Timefly

iOS app development case study

the challenge

Timefly wanted to change the way people consume social media news. It brought users only the best, the most relevant and the freshest news only. The challenge was to build an MVP really fast by fetching the content users already have on social networks. Another challenge was to keep up with the social media APIs changing really fast.

the solution

We used the Facebook and Twitter APIs to sign up and fetch content the user signed up for. In order to make the app smarter, we filtered and sorted the content depending on the user’s friends actions on that content. We then added RSS sources, but made sure the app presented only fresh and relevant content (that’s why the tagline for Timefly was: “That’s so today”).

Timefly solution mockup

having fun UX and UI

We had the luxury to work with a great, creative team and came up with a great user experience, taking advantage of the iPhone’s swipe features. Content was flying and it really made users more efficient.

We used cards before it was cool. We stacked them in a very nice sliding collection.

the impression we left

Corneliu is the type of engineer you should hire for your team before anyone else. He is an absolute rock star to work with, as he combines both strong engineering experience with deep understanding of the product design principles. He

has a deep passion for mobile products, truly knows a lot about them, and can grasp the product in a way many engineers who focus only on code cannot.

Before we start any feature development I work with Corneliu on refining the spec as he has an acute feel for UX and design paradigms. During feature development Corneliu shows himself as a strong communicator, proactively raising issues and not letting anything slip. What makes truly great working with him is he goes a step further of not only raising issues, but proposing solutions that make the product truly better. Third aspect that makes Corneliu indispensable is his passion for growth and learning. He would go through Facebook and iOS documentation the minute anything new comes out, and is fast at learning and applying new knowledge.

Ilias Beshimov

Product manager for Timefly, now VP of Growth at Good & Co Inc.

what have we learned

  1. Working on an app is much easier, more fun and it leads to a better product, if someone on the team takes the role of a product manager. This person would do the research, try to understand design, coding decisions, checkout tools and many more that can make the product better and take final decisions in a timely and efficient manner.
  2. We first started of working on the app very fast to launch an MVP in one month. In doing so, we gave up on writing good architecture code. After one month we had to take many more months to improve the architecture, refactor and integrate other social networks. If we would have worked with a good architecture from the beginning,
    the cost would have been much lower to refactor the app.
  3. Integrating social media API dependent content is a very high risk. Third party APIs change all the time, sometimes without warning. Startups that depend on these API have to take these risks into consideration.

 

* the app was eventually removed from the App Store by the client

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Cornel
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