OpenTeams’ CTO turned to the Redwerk team with the idea of a Linkedin-style website for celebrating open source contributions of various kinds, including non-code contributions.
Part of the code had already been written for the project, but it was rather basic and only covered limited functionality. We also had to perform refactoring for the existing code.
The challenging part was that OpenTeams had a vision for the platform, but clear specifications were missing.
So we agreed to start with:
- Code refactoring
- Preparing the continuous integration (CI) for the development and deployment process
- Graphic design help in improving the current look and feel of the project
Another challenging task was to implement the possibility to engage unregistered users. If the existing users want to send a contribution claim, nominate someone, or express gratitude to an unregistered contributor, all they need to do is to provide the unregistered user’s email address. The unregistered user will receive an offer to sign up and create a project using a unique token, which will tie the newly created account to the mentioned project once the registration is complete. This kind of functionality required quite a complex logic in implementation.
Our team made a complete code refactoring, set up CI/CD process, proposed new technologies, offering a bundle of Vue.js + Nuxt.js for the front-end, which allows us to quickly render pages and speed up the indexation for SEO tasks to the maximum extent. So, refactoring for both back-end and front-end and redesign is what we started from.
We had provided refactoring solutions before, so we had enough expertise to handle the project. Starting with a redesign proposal, we made research on how this network , which aimed to be the Linkedin for open source contributors, should work, and what new ways of presenting things and interactions can be viable. Our suggestions were well received, and this is how OpenTeams found its new visual representation.
OpenTeams is based in Austin, Texas, so all the processes and communication were conducted remotely. We developed productive interaction; therefore, we contributed together to a creative process of planning, designing, development, and testing new changes. Our seamless communication allowed us to deploy production updates every single week. And, almost every time, the updates were quite significant, such as adding new functions or features.
We started to develop the platform almost from scratch, covering the full cycle of development. With a complete redesign and robust code refactoring, our team built the foundation for the stable, up-to-date system.
The following are some of the major product features we implemented:
- Contribution claims – a feature that allows showcasing a contribution of any kind to an open-source project. We also made it possible to add contributions to the projects that haven’t been added to the OpenTeams platform yet, providing unlimited choice options to the users.
- Nominations – a feature that suggests users nominate each other for open source contributions.
- Discussions – give users a chance to raise a topic on a new feature idea or a usability concern within a certain open source project. The nesting structure allows posting comments to the discussion topic or answers to a particular comment in a thread.
- Initiatives – suitable for the users who have a different kind of proposals related to their projects or organizations and who aim to find fundable efforts to implement them. The multi-functional editor for adding an initiative allows not only to format text but also to add poll annotations to the description, prompting users to interact with the text.
- Notifications – designed to keep users engaged and interested in spending more time on the platform. This feature is built using WebSockets; thus, a user gets notified instantly on the events related to their profile. These events include new followers, contribution claims status updates (received, endorsed, rejected), earning a nomination, discussions updates, organization membership invites.
- News Feed – so far, our personal favorite among the features presented. Designed in a feed style, similar to Notifications, user’s news is a collection of updates related to their managed projects and organizations. Whenever a user’s project receives a contribution or usage claim – feed is updated with the relevant event. It’s easy to customize the feed, as there is a filter for it. We also added a possibility to add personal posts right from the News Feed view and see the posts from the followed users.
Redwerk was trusted to work on the project’s design concept, and we made sure to make initial research on the platforms with similar ideas and goals. With our expertise and understanding of users’ needs and modern trends, we aimed to implement user-friendly, intuitive design without unnecessary complexities. With the block structure and reusable components, we laid a foundation not only for the up-to-the-minute needs but also for the features planned on the roadmap. That architecture helped us smoothly deliver regular updates.
Together with OpenTeams, we’ve built a modern, fully functional platform for promoting and supporting open source projects. We combined our expertise and commitment with the right technology stack to help OpenTeams address their current needs and easily scale up in the near future. With Redwerk’s effort, the OpenTeams community keeps growing and sharing the experience of working with open source. It covers more than 20,000 users, and we are happy to be among them.
I really enjoyed it, I think that the team worked really well together. They were diligent and considering not just what I had asked for but what we were trying to accomplish with the product.
Redwerk is a hardworking development company that went out of their way to meet our needs. We had the pleasure of working with Redwerk to help us release a new web application. The team was very professional, completed the project in a timely manner and had the necessary skills required. Their customer focus, quality of work, technical knowledge, and willingness to go above and beyond for the client are their greatest strengths.
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Redwerk Team Comments
OpenTeams is one of the most interesting projects I have ever had. I find the experience especially valuable because I had a chance to do everything from scratch, which allowed us to build the right architecture. I also actively participated in discussions on building new features, and it was much more fulfilling than blind following instructions.
OpenTeams is an exciting large project with a huge functional scope. In terms of interface design, we relied on common and simple interaction patterns used by platforms with a similar mission and target audience.
To make it easier for developers and designers to further develop the platform in the uniform style, we created a style guide optimized for both parties.
For the landing page, we created unique 2D graphics, which reveal the platform’s core message and make it stand out from other market players.
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