News

Grape Up makes designing yearbooks effortless

News

We have just completed a project for a yearbook publishing company, which was a milestone for the long-term client making it the flagship business in its field. Every year, the publisher makes preparing yearbooks easier and quicker for thousands of schools across the United States.

The product that we have been improving, a modern yearbook management solution designed to simplify the creation of yearbooks. It literally walks users through setting up the book and allows them to easily apply custom properties likes font styles, page numbers, paragraph styles etc.

Recently, we added improvements to the advisor role in the app. An advisor, is a person who oversees the entire process of creating the book. Advisors can also fully customize the final design, from margins, to the grid, to the formatting of columns and paragraphs. This translates into the simplicity in aligning elements on the spread, as well as the ability to add graphics and shapes.

The biggest challenge in the project was the technological debt we had to eliminate once we took over the project after a different company. The debt caused plenty of bugs in the final product which took us months to fix. In general, all issues were very obvious and responsible for the poor end-user experience as well as difficulties with the text editor. To make matters worse, the architecture was very expensive in maintenance and the code was difficult even for experienced staff to understand.

To solve all of them, we have refactored a major part of the code. This has contributed to making that app’s user interface a lot more intuitive. We have redesigned some Library elements such as Templates, Backgrounds, Graphic Tabs, and introduced the Search and Categories tabs to the main screen. The intriguing redesign and changes make the application much more user-friendly.

This project reflects the philosophy of our company. We work according to Agile and Lean and deliver new improvements on a regular basis. Thanks to such short intervals between new functionalities, we are able to respond to feedback from users faster and constantly improve the product. The application is created in React, and we always use its most recent version, so that the application is written according to the latest guidelines.

June 29th, 2018