App Library Part II: Building the library
TL;DR: I used Next.Js, Styled Components, Typescript, AWS, and proprietary APIs to develop the front-end of a unique "App Library for Manufacturing" as part of a collaborative, multi-team project focused on low-code app development. The library provides a centralized repository of applications that can be easily customized and deployed, and my role was crucial in building a user-friendly and responsive front-end interface that incorporates various cutting-edge web development technologies
The creation of the Tulip library was a significant undertaking which required a cross-collaborative effort between Marketing, CustomerOps, Engineering, and Design at an unprecedented scale. In the span of 3 months the team shipped Library V.0 December 2020. I was tasked with designing the library experience, and building the public facing website.
The Research and Discovery phase of this project consisted of gathering requirements from the different stakeholders. During this phase I conducted interviews and group brainstorms with members of the Marketing, and Customer Ops teams to create a list of user stories and business requirements such as our SEO strategy and content copy.
Once we had the requirements as a guide, I started iterating on mockups and building live prototypes to get feedback from the aforementioned stakeholders. During this process we discussed what was feasible for this project given our existing engineering and resource constraints. This , along with our ambitious timeline, led us to shorten the scope of our task and aim for a minimal viable product (MVP). Some of the many problems we encountered during this phase involved restructuring our data model and minimizing the time app authors needed to spend to input content into the library.
Once our Research and Discovery phase was complete, and the decision to lower the project's scope was taken, I worked on streamlined designs for mobile and desktop. In addition to designing the Library UI on the public facing website, a major part of the design work was designing the UI in the apps housed in the library. More on that here.
Once the designs were finalized I was tasked with translating them into code using HTML, CSS, JS, React, and NextJS in agile sprints. This stack was chosen to optimize for SEO, speed, and ease of continuous deployment
After 3 months of grueling work and multiple iterations, on December 10th, 2020 we launched the library to much success. We surpassed our objective of achieving an 80% SEO score or higher on Google’s Lighthouse. Our board of directors and investors were all blown away by how fast we were able to get this into production and by the final results level of polish .They commented that having the Tulip Library made Tulip more valuable and as a result that we needed to adapt our pricing structure to factor in its added value.
Since its launch the Tulip Library has seen over 1,000 daily users and expanded Marketing’s funnel. It goes without saying that an achievement of this magnitude could not have been accomplished had it not been for the fantastic team that worked tirelessly to bring the concept into life. It's projects like this that make the proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”ring true.