5 Minute Reader

Hand holding smarthpone with 5 Minute Reader

Pick up your reading habit
in 30 days.

Discover a highly regarded short story, from renowned authors, everyday. On average, stories take less than 5 minutes to read, which makes it easier to complete the challenge with success. By completing the challenge users earn extra stories. By the end of the month they will have developed a new reading habit.

5 Minute Reader is our toy project. It is the perfect environment for us to onboard new mobile app developers in the team and to implement and test concepts that can be applied in more sophisticated projects.

OUR ROLESoftware engineering, Project management, Product management, Collection curation

PROJECT PARTNERSBloco, Karl Smyth Studio

ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF READINGReading offers the possibility to understand how things look from someone else’s perspective and to consider the consequences of our actions on others in a way that otherwise we would not. It prepares us for failure, while showing us the messed up examples of the real world. However, unlike in our society, great books do not judge as one-dimensionally.

In literature, we find descriptions of what we actually are, detailed with an honesty quite different from what an ordinary conversation allows for. Sometimes it even looks like the writer knows us better than we actually do, describing the frail and weird special experiences of our inner lives. As Ralph W. Emerson puts it, “In the works of great writers we find our own neglected thoughts”.

PROBLEM People are reading less fiction literature than they used to. By 2015 only 43 percent of the American adults had read at least one work of literature in the previous year. It is the lowest point since 1982 when it was 57 percent. These numbers only capture reading for pleasure and exclude required readings for work or school. This trend is not exclusive to the United States of America (USA), we can also see some indicators of a broader trend.

With the proliferation of digital books, the publishing industry believed it would attract lighter readers into the market, but something does not make digital reading attractive enough. And lighter readers are a great example, because they are still less likely than the heavier readers to be reading ebooks and apps. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, in 2014, Americans spent on average 166 minutes per day watching TV, 43 socializing and communicating, 26 on digital leisure and only 19 reading.

SOLUTIONWe have curated a collection of short stories from renowned authors. We believe that short literature has the advantage of being easier to read, due to the short format, and for this reason it is a good approach to help people get back their reading habit. Different stories are available on a daily basis and the user is challenged to read until the end. If the user completes the challenge he is rewarded with an extra story.

Following our lean methodology, we will continue to work on this project. By applying customer development principles, we have detailed a precise roadmap that will allow us to get a new version of the app in the store in the coming months.

THE SYSTEMThis is a distributed system that follows the client-server model where the communication is done through the request-response messaging pattern. It is an Android native mobile app and a Ruby on Rails RESTful API. We have also developed a web application to gather relevant data in the administration dashboard. Throughout the development phases we adopted a Test Driven Development approach.

The core component of the system is the Android app. The development started in 2017, back when we were still using Java. This offline first app follows clean architecture principles with the Model-View-Presenter pattern to handle the UI.

5 Minute Reader in mobile and tablet devices

Java, Dagger 2, Retrofit, RxJava, MySQL, Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL

INTEGRATIONSFacebook SDK, Facebook ads, Google AdMob, Firebase Cloud Messaging, Mailgun, Circle CI, Sentry, Firebase Crashlytics

Check it out in the Google Play Store

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