As a young team we at SurfEdge Design Engine are constantly looking to innovate and challenge the status quo. We embrace any opportunity that challenges us to deliver something unique. Project UNDP Yowunpuraya wasn’t any different.
The task given to us was pretty straight forward. Create two survey forms that would help collect data from 5,000 individuals. The UNDP team was adamant to feature a survey that was out of the ordinary at their event. We committed to ensure that we met the expected standard. As one of the growing StartUps in the country it is inbuilt in our corporate strategy to always offer the best in terms of service delivery.
At the completion of the task we created two surveys: My NYSC [32 fields with follow up questions] and Yowunpuraya Programme Evaluation Form [26 fields with follow up questions]. The process of conceptualization and execution had to be thought out carefully, since we had a number of objectives to deliver upon with no room for error.
There were a few main challenges that we had to address.
Speaking all three tongues!
The surveys had to be accessible in all three languages, English, Sinhala and Tamil. The main trial when executing such a plan is dealing with constant changes. We at SurfEdge Design Engine know the relentless rounds of proof reading it takes to perfect the content on a survey or on any Web Design for that matter. Therefore, we had to go back and forth many times. We came up with the JSON structure to present the content and to dynamically switch languages. This structure also made the revisions quick and pain free – even before minutes prior to the public launch.
Getting the perfect look and feel!
It was crucial to the UNDP Team that the interface was both compelling and easy to use. We designed a form with elements that were attractive while being easy on the eye. The interface was very simple. We wanted people to be attracted to what they saw and most importantly to make sure that they enjoyed interacting with the form. We also had to ensure that it supported touch kiosks which were to be placed at the event.
Creating a data ninja!
The survey we created had to handle the concurrency of 5000 participants and keep track of the data that one user can submit. It was vital that we could guarantee the safety of the data while ensuring that the system ran perfectly without any glitches during data entering. We used a number of technologies to store our data.
Using AWS Lambda + Server-less Framework
The Server-less approach has proved to reduce operational costs and increase efficiency. We saw a great potential in it to enhance our product.
Using a NoSQL DB
Due to the non-relational and document type data that we had to handle we chose MongoDB and we used a managed service called MLab to facilitate it. With this we made sure that the database is always up and running for our AWS functions to write and read.
Along with an automated backup for MLab, we made a clone of the data into a MySQL DB as well in our private server to ensure that they data was safe.
Real-time analytics window
UNDP requested us to build a separate webpage to show the real time data analytics of the currently submitted form. Another requirement was to display it on large displays (TV) with the ability to refresh automatically. We achieved this using AWS services by creating a REST API to get the data filtered and displayed in a simple web page using a progressive Web Design approach.
The two surveys were successful in collecting the required data seamlessly. We were highly content with the quality of the output of our team with this project. It provided a much appreciated learning curve for the SurfEdge Design Engine team to explore new avenues in technology and deliver a product that made the lives of our users easier.
As StartUps we believe that it’s vital to not merely do great work, but to share it with fellow aspiring young minds in the country to inspire them to further push industry standards and to make life simple through innovation.