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Bookmaker

Book publishing platform helping you create your own book online with a competent in-house editorial team.

What Is Bookmaker?

  • Team
    10 employees
  • Time
    1 year+
  • Product
    Bookmaker
  • Industry
    Media & publishing
  • Location
    London, the UK
  • Clutch Review
    5.0

A web proprietary platform allowing a client to control the book writing process

Bookmaker is a book publishing platform developed for StoryTerrace. The platform unites the storytellers, writers, and editors. Through Bookmaker, it's easy to maintain communication, schedule interviews (in-person or remote), fill in surveys, update or approve the draft of the book, and create a cover and a book design. The parties involved in the writing process discuss content, style, structure, and visual part of the future book. The good point about the platform is that clients can give their feedback at different stages of their journey. In turn, the in-house editorial team fixes all issues. Constant collaboration between all participants allows the customer to get a uniquely designed and printed book.

Challenges & Solutions

06
01
Incosistent Design
02
Challenge

We had an existing project, but the design of it was inconsistent. We had no time and opportunity to make radical changes or create a new design from scratch. We had to strike a balance between former design solutions and our new ideas to make the platform ready for users as quickly as possible. Therefore, we had to evaluate technological constraints and determine the most critical design solutions.

Solution

UX audit helped us understand all critical solutions that needed implementation. We figured out which changes would enhance our product’s performance, functionality, and user experience. Based on the ten heuristic principles, we solved critical usability issues. We managed to make a system that speaks the user’s language. By conducting UX audit, we applied the best principles to develop an effective live platform.

Challenge

The target audience of StoryTerrace are older people who want to write their life stories. For this reason, creating a user-friendly platform was critical for us. We focused on transforming the attitude toward digital products among older users. Our task was to build an adaptable and clear system. We had to apply accessibility principles to exclude all barriers in using the product.

Solution

We reviewed and followed accessibility standards. It helped the users understand how the app works. Now, the platform delivers minimal design, relevant content, clear instructions, ease of navigation, and only needed features. We adjusted color saturation, and thus, the accessibility of the app is not lower than the AA level for additional interface elements and the AAA level for the main texts. We also increased font size and optimized line length (no more than 50-60 characters per text line). It helped us to improve the readability of long texts.

Challenge

Book writing is a creative process with a lot of parties involved. The challenge we had was to simplify the writing process of the book, systematize the workflow by adding approximate time frames for the tasks, exclude some unnecessary phases, and add mandatory steps.

Solution

We assessed StoryTerrace workflow and found the way for its improvement. We turned the creative and not well-planned process into something formalized and structured. Additionally, feedback from users was quite worthy. By conducting the research, we got an insight into what was working well and what needed to be improved. We updated the system every time we got feedback from users. Moreover, we partially changed the work process inside StoryTerrace. Now, StoryTerrace gets explicit feedback on writers and rates them.

Challenge

Responsive design was important for our platform: most older people access websites from their tablets, not desktops. It required our designer to find a way to reevaluate what was visually and functionally necessary. Displaying the vast amount of information on the desktop, tablet, and mobile pages correctly without losing critical data was crucial for us.

Solution

We considered the peculiarities and differences of practical use of desktops/laptops (usage of buttons) and tablets/mobiles (usage of touch screens). Additionally, we analyzed and applied the basic principles of accessibility. Since today there is a wide range of mobile, tablet, and laptop resolutions, the designer should have implemented a proper solution to fit various screen types and sizes.

Challenge

Earlier, to create a book online, StoryTerrace hired designers. They created a book from scratch, and accordingly, the design was costly. We had to find a reasonable solution to cheapen the book design process. Particularly, our design team had to implement the client’s idea concerning cover templates.

Solution

Now, Bookmaker provides a variety of templates, allowing the client to choose the one they need. In this way, the client can add a personal photo, write the title of the book, add a quote or short description at the backside, and choose colors and styles of the future cover. By taking all sizes and settings into account, we made the cover PDF suitable for printing. Thus, we cheapened the book, allowing the client not to address a graphic designer but to get the ready-made cover available for printing.

Challenge

PDF generation is a resource-demanding process. In particular, generating print-ready PDF files for large books with a lot of text and photos would require a lot more server resources than the entire system needs. This would increase support costs significantly.

Solution

We have decided to run Bookmaker on two separate servers. The system itself runs on one server, and pdf generation runs on a separate server. Bookmaker requires fewer resources, less RAM, weaker processor than pdf generation. On the one hand, by splitting servers, we are saving costs. On the other hand, if the server crashes because of a very heavy PDF, only PDF generation will be affected and not the whole system. So, having two servers is cost-efficient and more secure.

Challenge

System security is critical to project success. The system contains sensitive data about business and users, and to protect it, we should have found a holistic approach to security and resources to minimize security risks.

