Zulu Live

One of our most extensive projects to date. Zulu is a powerhouse of features. It is an online interactive learning tool with realtime Video conferencing, Chat, Interactive drawing board and more.

Web application also available soon on Zulu.live

Schedule & Sessions

We designed and developed a very interactive calendar. Although it gets filled automatically with session requests tutors are able to manually adjust their availabilities by draging and dropping elements.

It comes with pre-defined filters to narrow down the search when browsing the daily sessions.

Real-time Chat

The beautifully designed chat module is part of every user’s system. When the user be it tutor, student, parent, or admin signs up for a new account, they are issued a unique ID in the database. This unique ID allows the Zulu app to connect in realtime and allow for a seamless conversation.

Coming soon is a multilingual feature to Zulu system.

Process & Challenges

Designing and developing Zulu was one of the most challenging tasks ever.
There were numerous components and logic that needed an extensive brainstorming.
We listed below some of the top most difficulties we faced and how we overcame them.
Challenge #1
: Technology and Server

The first challenge was to define the structure of the project and to decide on what technology we must use. It was a tough decision to make because we needed to keep in mind how the project will evolve in the future, what new functions will be required later at some point and how to ensure it is scalable when needed.

Solution: We decided to go with ASP.NET for its robust structure and an intensive library of guide dating back to ages. ASP.NET is also supported by some major enterprise applications, and the best part is its highly scalable when paired properly with AWS servers.

Challenge #2
: Live Video & Interactive Classroom

We were stuck on how to run a video conference between Tutor and student in the browser, we had no issue narrowing down the logic to be around WebRTC but the problem came when it did not work on live servers. After literally trying over a 1000 times with various server configurations we tried using SimpleRTC, it worked for few days and then crashed again. We moved back to our initial WebRTC setup and this time cleaned up all contingent code that was connected to streaming services and then it happened ! It worked.

We could not celebrate just yet, as connected components like Realtime Chat, Interactive Classroom still had to be designed and developed. We wrote nearly 100k lines of code in order to connect interaction classroom + real-time chat + video conferencing. The basic component of this challenge took nearly 6000 hours of coding.

Challenge #3
: Real-time Interactions

When we came to the notifications section it was pretty straight forward we had to rely on Sockets and RTC and it works no issues, but the problem came when we had to show the instructor’s status as online when they are logged in and have made themselves aware. Showing them online was not a problem, but based on their manually changing status we had to also confirm that only the available tutors receives the notifications when a session is being requested.

After multiple trial and errors a cleaner code was produced using sockets and we were able to update status and connect respective modules.

Portal for Parents

Parents can manage the accounts on behalf of their children. They buy minute packages which will allow the kids to take sessions with their desired tutor.
Parents can check which sessions are coming up, and which have been already conducted.
The coolest feature of all is the ability to view the recorded sessions and homework files. This way parents can have the peace of mind that their child is getting the best education.

Icon Collection

To be consistent throughout the platform we curated icons specially designed by talented Nikita Golubev. These icons are versatile and adds a nice modern feel to the user interface of Zulu. We kept the icon colors to be Apple Blue so that they are not too bright and vivid. The decision to keep flat base color was made to provide the user with a pleasing experience and least amount of distraction.

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