Skip to content

USE CASE: CONTENT MANAGEMENT

Our client in the cycling industry had an application that allowed users to ride recorded films from all over the world in their living room, using their indoor trainer. They decided on a subscription model to keep the app active and alive. But to justify a monthly payment, the content catalogue had to be updated frequently. This complex, multi-faceted problem was broken down into the following steps…

Our client in the cycling industry has an application that allows users to ride recorded films from all over the world in their living room, using their indoor trainer. They decided on a subscription model to keep the app active and alive. But to justify a monthly payment, the content catalogue had to be updated frequently. This complex, multi-faceted problem was broken down into the following steps…

1. An easy-to-use content creation pipeline

The film content creators, while being very good at what they do, aren’t the most technical people in the world. An easy-to-use tool that handles most of the tech stuff behind the scenes allowed them to focus on the things they are passionate about.
So AIM created an app that would do just that.

Taking our inspiration from Adobe Premiere and Visual Studio, we created a tool where the content creators could import everything they recorded during filming (such as video, GPS data, speed data, inclination, …). Moreover, they could also edit the data and add extra information that the application could use, such as marking some stretches of road as a special “climb”.

The beautiful part of this editor is that all this otherwise “loose” data is coupled and the app keeps track of it all. For example, if the creator selects a GPS point on the map (top left), the video will show the image frame for that GPS point, the height profile (bottom left) will mark where this GPS point is situated and the data grid under the video will highlight the technical data, like elevation and inclination for this point in the video.

The app can even simulate riding through the film as if you were doing it on a bike. The video will play, the GPS points will light up, the height profile line will advance and the data grid will still show the relevant data – all in sync with each other.

Then we got to thinking, us programmers use source control. We can’t live without it anymore, because it gives us some large benefits, such as backups and peace of mind when making changes (because you can always go back to before you ruined everything). 🙂 So why shouldn’t content creators get the same benefits? Not by using a complicated source control program, but by giving them the option to upload/download their projects to a website that will automatically keep the versions of their films in order. So that’s what we did.

Whenever the creator makes changes they are satisfied with, they can click ‘upload’. The website receives this new version of the film, archives the existing ones in a per-film history and shows the new version on the overview.

2. Getting content in the apps

At a certain point, films that were ready, had to appear in the existing apps without sending an app update out every time a new film is available – this would be far too frequent. We decided this content should live in the cloud, a place where all apps can get their new content, when required.

Luckily, the client was already working with an IT-company specialized in cloud solutions. We could easily collaborate with them, so the cloud would accept new film data and serve the apps with it.

We also created a publish step on the website, since it already centralized all the content. We even enabled beta testing of the content by having the option to publish to the customer’s beta environment as well as the production environment.

3. Post-publish editing

Sometimes after publishing a film, errors can be found. This can be a problem with the actual content and can be solved by the creator making a new version of the film and publishing it again. But what if non-essential data is wrong, like translations or marketing texts? There had to be a way for non-creators, such as the marketing department, to edit some of the film’s meta data to support promotions and such.

Again, it made a lot of sense to do this on the website, since all the content was already there in one place. So we updated the website to have ‘roles’, so that all users can only do what they’re expected to do and can’t accidentally mess everything up. And, of course, we provided a way to edit a film’s meta data.

4. Result

The entire system we described is being used as we speak and enables one content creator to publish at least ten new films every month, filling the app to the brim with fun content and giving end users good value for their monthly subscription.

We will be happy to answer any questions you may have!