Evolving Fitz Frames’ Core Product with New Features & Increased Stability
In July 2019, Fitz Frames launched its innovative product, offering the world an app that enables customized glasses for kids through AR face measurement and 3D printing technology. The product was built in partnership with Wizeline, who helped the client deliver through a five-phase approach spanning prototyping and design to launch. But that was just the beginning, as the app had plenty of room for improvement to ensure the best possible user experience and highest technology standards.
In mid-2020, Fitz Frames reached out to Wizeline to help evolve the product to meet emerging business and customer needs, fix bugs while reducing technical debt, and add new features to evolve the admin view of coupons and memberships, cutting down on manual effort significantly. Read on to explore the full story of how our Product Evolution team helped Fitz Frames stabilize its product and improve the customer experience.
The Challenge: Improve the Product to Manage Increased Usage & Customer Expectations
The product development engagement with Wizeline in 2019 resulted in the successful launch of Fitz Frames’ flagship product: the Fitz Glasses app which ensures “a perfect fit for every face.” After launch, the client elected to manage the product in-house for an extended period of time, mostly due to the quality of Wizeline’s initial implementation.
Interestingly, according to Katie Brandeau, Chief Product Officer, Fitz Frames, “For the 1.5 years after initial implementation, which was never meant to be more than an MVP, the platform that the Wizeline team built continued to run, 24/7, with minimal maintenance. I think in all that time, our backend may have been down only once, maybe twice for a short while, while the customer-facing app stayed live continuously. I think that really speaks to the stability of Wizeline’s initial implementation.”
While this initial minimum viable product (MVP) release generated a substantial waiting list of over 5,000 customers and favorable reviews, Fitz Frames and Wizeline knew the product would need ongoing maintenance, bug fixes, and new features over time to stay competitive.
As the usability of the application evolved with the growth of Fitz Frames, additional support was required to maintain smooth operations. Many edge cases were discovered through high-volume use of the product, and users were hungry for a further optimized application to meet their needs. Because of these challenges, Fitz Frames re-enlisted the help of Wizeline to save the day once again.
Stabilizing the Product to Maturity
Wizeline started this new phase of the engagement by transferring knowledge from the development team that built the product to our Product Evolution team. This kicked off a three-month operation stabilization period in which Wizeline accomplished the following:
- Stabilized the application and improved functionality
- Worked on fixing bugs and minimizing tech debts to mature the backend of the app
- Updated the product documentation showcasing the new modifications and enhancements
- Improved the testing suite for the application to ensure risk mitigation and created new workflows to define test scenarios
- Began to automate testing of the product
- Enhanced performance monitoring by refining the tooling around alerts and by implementing tools such as Pagerduty, Sumo Logic, Apollo, and Cloud Watch
- Set up ongoing process management and improvement for communication and development team
New Features for Coupons, Membership & Payments
In addition to stabilizing the product and maturing the product backend, Wizeline helped Fitz Frames introduce various new features. These enhancements included:
With the goal of giving app admins visibility of customers who have a Fitz membership and charging them accordingly, we created a field on the admin side of the backend to help identify members and modified the database in the backend to support this. We also made enhancements to enable the client to list a membership purchase as a separate item on order details and create a confirmation email to make it clear that they purchased this additional item.
We made several enhancements around the admin’s ability to create, read, update and delete coupons. For example:
- Generating an error to ensure coupons are not duplicated
- Enabling the backend admin view to download more than 1000 entries of coupons (only 100 available previously)
- Enabling a disabled coupon
We improved the payment systems with optimized error handling by refactoring the code to showcase the reason for failures in the payment and root causes. The scope included:
- Explaining the failure of purchase of memberships and products
- Personalized messages in the CMS and application regarding what went wrong in the payment processing (e.g. expired credit card, insufficient funds, etc.)
The Result: An Improved User Experience & Less Manual Effort
Through the Wizeline partnership, Fitz Frames was able to achieve the following goals in its flagship product:
- Rolled out new and optimized existing features to meet emerging business demands and reduce manual effort
- Improved the end-user experience around membership and coupons while also ensuring clarity if an error should occur in payment
- Minimized bugs and technical debt by implementing industry-best coding practices and quality standards
With the product stabilized, bug fixing optimized, and the new features implemented, Wizeline continues to work with Fitz Frames as a trusted technology partner in key areas like product management, feature enhancement, backlog analysis, and issue and alert management.