In Sept 2013, Sony was set to debut The Queen Latifah Show hosted by it’s namesake - global entertainment icon Queen Latifah. Digital Kitchen had been engaged by Sony to handle the design and production of the digital property. The vision for the site was grand: to create a dynamic site powered by real-time data. The site design would change to reflect whether it was day or night. TV guide data would be pulled dynamically to show the user when the show is airing and what channel to find it on. Content would be updated daily to keep the site fresh.
Development of the back-end system was already in progress by a third-party vendor, but they were quickly falling behind the production schedule and demonstrated weakness in front-end development capabilities. Digital Kitchen turned to Nifty to rescue the project and complete the site build for the show premiere.
By the time we received approval to move forward on the development of the site there were 30 days before the premiere of the show. At least 50 pages of content needed to be written and integrated into the site; final photos still needed to be approved by Sony and Queen Latifah’s management; and there was no usable front-end code generated by the existing vendor, so we had to start from scratch.
It seemed like a nearly impossible task, but Nifty rose to the challenge. Because of the tight deadline, some of the more progressive ideas for the site were killed. What was deemed necessary was a module that would pull TV guide data and display where and when the show would be airing.
Using a geo ip database, we were able to get general location data for the user and use it to pull local TV stations and the air times for The Queen Latifah Show. The user could also change their location and view all air times for the show across all local channels. This functionality was setup as a micro-service to isolate and speed-up development.
Development was done primarily in NodeJS and we created a light CMS system using JSON files in order to handle the daily content updates and additions without hindering development progress on the rest of the site.
In the end, Nifty was able to meet the nearly impossible deadline of building the entire site and integrating all content in time for the show's premiere. All it took was teamwork, constant communication and collaboration across all teams to be successful.