A marketing site for clinical trials, using a modular component system, a headless CMS and large datasets. Our streamlined agile workflow allowed my team to deliver this project in record time.
- Role: Tech Lead
- Technology: Aptible, React/Next, Redux, TypeScript, Jest/Enzyme, Storybook, Styled Components, Contentful, Elasticsearch, Redis
TrialSpark is a company comprised of researchers, engineers, and designers dedicated to accelerating breakthroughs in medical research, by using technology to run clinical trials more efficiently. The brief for this project was to create a search engine optimized marketing page, that not only increases brand awareness and tackles common misconceptions around clinical trials, but most and foremost acts as a marketing funnel to attract potential trial participants.
Despite an aggressive timeline, our agile workflow and streamlined processes allowed my team to smoothly deliver this project to an ecstatic client.
Starting out. Inside out.
From the beginning, we knew that the project timeline was very aggressive, and that the design would not be finalized until the very end of the project. Using storybook, we used an inside-out approach, beginning our work at the component level, adding tests to requirements and putting together the site's UI framework. The test driven development was guiding the designers, who in close colloration with the dev team would use the available components, to put together modular sections which could then be combined via headless CMS to make up the site's different pages with ease.
The main benefit of this approach was, that from day 1 of the project both teams always had something to work on, avoiding the downfalls and potential inefficiencies of a traditional "waterfall" handoff approach between design- and development teams.
Can you theme me now?
One of the requirements of the project was the ability to support themes, in order to visually group pages of related conditions. Using styled components and the relevant addon for storybook we were able to effortlessly flesh out the 12 required themes from the very start.
ALL the trials!
The Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI) provides a daily PostgreSQL dump of all trials registered on clinicalTrials.gov, which translates to millions and millions of database entries across multiple tables. With some slight data massaging and the help of Elasticsearch, we made these trials searchable and gave each one a dedicated, automatically generated page. If TrialSpark wants to draw particular attention to a specific trial, they can then choose to override and flesh out the automatically generated page.
Agile with Github
At the core of our agile development workflow sat Github, which can be used for a lot more than just hosting a project's code. Our daily scrums utilized Github's milestones and projects to manage progress and tasks. In particular the automated Kanban view of projects integrated nicely with our workflow of using short-lived feature branches, that get merged via code-reviewed pull requests. As PRs open and get approved, task cards automatically move through the Kanban columns.