Home    >    Case Studies    >    Social networking website development

Case Study: Social networking website development

Abstract

Client for this SNS is an investment company based in the Netherlands. Since SNS become more and more popular and profitable on the Internet, the client decided to develop an eye-catching SNS which should be convenient and user-friendly to attract massive potential users. Special requirements for this SNS are: The user can add his/her events of their lives to the system; then the system will turn the events into a line presented by Flash. SNC can also interface with other social network websites, like Facebook and MySpace, so users can easily use this system when they visit Facebook and MySpace.

Situation

Before this project was outsourced to us, two Russian teams had already spent almost one year on the development.

  • It was just the first release of this project when we took over the development. This 1.0 version was difficult to be maintained, because this version was built on .NET 1.1, and the code style was not original ASP.NET style. We even had to work on the new development tasks including developing the widget for MySpace and Facebook. Therefore the time was very tight.
  • In the mean time, the client has not enough experience in software engineering. At first the requirements were not clear enough, so there were some difficulties for us to have a good grasp of the requirements and estimate the total workload.
  • Before long we found that the goal of this website development was to attract users. However the web site itself was not attractive enough and the user experience was not good enough either, which would cause negative impact on the operation of this website.

Solutions

Technology required

  • .NET Framework 2.0
  • Web Client Software Factory
  • NHibernate
  • Flash/Flex
  • OpenSocial API
  • Facebook API
  • jQuery

Development Process

  • In the first place, we helped the client release the 1.0 version.
  • After 1.0 version was released, we redesigned the project taking advantage of ASP.NET 2.0, and reconstructed the website. In the mean time, we developed the Widgets in MySpace and Facebook.

  • For the Flash, we implemented the MVC pattern.
  • We helped the client analyze this project and channeled their indistinct requirements into refined specification using our rich experience. Accordingly we have considerably reduced the time spent on workload estimation and successfully avoided reduplicative and invalid efforts arising from ambiguous requirements.
  • In order to make the website more interesting and attractive, we hold a brain storm meeting internally in the development team. After putting together all the advices gathered from our brain storm meeting, we submitted our proposal to this client and he agreed with most of our suggestions.

Benefits to Client

  • The system is more stable, easier to be extended and maintained.
  • We have helped our client largely reduce their development cost so that they can focus on marketing to their target market.
  • We involved in the design of the website, and helped the customers complete the requirements in a technically feasible way with our expertise at a faster and easier pace.