So, in 2013, when the advent and popularity of social media tools sparked a new era of storytelling, he had a revelatory moment. Out of all the storytelling mediums, video consistently provides the best-performing content for brands, but it is the most difficult to produce at scale. While professional video is high quality, it can be very expensive and complicated. User-generated video, on the other hand, is incredibly authentic, but it is completely out of the brand’s control.
In 2014, he connected with Monique who knew how to turn his idea into a business, and the two founded Storyvine. The Storyvine platform was conceived to be a guided video system with an easy-to-use app that lets anyone create polished, edited, and branded videos within minutes. With customizable templates that serve as story frameworks, users are guided through the video creation process, and the app “automagically” creates a finished video. The end result is video content that the brand manages, controls, and curates in order to share authentic stories with its audience.
With their MVP, Kyle and Monique set out to validate the market demand, and initial users came from large companies like IBM, Biogen, Janssen, etc. Once the demand was validated, Kyle and Monique approached OAK’S LAB to continue to upgrade and further build out their solution.
When we were first brought on as Storyvine’s software development partner, we needed to build and support the enterprise web application in use by a number of Fortune 500 healthcare companies. Over time, we needed to automate various parts of the service and build out a customizable self-service model that would target smaller businesses and different markets. And ultimately, the latest challenge was how to revamp the whole platform and focus on building multiple offerings within the existing product.
Overall, we needed to redesign and update the tech on the entire platform. The web app would require an easy-to-use interface and a more user-friendly experience, while still replicating the user journey to satisfy existing corporate clients. The mobile app needed to be updated to a different tech stack. And ultimately, we needed to expand the solution to allow for a larger scale of users.
We began working with Storyvine in 2016 on a project-to-project basis, and then in 2020, Monique and Kyle hired a full-time OAK’S LAB team including two engineers, one designer, and one product manager.
To redesign and modernize the entire platform, we first focused on expanding the Storyvine branding. Our primary goal was to make the app friendly and not intimidating for users who are new to video production, and we wanted to keep a “human element” in the visual approach to reflect Storyvine’s core values– “Human - Magic - Enablers.” We focused on simplifying some of the existing brand elements while updating and modernizing the general look and feel of the platform to accomplish this.
From the UI/UX perspective, the goal was to create an easily understandable product that stores all the necessary functionality for professional video production management. We also needed to make the product stand out from the competition and industry standards. We focused on fitting a variety of professional video management functionality into the tool so that it required little to no training. Most users have no previous experience using video production tools, so the challenge was to make every action seem straightforward and easy to complete. While designing the main flows, we conducted extensive user testing in order to overcome any challenges within the app.
From the technical side, we focused on adapting newly introduced technologies and solutions to the existing monolith codebase and addressed features with high complexity rather than taking an MVP-like approach. We also needed to address the extremely high-security, regulatory data protection and privacy demands that came with the nature of clients in the healthcare industry. To support the mission of Storyvine, we selected a tech stack that included React, NodeJS, Apollo Client, Nexus, PostgreSQL, AntDesign, Firebase Authentication, Sendgrid, Stripe, and YouTube API. For the mobile app, we did an entire rewrite and unified the code base with ReactNative.
In the first years of our collaboration, we additionally worked with Storyvine to build out a self-service feature to expand Storyvine’s offering to small businesses and different markets. The beta included existing Storyvine features and a payment functionality for self-service. We shifted our focus, however, in 2021 when Novartis approached Storyvine seeking a tech implementation to enable their sales team in a post-Covid healthcare environment. With this new partnership, we wanted to expand Storyvine’s existing solution, allowing for a larger volume of users and tailored implementation in larger organizations with complex business processes.
With the developments of generative AI at the end of 2022, we saw an opportunity to enhance the user experience by using AI to automatically create subtitles for videos filmed using the Storyvine technology. We built an additional feature to the Storyvine platform that uses Whisper, an OpenAI automatic speech recognition (ASR) system, to allow Storyvine users to easily add subtitles to any video that they create. The Whisper AI model is trained on 680,000 hours of data, making the open-source library the ideal speech-to-text AI solution to run on our infrastructure.
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Storyvine continues to work with OAK’S LAB to expand the Storyvine solution as we build out the rest of the interface, improve mobile features, and prepare for large-scale implementations.
Storyvine’s automated, Guided Video platform gives companies in the healthcare industry the ability to create personalized videos that are compliant, professional, scalable, and effective. Sales teams can now create professional-level videos in 5-10 minutes that stay safely within required guidelines for the industry, They can produce them at a large scale and use them to communicate personally with Health Care Providers in an innovative manner that translates directly into sales.
And as we expand the solution, we have seen exciting results. In the first six months of the Novartis partnership, 5,000 videos were created by sales reps, and the Novartis teams have seen increased engagement across the board. Because of the Storyvine platform, personal and professional video creation has transformed the way that sales teams operate in an innovative way, which we look forward to exploring more in the future.
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