PepTalk is a virtual motivation platform built for teams and individuals around the world. Through the site, it is possible to choose from over 400 real-world experts to deliver live bite-sized sessions on over 40 topics. Whether that’s from a world-class athlete to unite and empower your team or a renowned entrepreneur to give invaluable insight into your business, PepTalk provides the personalized nudges you need to achieve your goals.
PepTalk’s founders approached us in 2019 to discuss their product idea. We had previously collaborated on different projects, so they trusted our technical expertise and project management skills.
We kicked off the project with a product workshop, something we often recommend to our clients. The goal was to validate the technical feasibility of the client’s early concept for the app.
Thanks to the workshop and prototypes, we were able to approach the software development stage of the project with a clear plan for the product development and a tech toolkit we were confident in.
For the launch of PepTalk, we built two platforms, a website with the catalogue of Experts where users could schedule and book their PepTalks and a webapp to host the live calls. Collaborating with PepTalk’s Product Owner and following the principles of agile project management, we were able to continuously deliver tested functionalities and respond to change requests quickly.
Once the early version of the product was ready, the client started gathering feedback from reviewers that was used to keep improving the product and develop new features.
One of the priorities for our client was to make sure that PepTalk’s website is indexed in search engines and that the browsing experience is seamless. Our solution for this need was to use Gatsby.js, a React-based framework that helps us build static sites that load quickly and are efficient for search engine crawlers. The site’s smooth performance was further boosted by AWS Cloudfront—a fast content delivery network (CDN) solution.
Of course, the content visible on PepTalk’s website, e.g., the list of available experts, needs to be regularly updated. We used Contentful as the CMS so that the client can edit the site freely. We also figured out a way to ensure the latest version of the website is rendered as a static page. Using GraphQL, we gather the changes from Contentful and notify AWS via a webhook that a new landing page should be rendered. In a matter of minutes, a new version of the website is served as a static page.
One of the biggest challenges we had to solve was to manage the process of scheduling PepTalks. We needed to take many variables into account, including the expert’s availability and previous bookings as well as the possibility of the expert and the customer being in different time zones. The PepTalks themselves are operated via Twilio’s WebRTC-powered solution. This choice allowed us to configure different types of video calls (one-to-one, one-to-many) and create a custom interface.
Another feature that was important to our client was managing payments from the customer and expert’s payouts. In order to securely handle different currencies and cross-border transactions, we used Stripe’s payouts capabilities.
We’ve designed PepTalk’s infrastructure to be scalable, performant, and cost-effective using tools like AWS Fargate, the Serverless framework, and AWS Lambda. Epsagon enables us to keep track of what’s going in different elements of the architecture and monitor potential problems.
Apptension’s team, consisting of frontend and backend developers as well as two QA specialists, ensured that PepTalk is properly tested and prepared for customers to use it. Testing video calls is challenging given the multitude of factors which must be considered, such as different devices, operating systems, and video calls’ features. Ultimately, both us and the client were very happy with the level of quality we were able to deliver.