Consenna - Django development of a sales and marketing application

Consenna is a company from the United Kingdom that provides a set of tools and learning experiences that enable sales and marketing teams to thrive and prosper in today's dynamic global marketplace.

In October 2016, Consenna was looking for a software house that would help them create a new application dedicated to sales and marketing departments. The idea was to create a tool for other companies to manage their online campaigns - create them based on templates, make some edits, and then place the final result on the landing page. Simple but effective and non-time-consuming, just how it's supposed to be.

The first steps to creating a sales platform

The first thing we had to do is meet the vision of the product and there is no better way to do it than via product design workshops. This time it was planned for only one day. However, sometimes creative thinking requires time and eight hours simply may not be enough. It would be best if we were given two days to come up with the best ideas and properly talk through the project, but with great organizational skill, nothing is impossible!

Due to the race against time during the workshop, we were able to get familiar with the project but couldn’t plan the work and consult all of the technical staff. After the workshops, we organized a few video conferences with our client to plan the work for the upcoming sprints.

Managing the campaigns within the app

The app gathers the data from users that started their campaign and shows statistics in charts on the dashboard. It’s a great tool for all sales and marketing departments that want to collect information on their clients. Everything is manageable from one place, without the need to use different applications.

Consenna's log-in view

Consenna’s log-in view

But what exact functions were included in the application? Consenna platform is written in Django (Python framework) and connected via API with the dashboard, which we created by using Angular and Angular Material Design. What made the project challenging were the lack of designs and extremely(!) tight deadline. Luckily, with Angular Material Design, we were able to focus on overcoming only the latter obstacle.

To understand how the application helps companies, it's crucial to know how they create their campaigns. The company can create a campaign by choosing one of the existing templates, which then can be customised with different questions, headers, images, and branchings. Thanks to branching, creators can choose which question is going to follow the particular answers.

Consenna’s branching view

Consenna’s branching view

When the whole campaign is ready to be launched, there is a possibility to copy its iframe and paste it either to the landing page or to any other website that needs to display it.

Now it’s the time for users to come into play. Depending on the chosen template, they will receive a roadmap of the campaign or promotional codes that can be used in an online store. It’s great motivation to complete the campaign.

As the final result, both parties gain something. The company gathers the most important data (about the potential new client), while users receive additional bonuses from the companies, such as discount codes or reports with recommendations based on their answers. The marketing department can analyse received data on the diagrams and four charts with a variety of designs.

Working on a project with a tight deadline

The little time that we had for our workshops was not the only issue related to the tight schedule. The most challenging aspect of this project was its deadline -  we’ve only had two months before the release. What’s more, we didn’t have wireframes or designs - what we’ve had were questions that we needed to be answered.

Knowing the budget, we could estimate how many weeks we were able to work with the whole team (two Frontend Developers, two Backend Developers, one Quality Assurance Specialist, and Team Leaders that offer support). With that information, the next step was to split the backlog with user stories to five big epics, estimate them and prioritize user stories to deliver everything that is most important when it comes to business value.

Considering that all functions had the same value, working on them simultaneously wouldn't lead to success. ;) For the MVP version, we’ve focused on the most important cases and implemented new ones after they were tested on users. Just to summarize, we had 5 epics:

  • setting up a project/application login;
  • dashboard;
  • campaigns;
  • analytics;
  • roadmaps, discount codes, products, e-mails.

This project was filled with a lot of changes that affected its execution. Before the final release, we received a request to add new types of questions to the existing templates, what extended our cooperation with Consenna by months. It was a precious lesson for all of us - not only for our team but for the client as well. You can create great products in a short time, but why risk it - next time I think everyone involved in this project will give themselves a bit more time for the creative freedom.  

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