Solution

We added validation for endpoints, improved error handling, minified code, added access checkers for each role, used OWASP standards, checked CORS policy, and analyzed npm vulnerabilities. Adoption of security solutions helped us streamline project execution, optimize resource allocation, manage risks, and resolve critical issues. Also, to go a step further, we hired AWS-certified DevOps to ensure platform security and high reliability.

Challenge

The book creation process involves editing, formatting, versioning, and commenting on the text and collaboration of people with different competencies. We faced the challenge where we had to recreate the functionality of MS Word or Google Docs in a short period of time.

Solution

Using Quill editor and rationally distributing the tasks within the team, we succeeded in developing a high-quality text editing tool in two months. Our designer improved the usability of all features, and developers increased the speed of the tool. QA specialists did troubleshooting and controlled the process of fixing all the bugs. We attracted more users to use the system since the platform looked more professional.

About customer

Bookmaker is a custom StoryTerrace technology platform bringing the entire book-making process online. The platform connects professional writers, editors, and people requiring help in writing a book. The prime goal of the client was to develop a convenient, responsive, and secure platform for the users.

Customer Feedback

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Our Team

10
Taras
Taras
Team Lead
Taras
Taras
Developer
Ivan
Ivan
Developer
Max
Max
Developer
Liudmyla
Liudmyla
Developer
Serhii
Serhii
Developer
Anna
Anna
QA Specialist
Oksana
Oksana
QA Specialist
Olga
Olga
Designer
Tania
Tania
Project Manager
02

Technologies

Node.js
Express.js
MongoDB
React.js
AWS

What Makes Bookmaker Special?

1

1. Established processes of the platform

Our client reached us to simplify communication between the user and the platform. He cited problems in using the platform, the absence of some critical features, and outdated UI. Consequently, we conducted a comprehensive study of the platform. We managed to streamline the writing of books into distinct stages. We also defined the role of each subject in the project and documented all user’s flaws. We simplified the user and platform interaction by developing many features. Besides, we fixed all platform heuristic errors as well as other issues.
1. Established processes of the platform
2. Live platform with continuous feedback

2

2. Live platform with continuous feedback

When new people join Bookmaker, they provide valuable feedback on enhancing the platform. Respectfully, requirements and priorities change often. Because the team is large and devoted to StoryTerrace’s success, they demonstrate much flexibility in their work.

3

3. Process efficiency challenges

User interaction with the platform starts from logging the project’s stakeholders and ends with sharing the book in PDF format to print. We divided all stages of this process into explicit goals and assigned specific tasks to each role. This scheme helped us determine the project’s pain points and find ways of their solution. Creating a book online is expensive and lengthy. Bookmaker solves the challenge by studying how much time each step takes, facilitating the process, setting time limits, and delivering regular feedback to project members. In turn, measuring process efficiency helps increase productivity, minimize errors, and boost flexibility to changes.
3. Process efficiency challenges
4. Smooth and well-coordinated interaction with the users

4

4. Smooth and well-coordinated interaction with the users

We use high-fidelity prototypes to communicate new feature concepts to our clients and potential users. Now, we fully understand how a particular feature interacts with platform processes throughout its whole cycle. We can make changes through the early stage of development. If changes are necessary, we can reduce development costs. As a result, the workflow in StoryTerrace is smooth and well-organized, making their clients happy with the finished product.

1

1. Established processes of the platform

Our client reached us to simplify communication between the user and the platform. He cited problems in using the platform, the absence of some critical features, and outdated UI. Consequently, we conducted a comprehensive study of the platform. We managed to streamline the writing of books into distinct stages. We also defined the role of each subject in the project and documented all user’s flaws. We simplified the user and platform interaction by developing many features. Besides, we fixed all platform heuristic errors as well as other issues.
1. Established processes of the platform

2

2. Live platform with continuous feedback

When new people join Bookmaker, they provide valuable feedback on enhancing the platform. Respectfully, requirements and priorities change often. Because the team is large and devoted to StoryTerrace’s success, they demonstrate much flexibility in their work.

2. Live platform with continuous feedback

3

3. Process efficiency challenges

User interaction with the platform starts from logging the project’s stakeholders and ends with sharing the book in PDF format to print. We divided all stages of this process into explicit goals and assigned specific tasks to each role. This scheme helped us determine the project’s pain points and find ways of their solution. Creating a book online is expensive and lengthy. Bookmaker solves the challenge by studying how much time each step takes, facilitating the process, setting time limits, and delivering regular feedback to project members. In turn, measuring process efficiency helps increase productivity, minimize errors, and boost flexibility to changes.
3. Process efficiency challenges

4

4. Smooth and well-coordinated interaction with the users

We use high-fidelity prototypes to communicate new feature concepts to our clients and potential users. Now, we fully understand how a particular feature interacts with platform processes throughout its whole cycle. We can make changes through the early stage of development. If changes are necessary, we can reduce development costs. As a result, the workflow in StoryTerrace is smooth and well-organized, making their clients happy with the finished product.
4. Smooth and well-coordinated interaction with the users

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