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Background

Kaiyo is a sustainable online marketplace for pre-owned, design-centric furniture. Their website offers users a premium shopping experience with professional-grade photography and a smooth buying and selling process.

To support its expansion goals, Kaiyo needed a high-performing website that could handle complex features and deliver flawless UX. We helped the company migrate to a modern front-end framework that optimized its development process, secured an exceptional user experience, and provided the support it needed to scale.

The Challenge

Kaiyo’s legacy Flask framework was keeping its development team from reaching ambitious UX and design goals. Flask’s scalability and ease of use made it a great choice when building the initial website. But, as Kaiyo grew, limitations such as low support for interactive features hurt performance and user experience.

Based on their needs, we proposed migrating from Flask to a high-performing React framework and creating a component system to make future development easier, faster, and more consistent.

The Process

Torii Studio worked closely with Kaiyo’s development team to address various development needs:

Migrate from a legacy front-end framework to React. React will vastly improve Kaiyo’s website performance and deliver a superior developer and user experience. In addition, it will provide better support for the website’s mobile version.

    Create a reusable component system. A reusable set of tried-and-tested, high-quality components will enable Kaiyo’s development team to seamlessly scale and add new features.

      Update the QA process. The new CI/CD pipeline shortens the QA process and allows for faster iteration of new UI/UX features.

        Once our team completed the migration, we performed a second website audit that uncovered additional improvement opportunities:

        Product Details page. We found that oversized image files were slowing down load times for Kaiyo’s Product Details page—one of the most used on their website. We proposed a two-part solution:

        • Integrate a lossless compression algorithm to compress images without compromising quality.

        • Adopt a new UX approach for the image zoom feature, which allows users to tap on images and load high-resolution versions asynchronously.

        Submission form. As a community-powered marketplace, Kaiyo relies on submissions from users looking to sell their furniture. The new submission features a simple and intuitive flow that allows users to enter and submit data quickly.

          The Result

          Kaiyo’s website transformation resulted in a fivefold increase in productivity and a noticeably improved developer experience for its team. The new framework, CI/CD pipeline, and component system enabled them to:

          Expedite product development, testing, and release by 5X

          Increase the frequency of QA reviews from 2X per month to multiple times per week

          Improve code quality and reliability

          Optimize user experience—plus visual and interaction consistency

          In addition, our team’s work on the Details page decreased front-end load times by 80% and resulted in significant performance improvements across the entire website:

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          Shortly after we concluded our collaboration with Kaiyo, the company raised $36M in Series B funding to secure its expansion into the US West Coast market.

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