A DIY (Do It Yourself) Software For Interior Designers
To Create Visual Design Concepts Within Minutes
Net Solutions helped SampleBoard build SaaS software that got them funded by Google in South Africa.
Rosslyn Tebbutt, an interior designer, based out of Cape town in South Africa, realized that there was surely a better way to create visual design concepts than doing them manually every time. Although, tools like Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw or Illustrator were available, but no such software existed which could match the requirements of interior designers specifically. She realized that she could fulfill this need and co-founded SampleBoard in 2010.
When Rosslyn approached Net Solutions to build this product, she clearly presented her requirements. She enlisted the features and functionalities which she wanted to include in the software. She was clear that she wanted to build it like a SaaS solution. The objective was that SampleBoard should enable users to source, import and save product items, mood images, fabric swatches, textures, colors, palettes, patterns and create digital mood boards using the interactive drag-and-drop interface.
- Interactive web based Product
To develop a platform where they could showcase their products to be used in design boards and sell them eventually. The client wanted to create an online tool, similar to Photoshop, to be used by designers to compose their own design boards. The tool was required to have all the typical functionalities of Photoshop, which could be used online.
- Turnaround Time
Web based online designer product needed to be developed from scratch which was complex to develop and everything had to be built from scratch, with ongoing improvements and fixes due to its complicated nature.
Net Solutions was responsive not only from the initial consultation, but also with sales, all the way through to supplying a detailed quote with the exact features and benefits described. They were reliable in the IT management of the website, once it was up and running. Their ability to stay robust with staff size, and still manage adequate personal engagement with clients, is impressive."
SampleBoard was developed using Java and MySQL as the back-end technologies hosted on AWS cloud. The customization module was built using Flex and web services were developed using REST. We used MVC architecture to utilize the power of scalable dual web servers and a database server. The architecture and coding allowed for server farms to be integrated seamlessly as the data and application usage grow. The modularity of the code allowed creation and addition of plug and play features like social calendar, photo sharing, and slideshow galleries.
Collaboration and Communication
Project collaboration was done using Basecamp. All project communication was done using email, Go To Meeting and Skype. To accelerate the development process, Rosslyn flew down to our office and stayed for a few weeks to make sure that everybody was on the same page. Once the MVP was launched, Rosslyn shared the MVP with the fellow designers and the product was iterated further.
Process and Engagement Model
SampleBoard was developed using Agile Team Model. The development started with defining the information architecture and wireframes for the application. Once the Business Analysis phase was completed and mocks for the MVP (most essential features) got ready, a dedicated team of developers and testers were assigned to work on delivering the sprints as per the project plan.
By choosing Net Solutions as its development partner, SampleBoard has been able to receive following value proposition:
Launched a niche product targeted to interior designers
SampleBoard stood out as a product with high differentiation as it was custom created for the designer community. They loved its usability and experience. They could try it out with minimal monthly fee instead of shelling out huge amounts in purchasing licenses.
Won laurels and awards in South Africa
SampleBoard got selected for Google's startup incubator and Umbono program. It received funding and office space as part of incubator and got featured as one of the prominent startups in South Africa in 2013.