We built CutIt; A functional URL shortener.

We built CutIt; A functional URL shortener.

We were tasked with building a URL shortener this week and manage the cross-sectional teams involved in the process. URL shortening is the translation of a long Uniform Resource Locator into an abbreviated alternative that redirects to the longer URL. The idea is to minimize the web page address into something that is easier to remember and track.

Conducting a market research, we concluded that the URL shortener is tailored to a specific target audience majorly Social media marketers, digital marketers, etc. It solves the issue of convenience especially when sharing URL’s leading to stronger engagement and portrays better professionalism. They also offer the ability to track the analytical data as well as increasing the click rate.

Competitive analysis: There are many URL shorteners on the market but we analyzed two of the major ones which are: Bitly and TinyURL. To ensure we conducted fair competitive analysis we used the following criteria:

  1. How easy it is to set up and use the tool.
  2. How friendly is the user interface.
  3. What features are available.
  4. Do the features provide value for the cost.

With these guidelines in place, we were able to identify essential features for users and an overall excellent user experience.

From the User research, essentially we managed to understand how the target audience engages with the website. A questionnaire was drafted to understand them better.


From this research, user personas were developed:

User persona 1: Name: Patty

Occupation: Social media influencer

Demographic: Patty is a 22 year old lady, whose daily activity includes scheduling content publications and generating large followings for SME’s. She needs a URL shortenening app to increase and track user engagement as well as utilize provided text characters on social media platforms.

User persona 2: Name: Matthew Occupation: Brand Digital Marketer Demographic: Matthew is a 30 year old man whose focus is maintaining online presence and increasing sales for brands. He uses digital channels to drive brand awareness and needs a URL shortener to increase his click rate and track his analytical data.

User stories:

• As a user i would like to be able to share my shortened URL from the app directly to other platforms.

• As a user i would like to be able to see all my recently shortened URL’s on the app.

• As a user I would like to be able to customize my shortened URL.

• As a user I would like to be able to track my analytics of my URL.

This week’s task was approached in a different manner by splitting ourselves into sub-teams, each assigned to various tasks. A general meeting was set-up with all teams to discuss our product strategy and to understand each team’s role to play in bringing our product to life. Timelines were also discussed and agreed upon. A design template was picked from the ones suggested.

After much deliberation we decided to name our app -CutIt. Our user flow was drawn up to give insights on the app’s user navigation. We also set up our Kanban board displaying the entire product roadmap with Trello software.

Follow this to view our Kanban board: trello.com/invite/b/USXT4o4C/737a4209f3eb35..

Our daily stand-up meetings were not left out which ensured that all teams were right on track.

Check out our user flow: whimsical.com/url-shortener-85oKMQXJmC1TiCP..

Once the Backend team was done creating the API’s, Quality Assurance team tested for functionality, approved and handed over to the Frontend team.

The Frontend team worked on integrating the API’s into the code whilst the QA team were kept in the loop to ensure continuous testing for functionality and an overall better user experience.

Check our GitHub here: moh922.github.io/Cut-It-Shortener

Thank you for reading!