platform. You might see it in topics as well as subtopics and tips. The thing is that this word can either be in the title or description of a certain category. And depending on this factor, the search results will differ. If a user writes the word “design” in the search bar, he/she will first get the result where it is mentioned in the title and then where it is in the description. What is more, a user can search whatever level of the hierarchy he wants, be it a topic, subtopic, tips, or all these at once.
The features of the search system do not simply end here since it allows for even more possibilities. A user can write two words into a search bar and it will find them separately somewhere in the text. You can write “UI” and “animation” and get the exact result you are looking for. This feature significantly boosts search accuracy and surely improves user experience.
- 3. Profile
The user profile shows the relevant statistics: the amount of users you managed to help, how many people viewed your advice, and how many sub-topics you published, etc. The profile also shows updates on topics that the user follows, and updates on the tips that he/she posted. It also allows you to subscribe to topics and subtopics and see new contributions once they are published. You can also review all the tips you previously posted.
Besides, any user can apply to become the platform’s moderator and thus manage its certain sections. For example, it allows you to change the “parent” of any subtopic or tip on the web app. This means that you can move a subtopic to another topic or a tip to another subtopic.
- 4. Gamification
After publishing a tip or performing other actions on the platform, each user will get a specific amount of engagement points. Once you get a certain amount of points, you level up and get a new profile icon. Besides, you can spend these points on other interesting things.
The platform can be used even if you are not registered on it yet. What’s cool is that when you finally register, you get all the bonus points for the actions you did previously on the platform.
Designer’s Platform is a treasure trove of useful tips for designers. It is a handy platform where the designer's community can share their ideas and experiences with each other, accumulating and increasing knowledge.
OTAKOYI successfully overcame all challenges along the development process and delivered a polished, high-quality product to our client. Our team remained attentive to the client’s remarks and wishes till the very end of the project and completed 100% of the requirements. As a result, we managed to build one more lasting and fruitful partnership.
This question-and-answer platform was a challenging yet exciting project that OTAKOYI is delighted to take part in. Our team managed to implement complex functionality and turn it into a satisfying experience for the users. We even learned French a bit, since the final product was launched in French!
We hope that our newly gained knowledge connected with the hierarchy of entities and search system development will soon bear its fruits in another interesting project!