Lynda.com - Helping to fulfill a ubiquity strategy of everywhere, all the time.
Lynda.com Business Challenge
Bring Lynda.com online courses and learning videos to all relevant platforms the fastest way while enhancing the current user experience.
Lynda.com is the global market leader in online video learning. The company offers more than 6,000 courses in business, technology, and creative skills taught by worldwide experts in each specific field.
Parkside’s assignment was to concept, design, and engineer the entire Lynda mobile and TV ecosystem.
Parkside engaged a dedicated agile UX/UI and engineering team to develop, maintain and improve the Lynda mobile ecosystem.
After video2brain was acquired by Lynda.com, Parkside helped the market leader to scale their whole mobile and TV ecosystem. More than 2 million apps have been installed since Parkside become involved. Lynda.com was acquired by LinkedIn in 2015 for 1.5 billion US dollars.
For Lynda.com, the Parkside team achieved
- Delivered products to seven different platforms, including Roku and Apple TV
- Closed gaps in terms of platforms and device types
- Turned low app ratings into the highest in company history
- Improved the overall user experience
We had been working with video2brain for almost seven years when they were acquired. The new owner – Lynda.com – is the US market leader when it comes to online video training. At that time, we extended our partnership and took over mobile development for the LA-based company. We started with a fresh new iOS app and quickly followed up with an Android counterpart. Our work not only included mobile development but everything from UX to UI, as well as choosing the right streaming technology.
“Parkside’s work was a game changer for lynda.com. They allowed us for the first time to fulfill our ubiquity strategy of everywhere, all the time.”
Working with a US-based company also comes with some challenges – the time difference is one of them. However, we never had any issues with this, and we actually turned that challenge into an opportunity. Whatever we discussed in a meeting the evening before, we could finish during our working day so that the QA department in California could give it a go first thing when they started their day.
One big challenge we ran into was coming up with an Android video player that ran on all devices and flavors of Android. Back then, reliable quality video player libraries didn’t exist. We also needed to come up with our own test suite just to make sure video playback was working smoothly and without issues on the top 20 devices on which we physically tested.
After successfully launching iOS and Android, we expanded our work to more platforms. First, we focused on creating a universal Windows application, and then we provided a Mac app as well. From a development point of view, the Mac app was especially challenging since it uses the same code base as the iOS app. To make it even more fun for our developers, we also created an AppleTV app on the same code base. We then also needed to move our big code base from Objective C to Swift – however, we chose to do it step by step by refactoring individual components when we added new features.
Due to the nature of Lynda.com’s content, expanding with another TV app made sense. In the US, the platform with the most TV apps is actually Roku - so naturally, we created a Roku app as well. This was particularly interesting for our developers since it meant learning a new programming language called BrightScript. Roku might not be described as the most elegant or advanced platform – it’s really such times when you need to come up with unique solutions.
Delivered Work & Key Features
Concept / Design / Development / Automated Tests / Analytics Definition / Analytics Monitoring / Crash Monitoring / Sprint Planning & Management / iTunes & Play Store setup, Maintenance, Monitoring / API Development / Chromecast App Development / In-app Purchases / Offline Viewing / Video Playback / Library Browsing / Multi-language / Playlist Management / Audio only / Progress synced to all devices / Chromecast Integration / TV Apps for Apple TV and Roku / Shared code base for iOS, Mac and Apple TV
Objective C / Java / Swift / C# / BrightScript
iOS / AppleTV / Android / Mac / Windows Store / Windows Desktop / Roku
In a nutshell
During our more than three years of partnership with Lynda.com, we created apps for all relevant platforms: iOS, Android, AppleTV, Windows Store, Windows Desktop, MacOS, and Roku. This allowed Lynda.com to fulfill their ubiquity strategy of everywhere, all the time. At times we had over 15 people working on the project. Lynda.com was acquired by LinkedIn for 1.5 billion US dollars.
Are you on the quest to grow your product across markets and platforms quickly and scale without compromising your product quality?