As a long-term technological partner for DC Entertainment, Metal Toad was initially brought into this engagement in a consultative manner. The DC Marketing Team needed to integrate an online comic reader into their web ecosystem for a multitude of reasons: event-based new releases, online order fulfillment, and a quality reader experience to deepen brand engagement. The reader had to be responsive and optimized easy, on-the-go user entertainment.
Upon the discovery phase, the Toads reviewed an existing SaaS solution that was built for just this purpose. It incorporated much of the requisite functionality and had a workable user experience. On the contrary, the solution came with an expensive license and, if DC ever wanted to move off the platform, they would be locked into a contract. This ran counter to many of the business aims of DC Entertainment and they reengaged Metal Toad to build an open source solution that they could own outright for as long as the technology could be supported.
The Toads solution was simple: offer all the same features of the existing, best-of-breed SaaS solution while including selected upgrades that fit within DC’s budget.
Multiple viewing options (side-by-side, subframe, and dual-page views) were at the core of the ideal user interface. The animations to move from frame to frame and pane to pane needed to be clean and smooth; but all this would be pointless if the load times were too slow. The Toads utilized a clever caching solution that allowed for zero load time between views.
Due to the plethora of copyrighted content at stake, the Toads also needed to keep piracy in mind when constructing the solution. Upped security to avoid unlawful distribution of DC products was of utmost importance. To do this, Metal Toad integrated the comic reader within DC’s main site and utilized many of the security features that had been built throughout the long-standing partnership with DC’s web properties.
Next steps introduced a desktop-optimized reader to complement the mobile and tablet experience. The Toads also incorporated Livefyre's SocialSync feature, a social platform that allowed for comments and social sharing. Finally, Metal Toad engineers made the metadata accessible for the DC Marketing Team in order to provide long-term metrics to measure success criteria to the Group’s business goals.
On-time delivery of the reader was met with market success! Upon launch, the DC readership jumped right in and began sharing their experiences online. The comic reader introduced a whole new chapter in DC’s online product marketing and, as for the DC Business Team, they now have a reader free from licensing cost and vendor lock-in with the sky as the limit as to what experience they want to craft for their customers.