Product Development & Rapid Prototyping for TheRecordXchange
Outsourced product development for TheRecordXchange: prototype developed quickly, Drupal development services, custom PHP libraries for scalablity.
Online products, like businesses, rarely go by the plan. A product takes birth as an idea. As it evolves, it starts finding new users, maybe new business models. And then the plan has to evolve as well. Therefore, having the plan specified to the last cell in the spreadsheet right at the beginning rarely works.
What does work is the Minimum Viable Product
Take this prototype to the various types of users you have in mind, as well as investors. And when you get good feedback on its utility from
That’s the story of the product developed for
In early 2014, TheRecordXchange team started considering the idea of building a platform based on the workflows already in place. The legal transcription industry would find such a workflow very useful. Small transcription companies and one-person shops would be able to leverage technology and realize efficiencies in their business. This was the thought driving the idea.
Rapid Prototyping Validates Product Idea
A click-through prototype was developed using HTML, CSS, and Angular. This prototype development took about 7 weeks to build, with a lean team of one person, and was ready by July 2014.
With only a prototype developed using Srijan’s Rapid Prototyping approach, the product idea was validated, and TheRecordXchange team decided to proceed with developing the platform.
Getting to Beta
TheRecordXchange team and Srijan had in-depth discussions on the technology to be chosen for the product. Various technologies were considered, and discussions addressed what parts Srijan could undertake. “We had a great set of people from Srijan exploring the various technologies: Drupal, Apache, Ruby on Rails, hosting services, and so on. All the data about the technologies and services was compiled. Srijan came up with an architecture that we could have right now, and what we could grow into as the product evolved. We had a good team working on this, including some senior people from Srijan,” Swarup said.
While exploring the technology options, one of the major decision criteria was to choose speed over perfection. To make decisions in favor of speed, Srijan and TheRecordXchange chose Drupal out-of-the-box features. Srijan built all custom code by writing custom PHP libraries, keeping in mind future scalability.
The Beta version was released in November 2014, and the full version was released in January 2015.
When asked what the process was like, Swarup replied, “We (Srijan and us) would define the process flows and discuss what part of it could be in the MVP. We would then discuss the user stories and assess which ones would need wireframing. Basically, we were trying to wrap our heads around the idea and see what would work.”
TheRecordXchange (TRX) allows anyone to register and upload court recordings. Users can then have the recordings transcribed and proofread by vendors of their choice. The platform supports various roles, such as Project Owner, Transcriber, and Proofreader, and alerts the team assigned
The end users of the platform have found it to be a better experience than some of the reputed, commonly used collaboration platforms, such as Google Drive, in terms of upload and download speeds of heavy media files.
Time to Pivot
The platform has been available to users for a few months as of this writing and has a good number of registered users. As with all new products, the churn rate is high, but there is a sizeable segment of continuing users. The intent has been to test the market, according to Swarup. The subscription is free for now, giving unlimited storage to users as well.
However, the product team at TheRecordXchange has realized that the legal transcription market is very fragmented and the maximum influence on the transcription lifecycle is held by the various U.S. jurisdictions and courts. Thus, TRX must cater to them as well. Therefore, the product will need to have many enterprise-level features not currently included. Once these features are added, the product can move to
Currently, the beta version of the Enterprise model for TRX’s first Jurisdiction is live. A process similar to prototyping was followed for this as well. A set of customized screens were developed
Once this model succeeds, TRX aims to replicate it for other jurisdictions as well.
Benefits of Working with Srijan
“One of the biggest benefits has been the level of expertise we have been able to leverage. This team knows what it’s doing,” said Swarup.
“Our goals were aggressive, and Srijan’s development process kept pace with it. As a Product Owner, if I put down a requirement, I never hear that it can’t be done. I know it will be done. The stories get prioritized accordingly,” Swarup continued.
Swarup added, “The great thing is that you are not relying on a single person. Here’s a team that’s dedicated to your project. And if people leave also, I am not worried. We do believe that Srijan is trustworthy.
“As a Product Owner, I get full visibility into what’s going on with the development. I know how we are progressing; there’s transparency. For example, I will get to know if some stories are throwing up complexities. The team discusses it, and we take a call whether solving that complexity is worth our time or not.”
As Swarup noted, “The platform is live, and Srijan is providing support as well. It has been good so far, but it can be better.” Srijan is working towards that, given that continuous improvement is in the company DNA.
“If I had to rate Srijan on a scale of 10, I would rate them 15,” Swarup concluded.