We were approached by founders with an idea of creating a web application that will enable its users to design electric circuits. The presented product concept was convincing – there aren’t many tools for that and most of them are outdated.
We needed to focus on:
- The ease of use in producing schematics & printed circuit boards
- The ability to design components from scratch
- Lightweight, fast & intuitive user interface with visual clues
- High risk of reaching limits of drawing library (R&D)
We have helped to research the existing solutions and assisted the investor in setting the scope of Minimum Viable Product (MVP). We have focused on creating a simple, useful solution that will cover the whole process of design – from creating custom components, through designing schematic, to the precisely printed circuit board (PCB) blueprint. We have then estimated our effort and signed a project-based contract to develop the MVP.
We put some assumptions to follow during the process of development:
- SCRUM-based workflow with 1-week iterations and demos
- Excellent and constant communication with stakeholders to minimize waste
- Dedicated team that learned the domain login & dug into schematic design
- SaaS Manager for all user- and subscription-related issues
- External library as a base for drawing-related issues (time-saving)
- AngularJS & Backbone with clean & easy to understand model
We decided to use SaaS Manager as a framework for our project. It saved us a great deal of time and effort and instantly enabled us to skip building SaaS offer, managing features, subscriptions, billing, payments, user-system communication, authentication & authorization and other repeatable stuff and really focus on unique values of the product. The first workable version was ready in 6 months but we were unsatisfied with the outcome. Drawing libraries that we have been using showed too many limitations and it has been taking too much time to develop the new feature.
The great refactoring
We found a completely new library – one that was still in early stage of development but already functional – and created a proof-of-concept with the most challenging elements. It took us 3 months to re-develop our solution but the outcome was outstanding.
Our COO, who has been managing this project, said later that it has been the hardest and one of the best professional decisions he made.
We created a beta version that redefines the way electric circuits are designed. With the extensive usage of ACL (Access Control List) based authorization we made sharing and cooperation easier than ever. The application that we co-designed and created has brought us very positive feedback and now we are working on a completely new set of features under a new team-based contract.