The Power of Collaboration: Boosting Tongal's Long-term Success Through Team Augmentation

Discover how strategic staff augmentation can help you overcome and conquer any tech challenge and propel your business growth to new heights.

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by Matias Emiliano Alvarez Duran


In our decade-long journey of driving growth and innovation through software development, we've seen again and again the amazing outcomes achieved by amplifying an in-house dev team's capabilities through staff augmentation. And our collaboration with Tongal, an LA-based content creation platform, stands as a prime example of this approach in action! 

This case study offers a glimpse into how integrating our expertise into their squad helped Tongal overcome complex challenges in client projects and significantly boost the performance of their own platform. So get ready for a real-world example of what partnering with an expert tech sidekick can do to help you scale, innovate, and enhance process efficiency within your business.

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Keen to expand the possibilities of your development squad? Get in touch. Our experts will seamlessly integrate with your team and go above and beyond to ensure your long-term success!

Getting to Know the Client and How It All Started

Our adventure began in 2019, when Tongal, a content creation platform connecting iconic brands with a global network of creative talent, was working on a new challenge: building a custom World Builder website for LEGO. 

Through industry recommendations, Tongal's search for a partner to expand its internal development capacity led them to NaNLABS. Soon after our first chat, we sealed the deal and our crew was tasked with creating a dynamic discussion system for the LEGO project. 

We had a small in-house team, and it was becoming very challenging to build a large integrated website with such a small team. So we got in touch with several agencies to get help with building the discussion system, and after meeting with NaNLABS they seemed to be by far the best choice.

Kelsey LedfordHead of Product at Tongal

Expanding the Scope Through Team Augmentation

Our journey quickly unfolded beyond the initial brief. Instead of simply building the code for the discussion system and handing it over to Tongal, our usual commitment to going the extra mile led us to immerse ourselves in their business to fully understand their needs and deliver the best possible results. 

The outcomes and the work dynamic we established not only met but exceeded their expectations, leading to an extended partnership where NaNLABS was integrated into Tongal's squad through our team augmentation services

We appreciated NanLABS’ eagerness to integrate into the team as much as possible." "Our head of engineering was impressed by their technical knowledge and the guidance they provided as we discussed different approaches to building the discussion system.

Kelsey LedfordHead of Product at Tongal

We worked on Tongal's internal system, enhancing the user experience on their content creation platform. 

Tongal wanted to make their content creation more efficient, while also boosting user satisfaction. The idea was to optimize the collaboration process between creators and clients and revamp the user interface, making it more intuitive and appealing. 

Tackling the Next Project Phase and Its Challenges 

Once we began this next phase of our collaboration with Tongal, our mission was multifaceted:

  • Conducting a detailed analysis of Tongal's existing platform;

  • Identifying areas for improvement in user experience and devising a plan to effectively bring solutions to life;

  • Designing and building the new features and functionalities

  • Implementing the technical solutions to enhance platform performance and usability 

The plan was clear but the journey was not without its challenges. Tight deadlines, context changes, and certain shifts in project specifications demanded a swift, efficient response from our team. On top of that, the technical aspects of working with Tongal's existing platform presented its own set of hurdles.

Tongal’s  codebase was over 10 years old and it was time for a refresh. We needed to figure out the best tools to use, and how to approach such a gigantic legacy code base, to effectively integrate the new features we were going to build.

Kelsey LedfordHead of Product at Tongal

The Solution: Taking Tongal's Platform to the Next Level

To tackle the project’s challenges and deliver high-quality solutions our squad employed a diverse and robust tech toolkit:

Design and Project Management Tools: Using Figma, Zeplin, and Photoshop, we crafted wireframes and interactive prototypes. ClickUp and Miro facilitated project coordination and progress tracking.

Backend Technologies: We paired Kotlin with Spring Boot for a robust backend, integrating GraphQL for efficient data querying and manipulation. Clean Architecture principles were followed to maintain a separation of concerns, making the codebase modular, testable, and easily maintainable.

Frontend Tech: The application's frontend was built with React.js and TypeScript, employing Material UI for a consistent and visually appealing user interface. Legacy code maintenance involved AngularJs and Coffeescript.

Databases: MySQL and ElasticSearch underpinned our database management, supporting structured data storage and real-time search functionality.

Our Approach to The Work: Developing Solutions the NaNLABS Way

On top of leveraging a carefully selected tech stack, our strategy was to prioritize thorough planning and seamless collaboration between development and design teams. 

Through our usual proactive work ethos, we identified several opportunities to take things to the next level, making suggestions that were not initially part of the project scope, but highly valuable to achieving Tongal's goals. An example was the idea of incorporating an advanced search feature to streamline navigation and content search for users, which ended up being integrated into a later development phase.

This work dynamic is a product of 10+ years of experience in the game and a hard-core Agile development methodology. No matter the type of project, be it staff augmentation, MVP development, or any other service, our strategy will include a continuous improvement mindset, total transparency, and close collaboration with everyone involved. 

When we started the collaboration, Tongal had a lot less experience with Scrum than NaNLABS, and they came in with a lot of great ideas for how we could improve our processes. They're very honest in their communication, setting expectations appropriately, and they weren't afraid to give us feedback or pushback on technical ideas.

Kelsey LedfordHead of Product at Tongal

The Results: Long-term Impacts of a Successful Partnership

The collaboration between NaNLABS and Tongal has led to significant improvements in the usability and functionality of Tongal's platform, which has undergone several iterations, each introducing new features and enhancements. 

Our partnership's success is also manifested in Tongal's growth. In addition to seeing a steady growth in its creator and client base, the company also has evolved and improved internal processes. 

"We've definitely refined our development processes and become more agile as a result of working with NaNLABS. We've gotten a lot better at creating project estimates for clients, prioritizing our tasks, gathering user feedback, and user testing." 

At NaNLABS, we don't simply sell custom software development services. We build strategic partnerships with clients, who can rely on us to be their trusty tech sidekick and go above and beyond to ensure their long-term success. And that was the case with Tongal too. 

The NaNLABS team was just as invested in Tongal's future and our users' happiness as anybody working on the tech team. They've always been interested in talking to stakeholders, in better understanding the business, and that's not something you always get, even from in-house developers, so it's been really impressive working with them.

Kelsey LedfordHead of Product at Tongal

As for the LEGO World Builder platform, it's still in use to this day, as a means of collaboration between the LEGO fans community and the LEGO Company. 

Keen to expand the possibilities of your development squad? Get in touch. Our experts will seamlessly integrate with your team and go above and beyond to ensure your long-term success!

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