A search app for the Biden Campaign

Nick Ocampo
Feb 2 · 4 min read

Brief

The following is work I did for Politech as head of product.

We were honored to have the opportunity to work with the Biden 2020 campaign to build a transcription tool that aided their research and messaging efforts. The Biden team came to us in need of a solution to overcome some of the limitations that their transcription software had, so we set out to build a web application that used the Trint transcription service API and to take video transcription searching to the next level.

The problem

The Biden team has a trove of video recordings from campaign speeches, fundraising events and more that they process through a software-as-a-service application called Trint. Trint allows you to upload a video and it will create a written transcription of it by analyzing the audio. This is incredibly handy because it allows you to keep all the content in searchable text. The problem? The Trint app itself is lacking in some functionality that the Biden team wished to have.

For instance, they were only able to search for keywords within a single video. But they were not able to search for a keyword and have Trint bring up all the transcriptions that matched the text. They also wanted to be able to refine their search further and have access to a preview of the portion of the video that matched the searched keyword.

Designing a solution

The Politech team started by learning more about what Trint can do. We were happy to find that they have a flexible API that we could make use of to get the specific transcripts we needed into our own application. We also found that in order to provide the best functionality, we would need to create our own application that would store all the videos and transcripts in its own database to manage the requirements.

After ironing out some requirement details, we set out to design wireframes for what the app could look like:

We sent over those wireframes (along with several other view states showing error handling, loading states, logging in, etc.) to the Biden Campaign team for feedback. After making a few adjustments, we were ready to build the application.

The finished product

The whole project came and went pretty quickly. The planning and design phase took about a month, and once we were given the green light, we built the application in under a month’s time.

We managed to get a lot done in this time. We built our own custom video player that lets you click on a result from a keyword search and takes you straight to the point where the word was used in the video. Users can also change the start and endpoints to videos to their choice. We also created our own set of field controls that support the advanced filtering required.

Here are a few of the features we included:

Authentication with Google

Search homepage

Search filters

Video previews

Nick Ocampo

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