Over the last few weeks, the momentum has been picking up on the software testing for StoryWeaver, Pratham Books’ story-publishing platform. It is another important milestone in our journey.
StoryWeaver is a complex project because it involves multiple languages, openly-licensed content and story-creation for non-tech savvy users. The challenges have been evident from day one. How do we design the application so that a user can create new stories or derivatives in any of the Indian languages seamlessly, while the system takes care of attribution, sharing and other important things!
Our experiments with Creative Commons and the Retell-Remix-Rejoice contest have given us many insights. It has been our endeavor to position StoryWeaver as a solution to as many problems as possible. However, in this journey, we have realized that building a technology product operates under a set of constraints. We have had to make conscious trade-offs keeping in mind how much we want built, at a reasonable budget, with a desired launch date, while also ensuring that we deliver a fantastic user experience.
The design and development of StoryWeaver has had to accommodate many real-world unknowns. Therefore, the technical development process has followed the Agile methodology, which is an iterative and collaborative process. Right at the start, a discovery workshop with the developers was followed by a rigorous prioritization exercise to lock-down on the final set of features to be built. The first module to be built was the bulk-upload process. The purpose of the bulk-upload is to enable Pratham Books to seed StoryWeaver with our openly-licensed stories. We have had to rework all of the short-listed titles into digital-ready layouts, and also ensure that the text is converted into Unicode-fonts across languages.
Using all of our testing chops, we’ve have successfully completed the testing of the bulk-upload process and are ready to start uploading our stories onto StoryWeaver. We have also completed the testing of the story reader. The story reader accommodates stories in portrait and landscape orientations. Also, StoryWeaver is responsive, which means that you can read stories on any Smartphone, Tablet, Laptop or Desktop computer! So, we have been reading our stories across devices to ensure that all the pages render well, so that our readers can easily navigate across our story collection.
In keeping with the Lean philosophy, we have also ensured that we involve our end-users through the product development journey. Even before we had zeroed in on the technology partner, we had organized brainstorms with groups comprising of parents, teachers, librarians, education-related non-profits, translators, writers and illustrators to gather potential user stories so that we could built a product that met unmet needs. Now that the reader and the story-creator are ready, we have just invited some people from our amazing community for a first-look!
Alongside, we continue to log bugs, which involves finding things that are broken so that our users have a defect-free time on StoryWeaver!