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Website and Subscription Platform to Empower Small Business Growth

Case Study

Website and Subscription Platform to Empower Small Business Growth


Impulso was looking for a partner to work with them to develop their new institutional website and that could also deliver a subscription platform for customers to have access to special content, information and deals that will help them grow their business.




UI/UX Design





Impulso is a social organization, legally constituted as a non-profit association, whose mission is to create opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses to grow together.

They organise a series of programmes and workshops aiming to give people the tools and knowledge to transform their businesses into reality.

Impulso also has a subscription platform that brings businesses everything they need to grow by also creating a sense of community around small businesses in Portugal.

Discovery Phase

We had some interactions with the Impulso team where they shared a very simple structure of what they were looking to have on the website and in the subscription platform.

The main objectives of the Impulso team were:

  • Present the organisation’s main offers;
  • Highlight their main added value by sharing the idea of community;
  • Make it simple and easy for people to register for Workshops and Programmes they were offering;
  • Highlight the benefits of being part of the subscription platform and encourage people to subscribe;
  • Create a space to share relevant information (news, content and events) for their target audience.

Tech Stack

The main factors considered for the selection of the tech stack were speed, simplicity, modern and strong infrastructure and ultimately control of running costs.

Three mockups of the Impulso website

Impulso needed a strong and fast web presence that was ready to scale in the near future. With a straightforward and simple content structure, we had to give the editorial team some flexibility, especially on pages that would have a lot of new content, such as the blog.

We used Nextjs as the optimal Static Site Generator. Due to its server-side rendering, Next.js websites load faster, providing a great user experience. A key point of Next.js is that, together with the statically rendered pages generated all at once on build time, it can also render dynamic content on each request, becoming a hybrid application containing both server-rendered and statically generated pages.

For the CMS, we decided to use Decap CMS which allows for a simple-to-use and customized experience.

To build the platform we went for a serverless infrastructure using a series of services from Amazon Web Services (AWS). We are using AWS Cognito to manage user authentication and the S3 for the database of users. With this infrastructure, the Impulso team has zero costs for now and the possibility to completely scale the platform without the need for new development work.

Stripe is managing all the payment aspects of the subscription platform integrating it with AWS services. The Impulso team already had experience using Stripe and we decided it was a good option to keep it.





Project Highlights

Marzee's team of developers was responsible for smooth project delivery. Throughout project implementation and even after delivery, we were able to revisit and redirect some of the choices made in terms of structure and design.

  1. Working with an external designer

    Impulso already had a designer that was working with them on the Impulso branding and was also responsible for the web design of the institutional website.

    The designer shared with us the brand guidelines and most importantly the Style Guide and started working on the layouts of the pages. We started development while the designs were still being finalized since we had a short deadline to deliver the project.

    It was important to have a general idea of the elements and components that would be the same across the website and receiving the design in parts was a bit of a challenge. However, we made it work the best way to work.

    We started creating the styles of both the website and the platform based on the Design Style Guide delivered by the designer. We then moved to create components such as the Menu, Header and Footer that are being used across the website.

    As the designer delivered the layouts of the different pages, our team of developers started creating the components and content types for the different website pages.

    The Impulso team asked Marzee to work on the design for the platform and we decided to follow the design prepared by their designer in order to maintain visual consistency across Impulso online offer.

    Four design mockup pagesFour design mockup pages: 2 desktop and 2 mobile
  2. A successful payment process for the subscription platform

    One of the pillars of Impulso offer is a subscription platform for businesses and entrepreneurs to expand their businesses by providing them access to a list of specialists, group discounts, opportunities for visibility and other perks.

    One aspect of the platform that needed extra attention in terms of User Experience (UX) was the payment process for the subscription to the platform. Impulso platform is a digital community with a series of services available for small businesses that want to grow. To be part of it, interested users should subscribe monthly or pay in advance for a whole year with a considerable discount.

    Diagram of the process after user clicks on subscribe

    From clicking on the subscribe button to creating an account and effectively paying for the subscription, we wanted to make sure the whole process was smooth. We also had to consider that some parts of the process were not completely customizable, since it was coming from third-party service providers such as AWS and Stripe.

    We were careful enough to have the user flow well specified from the beginning, but we had in mind that it was important to have actual user feedback during the test phase.

    The best feedback from users came after the platform was launched. The Impulso team noticed that some changes needed to be done to the process, considering the challenges users were having with the subscription process.

    Marzee and Impulso team worked together again to come up with a new payment process in order to facilitate the subscription based on feedback gathered from users.

    We cut down some steps and created a discount code page where customers could add the discount codes. This last feature was key for this moment of the platform, where Impulso is still creating a community and encouraging the businesses that participate in their workshops and programs to take part in this initiative.

    Lower level of diagram when user clicks on subscribe
  3. Development: Agility and Flexibility were key for the project's success

    The development phase started with simple setups of the infrastructure for both the website and the platform and some general styles were implemented. We organised the work in sprints and had all the work to be done by the developers organised on Gitlab tickets, the tool we were using for code repo.

    The project was supposed to be delivered in 2 different phases: one for the website launch and another one for the platform.

    Once we started receiving the layouts of the website, we noticed that the designer introduced complex animations and different types of carousels across the website that were not expected to be part of the project, which is completely normal and usually happens, but it meant we had to follow with a budget and timeline review.

    Flexibility and the ability to adapt were key at this point. Impulso had a hard deadline to launch the website and considering the new features introduced by the designer plus a bit of delay in the delivery of the designs, Marzee team had a very short period of time to deliver the website. We did not want to postpone a lot the launch date, so we recommended a different approach to the one we usually work with.

    Instead of developing the website together with the CMS and giving a staging link to the client so they could input the copy and start getting used to the CMS, we decided to first build the website completely static and to hardcode all the copy so we would have it shining for the launch. The only page that had integration with the CMS was the blog since the team needed to have the ability to create blog posts from the start.

    So we introduced a third phase to the project, setting up the CMS for the website and platform after the successful delivery of phases 1 and 2.

    Even though the CMS was just set up in phase 3, we still had a testing environment where both our and Impulso's team could test functionalities and make sure everything was looking as expected. As we had the pages ready, we would share the link with the Impulso team and they would test them.


Working with other external teams for the successful delivery of the project

One very interesting aspect of this project is that Marzee was working with three different teams to deliver the website. Impulso decided to work with specialised teams to make sure they had the best people working with them.

Marzee was responsible for the development of both the website and the platform, as well as for the design of the forum. A freelancer designer did the brand and website design. All the SEO and marketing were delivered by a specialised team.

This was a very interesting experience for all the actors involved. It was key to have everyone on the same page and aware of any possible delays and challenges we encountered during project delivery.

Four pages of the resulting website
  • New website delivered on time
  • Low to zero running costs with the infrastructure
  • Scalable
  • Good Performance (Lighthouse score)