Cya On The Road – A Case Study
About Cya On The Road
Cya On The Road is a travel startup founded by a lovely couple, Fred and Stacy, who travelled around the world for 900 (yes, 900) days before returning home to Sydney and eventually deciding to turn their travel blog into a startup that would make it a lot easier for travelers to find the best places to visit documented by people who are travelers themselves.
In their own words, Cya On the Road is
…a tech product built by travellers for travellers. We open up the platform so everyone can leverage it to plan and build own dream journeys easy as 1-2-3
Feel like a holiday? Try Cya On The Road.
Plan a vacation for friends? Try Cya On The Road.
Keen to share an idea or promote tourism of your hometown? Try Cya On The Road.
Every experience built on the platform will be displayed beautifully on our app. Each piece of content on our app represents a traveller’s unique experiences.
Goals, Approach and Results
The goal was to build a web app where travel planners would create trips for themselves and others. Travelers could then follow these experiences on the go using a companion mobile app.
Fred had a UX/UI designer and a mobile app developer already on board, and engaged BroadWeb to build the web app and integrate it with their backend APIs.
Initially, Fred was looking to hire a freelance front-end developer to help out but given that the scope of the MVP was well defined, we put forward a proposal for an end-to-end fixed-price project that would leverage a team comprising of two Frontend Developers (skilled in React.js), a Principal Technical Consultant with Infrastructure skills in AWS as well as a Project Manager.
Developing a prototype of the web or mobile app one is looking to build prior to committing time and more money is essential to success.
A number of issues related to user experience are quite often concealed and come to the surface during the discovery / protoyping phase which enables us to take remediation steps early thus reducing re-work and associated costs.
The design prototype stage typically involves creating high-fidelity designs of what the actual end product should look like and using a prototyping tool like Invision to generate clickable hotspots in the designs, and creating user journeys by interlinking them.
While we offer UX/UI design and prototyping as a service to clients, in the case of Cya On The Road, designs were already created and available in Invision which gave us a head start.
It also gave us a deep understanding of the features that had to be built in the web app facilitating project estimation.
The web app had to be delivered in approximately 10 weeks from the first line of code being written to go-live.
To mitigate the risk of delays to the project, we decided to go ahead with two frontend resources, particularly considering the delivery would fall roughly in the Christmas period and the bulk of implementation would have to be done prior.
In order to accommodate the relatively tight timelines, we had an overlap for a week between a prior project and Cya On The Road during which we spent a few hours laying the groundwork for the project with the view to go full steam ahead once the resources become available full-time for the project.
At BroadWeb, we strongly believe in adding value to our clients’ business by way of suggesting best practices drawing upon our combined experience in digital and technology.
A good example of this was the suggestion to deploy the React.js web app on AWS S3 as opposed to a traditional AWS EC2 instance.
Doing so has brought about several benefits including cost savings and performance.
We also engaged the client early with UAT (User Acceptance Testing) by auto-deploying features on a test (staging) environment, performing internal QA and then handing over that specific feature to the client for testing and feedback.
This allowed us to gain early feedback, make course corrections early where required and saved significant time that would otherwise have been spent late in the development cycle had we chosen a traditional waterfall model.
The codebase was maintained in the client’s repository and we leveraged BitBucket Pipelines to setup a continuous build and delivery pipeline that auto-deploys changes to a testing environment triggered by commits to a specific branch.
This approach resulted in new features being pushed out daily for client review and feedback which significantly sped up the build-test-deploy cycle.
We were fortunate for being given the liberty to choose the right technologies for the job.
Bootstrap CSS framework was used for styling.
We reviewed a number of helper react modules from npm and picked a handful that would make our lives easier for functionality such as Facebook and Google Sign-in, integration with Google Maps for searching for places of interest, pulling in place information, plotting them on a map in the desired order, etc.
Custom integration was put in place for the new Sign in with Apple functionality.
At BroadWeb, we start testing early. Our general approach is to deploy testable units of functionality to a staging environment as soon as they are ready for User Acceptance Testing (UAT) by client.
For Cya On The Road, we put in place our standard development workflow depicted below:
Using Venks and BroadWeb on my latest venture ‘Cya On The Road’ was a right decision.
The project was new, complex, and required to start from scratch. Venks and his team got things managed and delivered the quality result in time for launch. I appreciated his technical and management skills, multi-years of experience in IT and way of thinking – he always thought from the client’s perspective in this project and proposed great solutions to tackle issues as well as balance performance and costs.
All above are Venks and BroadWeb’s advantages to stand out from competition, and also the reasons I chose them. Well done and thanks!
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Venks is a technology specialist with 17+ years of experience across the web technology spectrum in domains including Media, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Content & Billing and Online Gaming. His current mission at BroadWeb Solutions is to bring the benefits of digital advances in technology to small-to-medium-sized businesses.