Implementing Scalable Product Development Processes in Fashion Media business with a compact team

How We Elevated a Fashion Media Business' Platform Functionality with a Team of 5


Fashion Media business


Fashion Media




Founder's Challenge

For nearly a decade, our collaboration with one of the leaders in the fashion media business industry has given rise to an extensive platform that serves many areas of their business. 

Central to our client’s success is the compelling content produced by their exceptional editorial teams, which is instrumental in driving user engagement. Meanwhile, the performance of the site is a critical factor for achieving strong SEO rankings and discoverability, both of which are essential components for success in the publishing industry. 

For this reason, with a custom front-end layer, various caching techniques, fast and optimised databases, and the latest performant frameworks and libraries, our teams have been able to constantly optimise the site performance and load times.  

The rise of new technologies and frameworks, such as NextJS, has revolutionised website performance through server-side rendering and leveraging Cloud Delivery Networks for HTML delivery. To maintain a competitive edge and elevate the website's performance, we recognised the need to revamp the majority of the existing platform.

The significant task we faced was reengineering 80% of the platform using modern Jamstack architecture, accomplished by our compact yet adept team of engineers within a reasonable timeframe.

Scope of Work

Step 1

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Technology analysis


Step 2

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Site redesign 

Rebuilding 80% of the website and integrate it with a new publishing platform 

Step 3

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Working with the entire business (product, marketing, editorial teams) to adapt and change existing processes

Integrating the new platform into client's workflows

Discovery Process

Facing a significant challenge, we recognised the importance of selecting an approach that would stand the test of time. Given the complexity of our client’s business, this was not an easy feat. In order to ensure a strategic start, we dedicated initial three months to an in-depth discovery phase. 

This involved evaluating two main paths: overhauling our existing custom front-end and WordPress-hosted editorial system, or transitioning to a specialised third-party content publishing service. We also engaged in many discussions, understanding our client’s priorities and aligning our strategy with their long-term objectives, aiming to facilitate those ambitions as effectively as possible with the upcoming actions. 

Simultaneously, we undertook numerous technical spikes, rigorously testing the capabilities of various platforms. Our goal was to ascertain their potential, identify any limitations, thereby ensuring that our chosen path would meet both current needs and future aspirations. 

Key Insights

Enhanced site speed, performance and user experience
Reduction in support requests by more than 80%
Future-proofed business strategy and lowered infrastructure costs

Design Highlights

Product build

Upon completing our discovery process, we mutually made the strategic decision to transition our client’s entire publishing platform to ARC XP, an ecosystem built by the fantastic team behind the Washington Post.

This choice was driven by the platform's focus on providing an industry-leading, high-performance publishing experience, which aligned perfectly with our business-driven goals and product-focused approach. We were impressed by the platform's immediate potential to enhance not only business efficiency, but also its flexibility, which allowed for seamless integration with our existing functionalities. 

Recognising the importance of an effective implementation, we formed a dedicated team for the transition, comprising of the founder, key decision-makers and tech leads who meet on a weekly basis to identify and address challenges. This dynamic operational structure has been crucial in maintaining momentum and ensuring company-wide alignment with the new platform.

The Outcome

Over the course of a year, with the dedicated efforts of a five-member team, we achieved a remarkable overhaul of a product that had been evolving for nearly a decade.  

This extensive redevelopment not only enhanced various aspects of the product but also significantly boosted its page ranking scores. As a result of these improvements, a notable increase in site speed and performance has been observed, greatly enhancing the user experience and contributing to an uptick in sales. 

In addition, our client’s platform's stability was improved, cutting down 80% of support requests from internal teams such as editorial, marketing, and sales. A strategic decision to outsource the management of the platform's source code and hosting infrastructure allowed for a redirection of focus towards developing new features and functionalities, further advancing product offerings.

Last but not least, this shift also led to a reduction in infrastructure costs, enabling more economical operations and reinvestment of the savings into other business areas for continued growth and innovation. 

"d.labs’ foresight and initiative were key in our transformation journey. They didn't just respond to our needs; they anticipated and effectively communicated them, conducting in-depth research and developing prototypes that set the stage for our major changes. Their expert recommendations and guidance through this process were invaluable, driving our growth and innovation forward. In true d.labs fashion, their commitment extends beyond delivery; their ongoing training and support have been outstanding. We are very pleased with the comprehensive service and exceptional support we've received over the years. They are more than a service provider; they are a cornerstone in our success." W.B.

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