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Radio 357

See world-class radio, created by a crew of legendary radio personalities with our participation.

Challenge

Radio 357 is a project created by journalists who share a common passion. The team currently consists of over 100 authors, journalists and people who organize the work of the radio. The programme is prepared by Marek Niedźwiecki, Piotr Kaczkowski, Kuba Strzyczkowski, Marcin Łukawski, Krystian Hanke, Michał Olszański and others. For this new radio they needed IT support in order to effectively reach as many listeners as possible.

 

In order to achieve its goals, Radio 357 needed its own broadcasting channel - both a web and mobile application. During the implementation of this project, the most important thing for us was to understand the vision of the radio and the expectations of its audience, so that the final product meets the expectations. Analyzing our experience from previous projects, during a series of meetings we showed the possibilities offered by the mobile platform so that we could choose the best solutions corresponding to the client's vision.
 

Our work began with a thorough interview with the radio station's employees in order to determine their expectations and goals for the application. We described all the findings in a business analysis (BRD - Business Requirement Document), which organized and structured the vision of the project. The next step was to move on to creating functional documentation (FRD - Functional Requirement Document), whose task was to transfer the described business assumptions into a detailed description of modules and functionalities of the target software. 
 

After accepting the functionalities, we proceeded to build a technical document (TRD - Technical Requirement Document), which translated the functional description into a programming one. This allowed us to accurately plan a secure and scalable solution architecture, which was especially important due to the possibility of large peaks during the project lifecycle. As part of the work itself, we created the graphic design, frontend and backend of the application, and a CMS system that allowed the Radio 357 team to independently change graphics, content, and add new broadcasts and publications.

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Solution

We were contracted by the Radio 357 team to perform the following work:

  • Detailing the vision of the application presented to us (BRD preparation).
  • Translating together with the client the described vision into application functionality and CMS panel (preparation of RDF).
  • Creating technical documentation of the project, needed to start programming works and to integrate with other solutions (preparation of TRD).
  • Creating on the basis of FRD document a proposal of application visualization.
  • Preparation of target graphic design of application.
  • Preparing server infrastructure.
  • Carrying out programming works in accordance with SCRUM methodology.
  • Production implementation and integration with external and internal systems of the client.

 

During the implementation of the work we encountered a number of challenges that are unavoidable in such a large project. At the initial stage (the so-called discovery) it was particularly important to organize the vision of the application presented to us. Our experience shows that this is the most important phase of the project, which has a decisive impact on its proper course. During a series of workshops we defined the final shape of functionality in response to the previously defined business needs of the client. First of all, we made sure that they were understandable for all project stakeholders, so that both we and the client knew what the final effect would be.

 

Another particularly important element was the look of the application. The client wanted the look of the application to reflect the unique character of Radio 357, while not losing functionality. Taking this assumption into account, we made sure that the design of the application was equally important as its functionality. We also made sure that the application is easy to use in different conditions, and the buttons are easy to find and click from different angles. We wanted the listener to come back to the application as often as possible, so we placed great emphasis on the comfort of use, both in the web and mobile versions. Equally important was appropriate presentation of particular broadcasts and content in such a form to evoke and maintain listener's interest. We also focused on the commonality of views for the mobile and web applications, so that the listener could have the lowest pain threshold when switching between the versions of Radio 357. During the workshops we managed to create a design of a mobile and web application that met all these assumptions and at the same time perfectly fit into the visual identity of our client.

 

Another key element was the environment of the project. The owners of Radio 357 gave us a relatively short deadline for the project. They planned to release the app in early January 2021. This release date could not be moved. Given the need to analyze, discuss, design, program and implement, it was up to our team to work under strict deadlines, so efficiency and full commitment were key for us. Additionally, we had to take into account the requirements of integrating the app with external systems such as Spotify and solutions: Chromecast and AirPlay.
 

After the implementation, we expected a large number of users due to both the planned marketing campaign, famous radio artists creating the app and the interest of journalists. From the very beginning, we knew that thousands of people in Poland and abroad would download the application and listen to their favourite radio at the same time, including live broadcasts. Therefore, the stability of the system, its reliability and scalable server infrastructure were of great importance for the delivery of the product in the intended manner. The infrastructure created by us protected both applications against peaks in listener traffic, which appeared both at the very beginning after implementation and later on.

 

We can divide the entire work performed into three stages:

  • Workshops: Before starting the project, we conducted a workshop in which we created a functional requirements list (FRD) in response to the business requirements (BRD). At this stage, we also defined the scope of the system architecture (TRD). In this way, we aligned the scope of requirements with the client's needs. We better understood the objectives and found a way to achieve them.
  • Development Phase: The UX design and the underlying graphic design of the application correspond to the client's visual identity. We took care of the legibility of the content in the application.
    Implementation and integration with the client's systems: Thanks to the analysis during the workshop, we got to know the details of the systems used by the client. A detailed description of the application's architecture helped us to efficiently implement and integrate it with systems outside the product.

 

Due to the large number of customers and the assumption that the system will be B2C we relied on a large number of functional, automated and security tests.

 

We implemented the project in:

  • Java (backend, CMS)
  • Kotlin (Android)
  • Swift (iOS)
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Effects

The Radio 357 app recorded peak usage of over 225,000 concurrent users. It quickly became the #1 app in terms of total downloads in the Polish App Store in the Entertainment category, followed by the #1 app in terms of total downloads across the entire Apple service.

 

This is a great achievement that allowed us to beat such popular apps as Tik Tok and Netflix. With the Radio 357 mobile app we created, our client achieved the following goals:

  • covered the commitment budget of Patronite sponsors,
  • enabled closer communication with the recipients (e.g. push notifications),
  • obtained own broadcasting channel, built awareness of the Radio 357 brand.

With a growing number of downloads and a growing user base, the app boasts top ratings on both online stores. They worked with diligence and transparency, communicating regularly and meeting project deadlines.

Paul Frank Project Manager

Digital Diamond

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