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An Innovative Product for Interior Designers That Got Funded By Google

Rosslyn Tebbutt, an interior designer, based out of Cape Town in South Africa, thought that there must be a better way to create visual design concepts, other than doing them manually.

Although tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, or Illustrator were available yet no such software existed to meet the specific requirements of interior designers. She realized that she could fulfill this need and thus co-founded SampleBoard in 2010.

Main Image

The Problem

When Rosslyn approached Net Solutions to build this software, there was no SaaS based product for this industry.

She enlisted the features and functionalities that she wanted to include. She was clear that she wanted to build it like an SaaS solution. The objective was that SampleBoard would enable users to source, import and save products, mood images, fabric swatches, textures, color palettes, patterns, and create digital mood boards using the interactive drag-and-drop interface.

The Solution

Process and Engagement Model

SampleBoard was developed using the Agile Team Model. The development started by defining the information architecture and wireframes for the application. Once the business analysis phase was completed, and mocks for the MVP (most essential features) were ready, a dedicated team of developers and testers were assigned to work on delivering the sprints as per the project plan.

Collaboration and Communication

Project collaboration was done using Basecamp. All project communication was done using email, Go-To-Meeting, and Skype. To accelerate the development process, Rosslyn flew down to our office, and stayed for a few weeks, to ensure that everybody was on the same page. Once the MVP was launched, Rosslyn shared the MVP with her fellow designers, and the product was iterated further.

Technology Stack

SampleBoard was developed using Java, and MySQL, the back-end technologies are hosted on AWS cloud. The customization module was built using Flex and web services were developed using REST.

We used MVC architecture to utilize the power of scalable dual web servers and a database server. The architecture and coding allowed server farms to integrate seamlessly as the data and application usage grew. The modularity of the code allowed creation and addition of plug and play features such as social calendar, photo sharing, and slideshow galleries

The Solution

The Result

Launched a niche product targeted at interior designers

SampleBoard stood out as a product with high differentiation as it was custom created for the designer community. They loved its usability and experience. Designers could try it out for a small monthly fee instead of shelling out huge amounts in purchasing licenses.

Won laurels and awards in South Africa

SampleBoard got selected for Google's startup incubator and Umbono program. It received funding and office space as part of the incubator and got featured as one of the prominent startups in South Africa in 2013.

The Result

They were able to create exactly what we wanted and were willing to think outside the box. We wanted something different and they produced it!

Rosslyn Tebbutt
Rosslyn Tebbutt Founder, Sampleboard