iPlay Fantasy was a brand new online fantasy sports concept that needed to define itself within a growing market of similar sports-related web applications. Both the logo and website design were to require a standout look and feel, and cultivate a more sophisticated experience for the user. The challenge was to deliver a dynamic account-based application with a unique look, that would be both highly usable and provide an equally great user experience for both mobile and desktop browsers.
Online fantasy sports requires a gigantic technological effort in order to be accurate and performant. We needed a scalable platform for increasing user base, the ability to interface with Statistical data feeds, integration with Paypal and Credit Card processing, and lastly a strong contest management setup. We accomplished all of this and also offered the site on Single Page Application (SPA) for a smooth "app-like" feel.
Cloud began the project with a coordinated and simultaneous effort across technical concerns, design and user experience, in a semi-Agile, sprint-based methodology. At the same time that developers began to create the application's basic infrastructure based on known variables, a careful effort in User Experience design otherwise kicked the process off.
Existing competitors' products were analyzed, and a path toward differentiation was settled upon. In user experience and user interface design, Cloud Construct utilized both static wireframes and documents, and an integrated approach where many areas of the application were designed directly in codeâ€”streamlining and compressing the development process in those areas. This approach allowed early working versions of the application to emerge quickly, and the result was functional releases early in the overall process that allowed a continuous refinement of the product on a short timeline.
On the design side, Cloud Construct worked with iPlay Fantasy in an iterative fashion to come up with a finely tuned logo concept. Beginning with a design questionnaire, we gathered concrete preferences and were able to then set the tone for the full website design. Through minimal revisions, we established a complete website design that consisted of a high-class look, and differentiated itself from other fantasy sports websites in the market.
The development effort leveraged a modern, single-page application architecture to give the user an optimal experience while navigating the site. This setup translated perfectly to tablets and mobile phones along with the responsive design. Responsive design was important on this site because we could leverage the same code base for all devices and then plan down the road for a separate mobile application if needed. A thin easy to use responsive design differentiates this site from its competitors.
Besides all the great up front User Experience and Design work on this project, we really need to call out the technical wins coming out of this project. The requirements for this project included scalability for an increasing user base, ease of infrastructure management, and disaster recovery scenarios. Windows Azure was our solution to all of these needs. It provided an excellent structure for iPlay Fantasy and made the development cycle very efficient.
Next, our team leveraged the very cutting edge of the Microsoft technology stack. Entity Framework, Code First Database, MVC 5, and the newest authentication providers. iPlay Fantasy truly is a cutting edge web solution. On the client side we used SignalR for live game updates, Breeze.js for CRUD operations, and Angualr.js for data binding and Single Page Application events and routing.
Azure Web Jobs was something that came in very handy in order to run all of our synchronization tasks. We could udpate data feeds, schedules, rosters, and perform contest management all within the domain of the website. Azure just keeps getting better!
With previous fantasy sports web development experience under our belt, Cloud Construct was the leading choice for iPlay when it came time to buckle down and build this fantasy sports website brainchild. Our process ensured that all facets of the project would be well thought out, and tackled by leveraging our industry-leading technology expertise. While Cloud Construct headquarters in Boston, we were able to successfully work entirely remotely, to discuss, plan and execute a complete brand and website for this new company.