Hallway (www.hallway.com), which dubs itself as “the Yelp of the workplace” is a powerful Web community for reviewing, rating and researching workplaces as well as educational institutions. The site allows users to read and post reviews about companies, organizations, educational institutions and the people that work there. The site also enables users to rate, rave and rant about celebrities, athletes and politicians.
THE PROBLEM AND THE FOLIO3 SOLUTION
Hallway was looking for a development partner that would not only implement on their vision for this website, but also help them write its detailed specifications, choose the right platform and provide them with an attractive visual design. After weighing their options, Hallway chose Folio3 as its development partner, due to Folio3’s strong reputation of delivering high quality solutions and their expertise in developing web based applications.
Folio3 recommended an incremental approach to the website’s development in order to reduce potential risks and conduct user validation testing. A Proof of Concept was developed, in just two weeks. Hallway was so impressed with Folio3’s professionalism and speed of delivery on the Proof of Concept, it tasked Folio3 with building a production version of the website within the next four months.
Folio3 dedicated a project manager and a team of Web 2.0 experts (including a system architect, web developers, user experience designers, quality assurance engineers and search-engine optimization experts) to the project, who worked over the aggressive four month schedule to deliver the Hallway website.
Two months after successfully taking Hallway live, the US economy was hit hard with recession and layoffs. Sensing a need, Hallway came up with the idea for implementing a “Layoff Tracker” in its website, to provide its users with a running tally of the pink slips being handed out and to gauge what people were saying about these experiences. Hallway felt this new feature would provide important insights to the general public about potential employers in the market.
After only a few weeks of development and testing, the “Layoff Tracker” widget was formally released. The Hallway website was also quickly redesigned by Folio3 to reflect this new focus. Folio3’s SEO team also secured Page One Google rankings for the website, for several targeted key-phrases. In recent changes, Folio3 further enhanced the Hallway site with an integrated job search engine, as well as Twitter and Facebook integrations.
The Hallway website has received wide acclaim by users worldwide and has been featured on TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Mashable, USA Today, NBC, The Christian Science Monitor and Fox News, for its mass appeal.
The Hallway website was built on the Drupal CMS (Content Management System) which was significantly extended with custom functionality, Amazon Web Services, Ajax, jQuery, PHP, MySQL and Lucene Search.
DEVELOPMENT METHODOLOGY USED
The Hallway website was developed using agile software development methodology, with Basecamp® as the project collaboration tool.