A web platform that addresses xenophobia by giving a chance to explore how families live all across the globe.
We all live with different fears and some of them are completely irrational, like the fear of subways or pigeons. But there’s a fear that is not just unhelpful but narrows the way people perceive the world and interact with others. Unfortunately, xenophobia or fear of foreigners and strangers still exists, and Anna Rosling, a co-founder of Gapminder and one of Bill Gates' Heroines in the Field, has tried to fight this fear creatively – with a Dollar Street platform.
A team of photographers has documented over 200 homes in around 50 countries and collected over 30,000 photos to show the lives of ordinary families from many different angles. You can see everything from cooking utensils to toothbrushes owned by people at various income levels. As a result, things appear to be not as strange or different as they might look from the news or “common” opinions and prejudices.
Valor is proud to be entrusted with building this project from scratch, which took place in 2014, and its further support and maintenance. Just glad to be part of it!
Initially, we worked on moving the pictures and the descriptions of each family participating in the project to the database and then – to the AWS cloud. The next step was to create the admin panel for Dollar Street with the three main branches: things, places, and data management.
Alongside the work on the admin panel, we cooperated with the client on the website design creation. They already had some workarounds, and the Valor’s designer contributed to the designs’ finalization and implementation.
Simple and user-friendly platform with great navigation
Easy to manage admin panel that allows updating content effortlessly
Cool platform’s look and feel
Once the platform was released, Dollar Street got a crazy amount of attention, including the Twitter post of Bill Gates sharing a link to the app. It was pretty unexpected, and the website got overwhelmed with the load, so we had to do smth with its ability to overcome stress tests when the traffic is high.
According to Google Analytics, the number of attendants worldwide varied between 5 and 10 million! To quickly stabilize the site, Valor’s engineers made a replica of 3 instances on clusters in MongoDB Cloud. For a long-term solution, we set up Kubernetes on Google Cloud Services, dockerized the app, set up auto-scaling, and added Cloudflare for cache, since the site is static.
We used AngularJS for building the first version of Dollar Street. Later we moved it to Angular 2, then – to Angular 7, and until now, we’ve continued updating the Angular versions to the newest (currently, Angular 13).
Stabilized platform and enabled its good performance
on extremely huge amounts of data
Improved scalability and performance
Simplified maintenance of Dollar Street
We’ve added a range of features that made Dollar Street more interactive and exciting to explore. For instance, a video feature contributes to a better view of the families’ households and helps get a bigger picture of the way people live their day-to-day life on the other side of the globe. Also, we’ve developed a blog and added comparison, so you can filter the feed based on keywords, people’s locations, average income, etc., and make a comparison on various parameters.
Improved perception of the website content with the video feature added
Powerful analytical environment implemented
Streamlined UX and more insights into people’s lives with the extended filter
Multiple language support – 16 languages!
Mother of Dollar Street
Thanks "Valor Software" for awesome work! I especially liked your openness and desire to share experience. The best of Valor, is that they never say "It'simpossible", they always find a good approaches to satisfy the customers.