Grupo Abril, based in São Paulo, is one of the largest and most influential
communication and education conglomerates in Latin America - publishing seven
of the ten most read magazines in Brazil, as well as publishing digital content
for over 50 websites and applications.
Veja São Paulo is one of Abril’s most popular sites - plugging locals and visitors of the largest city in Brazil into the local scene.
Grupo Abril wanted to further improve the site through a major new release that would involve migrating to a new, custom content management system - Alexandria.
Having already found a design partner, Grupo Abril needed to bring in technical expertise to help bring the product to life - quickly. They called ThoughtWorks.
When the re-designed site went live in late 2012, it gave users an entirely new experience. Social and community-building features, faster performance and “under the hood” upgrades were implemented, along with automated contract testing and performance testing tools. This is all accessed through Alexandria using a micro-services architecture, communicating through REST. The use of open source tools was adopted throughout the project.
Visitors to the site can now create reviews for attractions, restaurants, events - they can even follow other users, and see all their reviews. All this means more visits and increased length of stay.
After the successful launch of the refreshed site, the remaining goals for Veja São Paulo were reviewed by a ThoughtWorks team. Introducing an approach to look at specific goals, the teams would now assess new development based on the most basic implementation of the feature and the minimum to really please customers and exceed expectations.
“ThoughtWorks not only helped us by creating the new Veja São Paulo site. The techniques used on the project are leading to lasting additions to our internal product management capabilities. One of the benefits is it enabled us to evaluate trade-offs in how we could achieve our product goals.”
Just six months after the initial
release, visitors to the new site doubled. The use of Lean practices
transformed the way the team worked allowing enhancements and new features to
be developed and released more often - almost on a weekly basis.
“We used a Lean process. Having almost weekly releases means we can learn from real user experiences with the live website. Our time from concept to market averages less than two weeks. This also helps us as we continue to evolve our Alexandria platform and encourage its use by more of our digital portfolio.”