Once the idea for faster, better online investigation software was hatched, a great development team was needed to ensure it would truly live up to the vision. In the weeks before the launch, the Paliscope team gathered to talk about the mood before the big day and describe their journey from idea to reality.
The clock is ticking for the Paliscope development team at their headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. There’s less than two weeks to go to the launch of Paliscope online investigation software. It is easy to expect caffeine-induced stress and drama so close to a big launch, but the team is relaxed and most of all they’re excited by how Paliscope will be received by the users.
As Lars Svensby, Product Owner and day-to-day team leader, explains, “It’s leading-edge technology and we’ve built certain features from nothing. Things that didn’t exist before like the report engine and the screen capture feature that collects all information on the webpage including the source code. We think users will also love the data structure and storage that keeps everything neatly in the right place for each investigation.”
Designed with the user always in mind
On top of more structured, effective investigations and reporting, the team believes the easy-to-use, intuitive interface will also make a difference to investigators. Anna Weiss is the Senior UX Designer and has been involved at every step of the development process: “In the past, OSINT investigators have been juggling lots of different tabs open in their browsers and having problems exporting data. So naturally one of the big ideas behind Paliscope was to bring everything together in one environment and in a structured way. But we’ve taken that a step further with the clean and intuitive look of the software. Put simply, we want people to start using Paliscope straightaway – and getting the benefits – without ever having to read a manual.”
Lars is confident that they’ve delivered on this promise of a user-friendly environment and a more powerful, effective way of working. “It’s not just what we think within the team,” he says. “The feedback from Paliscope’s alpha testers, experienced investigators like Lars Underbjerg, has also been very positive.”
No compromise on quality
So how did the team deliver on the vision for Paliscope and in such a short time frame too? After all, development only began in earnest in late 2016? “It’s how we work here,” explains Lars. “As a core team of myself, Lars Simonsson and David Reimer as software engineers, Anna Weiss with the UX design and Niklas Westerholm giving the Quality Assurance perspective, we have an agile way of working that’s inspired by lean manufacturing and the famous Toyota Production System. Everyone knows what they have to do – and we only sign off on features when they also meet our UX and quality demands. We don’t compromise which means we could make really good and steady progress over the last year.”
Lars and the team are modest as it’s been an impressive performance to keep up the tempo while living up to the ambition for Paliscope and the quality the users need. When we ask what the next step is for them and the development of Paliscope, there’s laughter and a chorus of “The weekend!”
The journey continues
Of course, it’s back to work on Monday. The team is looking forward to getting feedback from the new Paliscope user community and taking the next step in the development. So what’s in the pipeline? “Lots of stuff, ”says Lars with a smile. “One thing I can talk about is partial screen captures. And then there’s users being able to add tools through the open API … I’m really excited to see what happens there.”
We hope you enjoy Paliscope and that it makes your online investigations faster, easier and more secure. To get started today, just download your free Community edition.
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