Case Study: GraphCMS and Asana Rebel

Asana Rebel accelerate their time to market with a modern Headless CMS for Health and Fitness related application content.

We like GraphCMS because it saves us a lot of development time, we don’t constantly have to build new solutions and extend our systems for new ideas. It also has a very intuitive and professional UI that makes it easy for our editors to create new content.

Rudi Seelig
Rudi SeeligSenior Backend Engineer at Asana Rebel

About Asana Rebel

Asana Rebel (asanarebel.com) is a Berlin-based startup founded in 2015. They are the company behind the Asana Rebel app. They describe themselves as the healthy lifestyle app for anyone who wants to get in shape, have more energy, sleep better, and increase their productivity - and are currently used by millions of users primarily across North America, and Western Europe, averaging at a 5-star rating across app stores from over 50,000 reviews.

The Challenge and the Project

Asana Rebel’s main app was built on a custom homebrew CMS composed of their application content, marketing content, promotions, assets (videos, images, classes), and a host of other user-specific content.

In parallel, they were planning to release a multitude of micro-apps for specific use cases like weight loss, dieting, and other wellness-related topics.

Internally, they deemed it infeasible to continue building upon their CMS to support these new initiatives, and sought a CMS that would allow them to fulfill the following requirements:

  • A quick development process to bring their applications to market faster
  • An agile workflow, allowing their development and content teams to work in parallel
  • A modern tech stack that gave them future flexibility should they require to modify their products
  • A product that allowed them to rapidly iterate on multiple apps without being tied into a solution that restricted them.
  • A cloud-hosted SaaS solution that would enable them to build native mobile apps without any infrastructure or labor overheads.

The first phase of the project would be to launch 2 pilot apps to test their hypothesis, for iOS and Android. For this, their development team worked hand in hand with their CRM team and content creators, choosing GraphCMS, and successfully launching the apps.

The second phase would be to use the learnings from the new apps and roll out additional micro-apps, potentially up to 20 per OS, which could all be controlled from a single system (GraphCMS), with granular user permissions and roles per project.

Why GraphCMS

After a long and comprehensive selection process of multiple Headless CMS, the Asana Rebel team opted to choose GraphCMS for several reasons.

GraphCMS allowed the team to get up and running quickly. The ability to build the basic structure through schema building quickly and effectively in GraphCMS was one of the stand-out features. GraphCMS required very little onboarding for the technical team; schema building struck the perfect balance of the required functionality without needing workarounds and embracing the truly headless mindset. This saved the development team a lot of time as they no longer had to build and maintain a CMS but could focus their energies on building the core application.

The content editors have gained much-needed independence and flexibility. While new team members do require a brief onboarding, they are now able to customize their content where they were previously limited to minimal styling choices. Content can now be formatted and styled the way that the content teams see fit. GraphCMS balanced robust features and functionality with a simple, straightforward UI which improved development times and gave the content team more freedom and flexibility.

The standout reasons mentioned during the onboarding process were the key differentiators:

  • The content team has more independence and flexibility. They are no longer limited to minor styling or developer availability.
  • Simple, straightforward UI which requires very little onboarding for new users
  • Fast response and resolution times with the customer support team
  • Optimized workflows allow content to be published in minutes rather than weeks
  • Relations feature enables complex connections between content types
  • Sleek app interface creates a straightforward user experience for content editors and developers alike
  • Rich-text Editor and Markdown Editor allow you to create content hassle-free and preview the style immediately
  • Included API playground allowed the team to start working immediately without time-consuming onboarding with programmatically generated documentation and queries.
  • GraphCMS offers an extremely flexible API that can satisfy any custom content modeling and API design needs.

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