Once upon a time, bridal gowns were worn only once and then forgotten in the back of the closet, collecting dust and taking up valuable space. But that was before the rise of conscious consumerism; today, every fashion enthusiast is aware of the impact of their actions on the environment and the economy.
In early 2022, we met Australian entrepreneur and social media specialist Andie Towner. With ventures like the The Bridal Journey and you and my podcast, Andie had built a niche community related to everything wedding. Andie had an idea of creating a marketplace for pre-loved wedding dresses and accessories, consistent with her niche.
Gurzu has worked on a similar project before, Designerex. Andie discovered us through a video of Designerex founder Costa Koulis. She contacted us and quickly decided to hand off her technical efforts to our experienced team.
Reveiled: What and Why?
In simple terms, Reveiled is a peer-to-peer bridal dress-sharing platform. Based on the idea of circular economy, it implements features for both buyers and sellers so that the dress, once bought, stays in the fashion eco-system for a more extended period.
The concept is straightforward. If you have a dress or any bridal accessory, you can put it up for resale in the e-commerce marketplace of Reveiled. If you are looking for high-end bridal accessories, you can browse the reveiled platform and pick one for a reduced price.
The development process for Reveiled looked like this:
- After Andie contacted us, we had a 30-minute introductory call where we discussed the project in detail and ensured we were a good match for the project. We gave an insight into our culture, philosophy on building technology, timelines and rates. After both parties were on the same page, we signed an N.D.A.
- In the Discovery phase, we reviewed the required features, user story, user type, screen view, etc., which allowed us to estimate time and cost more accurately. We also built wireframes for the primary pages of the application.
We used the following technologies for Reveiled development:
- Ruby on rails on the backend
- J.S. frameworks on the front end.
- A.W.S. as a hosting platform.
U.I. - UX Design
In this phase, we achieved the following tasks:
- Building wireframes for each page of the application
- Sitemap Construction
- Graphical Interface Design
- Colour Mockup Creation
- Interactive Prototype
Reveiled is a relatively complex application with 24 screens, so the design phase took significant time. The resulting interactive prototype looks and feels like a fully functioning app, though it is just a series of designs.
The System Architecture Design Phase
After this design was approved, we designed the system’s architecture. We broke the whole application into smaller components/modules having single responsibility and derive relationship amounts in UML diagrams.
The Development Phase
Coding is the most complex and time-consuming part of software development, so we started this phase only after the design phase was completed and the designs were finalized.
Here is what our eight people team looked like:
- One project manager
- One product designer
- One infrastructure engineer
- One QA Engineer
- Four Developers
Beta Testing and Launch
When version 1 of Reveiled was built, we beta-tested the app internally at our workplace.
Usually, everyone at the workplace tries to use the app simultaneously and tries their best to break every feature. Almost always, this uncovers bugs that we can fix quickly.
Next, it was tested by a team in Australia without our help. The team in Australia also got it beta tested with general users, who found the app easy to use and navigate.
After three months of hard work, we launched the live and stable version of Reveiled in 2022.
Challenges of Working in an offshore team
Many people doubt the idea of offshore development teams, and rightly so - as it can go wary any moment the trust link is broken.
We agree that communication is the key to maintaining a good relationship between the offshore team and the Client. We organized bi-weekly meetings to ensure smooth communication and coordination between the development team and the Client. As the Client was based in Australia, the 4-hour time gap was short, and we could easily schedule meetings conveniently for both parties.
Daily standup meetings: Daily standups are quick ( around 10 minutes) meetings where each team member updates their work progress and what they plan to achieve on a new day.
Sprints: Sprints are a specific period within which a development team aims to complete a certain workload. We worked in sprints for two weeks. Each team member commits to completing a particular task within the sprint and quickly gets feedback on the work done.
Client Meetings: We had meetings with the Client at 10 am morning every alternate week, where updates about projects from both sides were given, along with client feedback.
Retrospective: After each sprint, we organized a detailed meeting where everyone talked about the progress, the roadblocks, and the plan of the project.
Celebrating Small Wins
Building an eCommerce product is a long and hectic task. You do not start and end up with the product, but many small features add to make one complete site. In this scenario, changes and roadblocks can demotivate the team and look like a never-ending cycle of creating and updating.
We kept their spirits up by celebrating small wins in the process. When an M.V.P. was built, a new feature was added, or a big p problem was solved, we acknowledged it with a celebration, be it a weekend party, or going out for lunch.
We found it very fruitful.
Celebrating small achievements reminded us that no matter what obstacles come our way, we were on the right track and we were past one more milestone. Kshitiz Maskey, Team Lead
Celebrating small achievements, ticking off a task from your to-do list, or simply moving one ticket in the scrum board from ‘in progress’ to ‘done’ lifts the spirit of the development team.
- We launched reveiled in September 2022. Since then, the marketplace has consistently grown, with more sellers and buyers every day.
- Reveiled as gained a recognition within fashion community. Reveiled was featured among the top 5 list of best platforms for second hand wedding dresses by Vogue Germany.
- We are still a part of the maintenance and updates of Reveiled, as we are the only technical team.
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