Project Overview

Media platform with a fluid, mobile-friendly UI that boosts user engagement, reduces bounced traffic and uses leading-edge navigation tools.

Client: Discovery Communications is a US-based mass media and entertainment company and the world’s leading pay TV program provider reaching three billion cumulative subscribers in more than 220 countries and territories.

Industry:
Media and Entertainment
Engagement Model:
Time and Materials
Solution:
Online Video
Effort and Duration:
16 months, 360 man-months
Technologies:
PHP · Laravel framework · AngularJS · Backbone.js · RequireJS · CommonJS · DeviceJS · Isotope · Video.js · Brightcove Player

Business Challenge

Discovery Communications, a global leader in broadcasting, cable television, and video streaming, operates a US network of nine core websites. These include Discovery Channel, Discovery Science, Animal Planet, Discovery Life, and several others.

In 2013, the company set an ambitious goal to dramatically increase the network’s traffic monetization by:

  • introducing a fresh, modern, responsive look and feel
  • engaging more visitors through streamlined navigation and greatly improved content delivery
  • using cutting-edge content advertising and analytics for better ad targeting and revenue growth

The planned redesign required top-notch front- and backend development skills, advanced business analysis, and unparalleled UI/UX expertise to deliver a pixel-perfect design.

Why Oxagile

From the get-go, Oxagile’s UI/UX professionals came up with an engaging prototype and proved their ability to effectively work with, and anticipate, customer needs. This willingness to go the extra mile (coupled with the proven multi-year know-how in the technology stack) was the deciding factor that got Oxagile’s team on board.

Oxagile was able to quickly scale to the project’s requirements by providing an experienced backend team and three frontend teams. In addition, Oxagile’s QA team included automation engineers to ensure the highest quality of results.

Oxagile also managed to seamlessly support the project’s demanding Scrum-based workflow, and provided three certified Scrum masters for full-time engagement.

Tangible Benefits

Delivered by an international team of software engineers in six locations around the world, the project took 16 months to complete. Oxagile was responsible for the bulk of front- and backend development and proved instrumental in the project’s overall success.

As a result, Discovery’s US network now sports a fresh, visually appealing, and socially-enabled look and feel. The new UI effectively engages new users and reduces bounced traffic.

On the backend, the content administrators now have a wealth of tools to easily manage both text and video content. They can also fully control each website’s look and feel, layout, and styles — without writing a single line of code.

Key Highlights

Some of the more significant frontend highlights include
  • Responsive design. The fluid page layouts provide an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of mobile devices and desktops. Users can navigate, read, and watch videos with little or no resizing, panning, or scrolling. Rich content is resized and repositioned into view whenever the screen resolution changes. Heavy content is lazy-loaded to optimize the UX.
  • Innovative show finder/homepage carousel. The tool effectively places a user’s favorite show just two clicks away. It will also intelligently pre-load the related rich media content as needed.
  • Hassle-free video viewing. Video playback starts with a single click right from the program guide — without disrupting the navigation. Playlists and smart video advertising are fully supported.
  • Smart program guide. The program guide automatically adjusts to the user’s time zone. The guide allows quick AJAX-based searching and filtering without the need to ever refresh the page.
On the backend, the system provides the following noteworthy capabilities
  • Best-in-class content roll-out and scheduling. The backend allows creating or updating site pages automatically. New data (including video) can be easily added from the specified content servers. Besides the fine-grained content control, the system implements scheduling, which greatly streamlines updates. In particular, the content team can now effortlessly manage the rich multimedia library of 5,000+ videos that make up the bulk of Discovery’s web content.
  • Advanced theme builder. A module that empowers administrators and content managers to create sophisticated page layouts and templates. Visual styles can be modified in a matter of minutes — both globally and for specific pages or sections. No knowledge of HTML or CSS is required.
  • Superior ad management. Administrators can now easily place targeted ads literally anywhere on a page. Ads can be set up globally, or on a per-page basis. The advertisement system is tightly integrated with FreeWheel, the go-to platform for TV and streaming media companies.

Conclusion

By partnering with Oxagile, Discovery Communications was able to deliver a rich video experience to its hundreds of thousands of daily visitors. The content team can now enjoy the innovative CMS features. The new web presence has been retooled from the ground up to improve customer loyalty and retention, improve traffic quality, and boost advertising revenues.

Related Projects

The team’s technical excellence takes you halfway to success. At Oxagile, we understand that a solid grasp of your business domain is equally critical.

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