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About Project

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About company:

Frindow is a UK startup social networking platform that is dedicated to alleviating loneliness and isolation by encouraging new friendships based on common interests and circumstances. The goal is all about getting you connected and engaged with new people in the same situation as you.


Check out the Frindow story below:

our work

Front end

Frontend

Back end

Backend

Qa

QA

1. Process

The best way to create a successful application is to meet the users’ needs. Just by observing what people have a problem with or how some processes can be facilitated. That's actually how it was with Frindow. The pain point was an increasing level of loneliness in societies.

Marcus

Marcus Hamilton, CEO of Frindow

Many studies have shown that the stressful impact of loneliness affects our mental and physical health.
At least 9 million of us are lonely in the UK. That’s the equivalent of every person living in London or the entire population of Scotland and Wales put together. It’s common, but yet a lot of people are embarrassed about admitting it – until now.

Marcus Hamilton, CEO of Frindow, found out about this study data and decided to create a social web platform which will be a central hub for all things that can help to make new friends and get connected. Marcus was inspired by his grandmother and how to help people her age break out of isolation and connect with others.

Before contacting a software service provider, he prepared a deep research about development solutions. Clutch - USA based, data driven field guide for B2B with top web and mobile development rankings was his first choice and he found us through our profile. He made a shortlist of potential companies based in Kraków. Then he traveled to Poland and spent a few days visiting each software company and speaking to managers. He wanted to verify how software development companies organize work and check their approach and methodologies. After visiting about 6 companies, he decided to go with us!

Having a technical background and being also product owner, Marcus took care of a clear vision for his web app and a plan that will allow it to achieve its goals that are a reference point for talks about the value of Frindow, so that he and our team know if they are going in the right direction.

What was the reason and the goal? Goals
Bartosz

Bartosz, Project Manager

Frindow is a really interesting take on social apps. Marcus has a really clear vision for his product. Combining this with in-depth cooperation between him as a product owner and the development team resulted in fast development cycles and end product which brings a lot of value to the users.

Railwaymen team developed a website for the Frindow social networking platform. Working from scratch and with prearranged designs, we built the platform while fulfilling specification and functionality objectives.

Our development team consisted of 5 people: Project Manager, 2x Ruby on Rails Developers, QA Specialist and Front-end developer. We communicated daily with the client through Slack, Jira, and Zoom and as in the case of each client we had internal meetings - daily stand-ups during the Sprint for tracking the progress.

The Challenges
Probably the most challenging part was the time of releasing the platform - period of outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the world. The COVID-19 forced isolation, prevented relationships and community building. Due to this difficult and exceptional situation, we had to be prepared for rapid changes and add functionality list updates before release (some features had to be blocked during the coronavirus lockdown and some had to be added or extended).

2. Web app and features description

Video chat

Video calls are becoming increasingly popular among social media users. Thanks to a live video you can enjoy chatting with your new friends. Using instant messaging tools allow you to contact the people selected by you, and the only requirement is access to the Internet. In this case for a video-chat feature we used WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) which is a technology that enables real-time communication using a web browser.

Video chat
Jacek

Jacek, Ruby on Rails Developer

Working on Frindow app from a documented idea to live application was an interesting and well experienced journey. One of the challenges on the project was the video-Chat feature. It was built using open source WebRTC technology. The hardest part was to communicate with customers Web browsers and establish peer-to-peer connection between them.

Chat

Chat

We can communicate with all users also via simply chat. You can send messages to your new friend and easily talk to them. Stay in touch with other users via chat.

Profiles

It’s super easy to create a profile on Frindow. Users can choose whether she/he would like to have an anonymous profile or not. They can fill in all necessary data like location, nickname and about me section. By adding photos they can create their gallery with favorite ones. Moreover, the user's profile is always verified. Confirmed users have a badge on their profile so that you can make an informed decision on who to make contact with.

Profiles
Proxy users

Proxy users - Different types of accounts:

You can use Frindow for yourself, somebody else, or have a joint account for both of you. If you are using the site for somebody else, you’ll be seen as a Proxy User. You can then chat with other Proxy Users or standard users to help get your loved one connected offline or on video chat. One of the main goals of introducing such functionality was to facilitate the use of the social platform for the elderly. The interface is easy to understand and the platform is intuitive for older users.

Groups

Group mapping for those interested in various types of similar interests, aggregators where they can meet and talk; automatically joining to certain groups, or taking into account the possibilities of a certain group. During COVID-19 there was a special group created for people who feel lonely and isolated because of the coronavirus lockdown. Actively reaching out to other people and asking how they are doing, giving someone support - it improves their mental health. There are several categories of groups dedicated for different types of users’ needs. Check some of examples: Singletons, Mums & Dads, Under 25s, Living Alone, Get Involved, Retired and more. So as you can see each user can find a place for themselves on this social networking platform. Frindow can also provide information about local or national groups or services that may be relevant to you.

Groups
Marek

Marek, Ruby on Rails Developer

Creating a Frindow app was an engaging process. There were many complex issues that had to be dealt with. One of them was creating a user mapping functionality that would allow for proper filtration of the groups for individual users based on the data they provided while using the app. Finding and delivering an efficient solution proved to be a bigger problem than expected since there are other functionalities relying on user mapping. The app offers a possibility to create, among others, subgroups, discussion rooms and get-togethers.

Forums

Forums

The discussion forum is used to exchange opinions on various topics. Thanks to groups and forums you can take part in the discussion or just follow the conversation. It is a convenient form of obtaining information, learning the opinions of others, sharing experiences and making contacts.

Get togethers

This is a combination of functionalities of an online social networking platform with the offline world. There is a possibility to create a Get Together in or near to your local area.

Get togethers
Notifications

Notifications

The notifications are automatically sent messages appearing when a user receives a friend request or a message from another user. They also notify about an invitation to a video chat and may contain internal system information.

Pawel

Paweł, QA Specialist

Working in the Frindow project is very interesting and requires close cooperation with the client, daily decisions and problem-solving activities. Manual tests were mainly used in the project. Tests related to mapping logic (connecting users with appropriate groups) pose the biggest triggering challenge.

3. Technologies & integrations

Rails RoR
React React
Bootstrap tech Bootsrap
Websockets new Websockets
Js JavaScript
Es6 ES6
Redis Redis
Postgre Postgresql
Css CSS
Html HTML
Twilio new Twilio
Mailchimp mono Mailchimp
Google analytics Google Analytics

Final Product

Final

RESULTS & FURTHER DEVELOPMENT

It requires constant development in response to user needs. The website has received many positive feedback users and we are still developing and extending features. We are aware that enabling the anticipated and stable development with new functionalities and the development of the platform allow clients to maintain a competitive position in the industry. Currently, Frindow is only available to UK residents. They will be expanding into other countries in the near future.

Testimonial:

Copy

Overall, I really liked their management and after viewing their portfolio, they seemed very capable of doing what I wanted. Also, they were very supportive of the project itself, which was important to me. More than just being willing to do it, they understood what I was trying to achieve and were keen on helping me obtain my objectives.

I’m very fortunate to have the partnership that I’ve had with them. Their team appreciates that we’re a startup and privately-funded project. I’ve received tremendous amounts of work compared to the amount of money I’ve given them.

Marcus mini
Marcus Hamilton Founder & CEO, Frindow Ltd.

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