Empowering Writers Video Platform

The goal:  To modernize and re-engineer the Empowering Writers video delivery platform, adding custom video analytics, a new online purchasing system, and district, school and user level management. 


The original system.

Not unlike many out-dated education platforms, the original system was inefficient in both user experience and performance.  Bad layout made the site confusing to navigate, and the foundational codebase was unable to support a proper purchasing system, and a growing catalog of videos.

The company's customer base was also growing and new requirements for user management at the district and school levels meant it was time to retire the old and build something for a technology hungry marketplace.

Building a new platform.

Our development philosophy is 'build every product like it's a startup'. When you approach the design and engineering of a product this way, it helps shift our teams priorities more towards our customer's needs and their product's place in the marketplace, rather than just the nuts and bolts of engineering.  

Empowering Writers was offering a great product to teachers, but it was greatly obscured by unclear messaging and a unnecessary complexity.  This created not just a pain point to address, but an opportunity to connect with an unreached user base.

An architecture and interface makeover.

Building a good user interface starts with the right foundation.  Bootstrap was the framework of choice for a mobile-friendly approach, while the core system was engineered with Ruby on Rails.  The combination of these two modern frameworks provide the flexibility and extensibility for future needs.

The front end was designed for fast navigation and ease of purchasing. In the course library users can not only see their available content, but also upgrade to additional libraries from the same page.

Video Libraries & Analytics

The core of the platform is a simple and well organized video library that provides an intuitive resource for teachers.  The new video pages now include advanced sorting features and playlists.

We designed a fully custom analytics engine with advanced connections to the video streams.  These new features provide beautiful and highly distilled data points to better understand user needs and follow activity throughout the system.


Advanced User Management

Simplifying a user experience is often a very complex process. For the management of teachers, schools, districts, as well as non-education customers, maintaining an elegance and simplicity was our primary objective.

The new platform now provides an efficient hierarchical user management in which districts can manage their schools and schools can manage their teachers. This approach creates a powerful self-managing system with a very light administrative footprint.