The innovative core concept of the new platform was based on a recent trend for the young audience UX: an aggregated news feed of all the newspapers hosted on the main sub-domain, digital.playbacpresse.fr. This would give users complete access to their subscription in one place. Also, each site would be filtered and display separately on other sub-domains to create title specific websites, such as monquotidien.playbacpresse.fr.
Pentalog applied the Agile Methodology, end to end – throughout the entirety of the project. The first phase was three weeks of “discovery”, which allowed us to define and prioritize UX and UI points, specify technical constraints related to the existing platform, and organize the work to be done. A project team made up of half PlayBac Presse developers and half Pentalog developers was then put together.
The challenge for the first year, 2017, was to get everyone – from marketing to technical staff, on board with the Agile Methodology. From the start of the design phase, daily updates or “scrums” were organized and development sprints lasted two weeks. The Agile Methodology allowed us to adapt to new constraints that might arise during a project – tweaking and improving the initial concept.
Our focus for 2018 was to simplify access to user content by building apps for each newspaper in the Apple and Google Play stores. This was done using Ionic, Angular and Symfony API.
Then last year, we created new opportunities for Playbac by building platforms for the Japanese and German audiences of My Little Weekly and My Weekly. In addition, we deployed a workshop platform dedicated specifically to journalism teachers.
To ensure our client was able to monitor and report project progress to fellow stakeholders, the Playbac project followed a global methodology implemented in the vast majority of Pentalog collaborations. (It’s worth noting that these characteristics are also inherent to the Agile Methodology in general.)
- While an initial budget estimate is always provided to clients, team allocation is what ultimately determines billing.
- The scope of work that can be carried out by a team within a given time frame is usually fleshed out in the beginning stages of a project.
- Consistent monitoring of the team’s production capacity will prevent future frustration throughout the project. The client retains the role as main decision maker alongside the product owner instead of waiting to see the final result when work is completed.
- The client is highly involved in the decision making process, easing the work flow. The transparency inherent to an Agile collaboration helps all parties agree on a catalog of features included in the websites and applications.
In the case of our client, the UX/UI designs were also developed using the Agile Methodology, which worked to reinforce the relevancy of the project to its target audience. Equally important, this helped avoid a situation where page designs are created first and then must be changed for functional reasons.
Lastly, this solution provided the team much needed flexibility. Over the course of the project, the team scaled from 6 to 12 developers before scaling back down to 8. This was all planned according to the ramp-up of sprints.
In 2020, we will work to maintain the work done in the previous 3 years. With the deployment of a fully revamped digital ecosystem in December and a new eShop – the Pentalog team will focus on improving website performance to increase acquisition, conversion and retention of subscribers using Growth Hacking Methodology.