Vooks web and mobile applications

Bringing storybooks to life with Vooks

More than one million parents and teachers have trusted Vooks to provide a new way to engage children and help them with their reading skills. The innovative organization provides a streamable library of storybooks that children love.

95% of US elementary schools have at least one teacher with a Vooks account and their storybooks can be enjoyed on Netflix as well as other major entertainment platforms.

This case study provides an overview of Qubika’s work with Vooks, both on designing an intuitive and user-friendly experience, as well as the technical achievements in building a highly engaging mobile application as well as a scalable multi-device platform.

Studios involved

  • App Solutions
  • Platform Engineering
  • Quality Assurance
  • Product Design & Usability
  • Cloud, SRE, & Cybersecurity

Deliverables

  • Robust technical migration
  • A multi-device streaming platform
  • Compelling user interfaces
  • A empowering Design System
  • A powerful React Native mobile application
Vooks mobile application
Vooks application can be used on any device

The Challenge

The primary challenge for Qubika’s design and development teams was to create an intuitive and attractive platform that catered to three user groups: parents, kids, and teachers, while ensuring consistency and an enjoyable experience across different devices like phones, tablets, laptops, and TVs. We needed to ensure that people could seamlessly transition between devices without losing their progress or encountering usability issues. There was also the challenge of striking the right balance between interactive and engaging content that facilitated learning, while still providing an entertaining and enjoyable experience for young people.

Creating a platform that could handle hundreds of thousands of concurrent users, especially during peak times, was a technical challenge. Qubika needed to implement robust backend infrastructure and optimize content delivery to ensure smooth performance during high traffic periods.

Vooks digital storybooks

Solution

In addressing the diverse challenges faced by Vooks, Qubika’s team took a multidimensional approach to create the streaming platform. The solution was intricately crafted, comprising two main components – a robust technical solution and an innovative design strategy.

Designing an engaging and user-friendly experience

The UI/UX design of Vooks was planned to be intuitive, attractive and engaging for 3 user groups: parents, kids, and teachers. On the design side, we focused on:

  • Building a comprehensive Design System
    To maintain consistency and streamline the design and development processes, we built a comprehensive design system. Design systems are an essential tool for better and faster iterations, and help strengthen brands. The system we built included typography styles, a color palette, and a custom icon library, ensuring all design elements were created as components. By doing so, potential errors in future use were minimized, promoting a systematic approach to design.
  • Adoption of a user-centered design process
    This process prioritized empathy and a comprehensive understanding of peoples’ contexts and needs. The approach led to improved user flows, reducing the risk of people leaving the platform.
  • Focus on inclusivity and accessibility
    Inclusivity and accessibility were paramount, with our Design Studio implementing features like multilingual support and accessible options to ensure the platform was welcoming to users worldwide.

Creating the mobile application

When we started working together with Vooks, we needed to come up with a mobile solution that included as many operating systems as possible, as well as different devices. Based on this, our team created an application that can be executed on both iOS and Android by building it in React Native. We used our base template designed not only for mobile devices and tablets, but for Android and Apple TV too.

The React Native powered app now features a built-in video player, offline playback, the ability to cast a video to TV using a Chromecast device or Airplay, and in-app purchases like subscriptions.

We continue to maintain the system with the latest technologies that add value, like the ability to cast videos and provide multi-language options.

Building a scalable, multi-device streaming platform

In addition to our mobile and design work, Qubika tackled several technical challenges. Initially, this involved migrating 1.5 million users from Vooks’ original white label solution, and replacing the Vimeo front and backend.

Following this, our team was assigned the challenge of building an AWS environment capable of accommodating thousands of concurrent users and optimizing the performance of a website that hosted a significant amount of media content.

To achieve this goal, we implemented a range of performance optimization techniques aimed at enhancing the speed and efficiency of the website. Since the site contained a substantial number of media files, we focused on optimizing images and videos using diverse compression methods. We achieved this by leveraging the capabilities offered by the AWS Cloudfront, the content delivery network (CDN). This approach successfully reduced load times and significantly improved the overall performance of the website.

A family reading Vooks storybooks

Conclusion

By partnering with Qubika, Vooks successfully overcame the challenges of designing an engaging, multi-device platform for parents, kids, and teachers. The collaboration resulted in a user-friendly and attractive streaming platform that offers an enriching experience for young learners while achieving its objectives of increasing engagement.

The implementation of a powerful design system and a user-centered approach helped Vooks establish itself as the leading streaming platform for educational and entertaining storybooks.