How 65 Bits Stitched a Knitting App Back Together

It's a sad truth that most of the new customers we take on at 65 Bits only find their way to us after they've had a bad experience with another development agency, and such was the case when Leanne Prouse from Fyba reached out to us a few months ago asking for help with her knitting and crochet translation app.

About Fyba

Fyba is an innovative startup that helps people translate knitting and crochet patterns into different languages, and it does this by combining translation software and a tech editing service in the one platform.

The challenge

The core challenge of translating knitting and crochet patterns is hard. Traditional online translation services such as Google Translate work well with sentence fragments, but knitting and crochet patterns on the other hand contain instructions and terminology that Google simply can't understand.

Initially Leanne engaged a large Melbourne based software agency to solve this problem, and despite investing a lot of time and money the system still struggled to produce consistent quality results. Each update took a long time to perform, and changes often introduced new bugs. On the verge of thinking it was a problem too hard to surmount, Perth based 65 Bits was brought in to get the project back on track.

How 65 Bits Helped

The first thing we did was conduct a software audit to uncover the performance, security and quality issues that were hampering progress. Once the fundamentals were addressed we could tackle the complex translation system that was at the heart of Fyba's innovation.

It was apparent from the start that the platform was riddled with bugs. The old adage "You never get a second chance to make a first impression" rings true in the digital age too, if a prospective customer gets a bad first experience they're likely to close the window and disappear forever.

Sadly this is a common scenario in our experience, which is why 65 Bits employs a technique called Test Driven Development (or TDD) to ensure that quality software is built right the first time. TDD involves writing software tests that describe a feature and how it should work, and then writing code that makes those tests pass. The end result is a better customer experience, built in less time.

Using industry best practice development techniques such as TDD allowed us to quickly rebuild key parts of the platform the way it should have been done from the start.

Results

Within a few months of engaging 65 Bits the translation system has been rebuilt from the ground up. Coupled with Leanne's experience and expertise, we've been able to deliver a system that translates knitting and crochet patterns with a speed and accuracy that has never been seen before.

The initial system took 3 hours to deliver a translated pattern that looked horrible, the 65 Bits version now takes 30 seconds with a 95% accuracy. And there are more improvements in the pipeline!

More importantly it's helped the founder regain confidence in her business. From a project that was riddled with errors and plagued with uncertainty, the knowledge that it's now stable and positioned for growth lets her focus on the business instead of worrying about the technical pitfalls.

“ I’m getting excited Bruce, it’s all working and looking so much better. ... What you’ve managed to achieve this far in such a short time makes me sooo much more positive Bruce. Why didn’t I find you 3 years ago!!! ”
- Leanne Prouse, CEO Fyba
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