Designing the debate stage in the palm of your hand

The challenge

When Emmy Award-winning producer Edward Walson (Blue Jasmine) and Emmy-nominated, ABC News Producer Bryan Keinz approached CitrusBits about creating a video-based debate app, our team quickly jumped on board with their compelling vision. Their vision for the Erupt app was to foster healthy and intelligent discussion (via debates) among young people on pressing societal issues, mediated by non-partisan moderators.

The Erupt app would center around a reliable and scalable live video and video-on-demand experience, along with a captivating user experience for debate participants and viewers alike — all while keeping things simple for users venturing into this exciting new format.


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The process

Our teams broke huddle and went to work respectively. Design focused on providing a simple-to-use user experience for debate participants and viewers alike. Our Dev and Product teams began the process of building reliable, scalable, and high-performing live streaming and VOD capabilities, along with critical debate moderation, program schedule, and other administrative capabilities

For the backend live video and VOD, we partnered with Agora, a leading cloud-based provider we’ve worked extensively with. Our Dev team worked hand-in-hand with Agora’s technical staff to ensure Erupt’s video hosting would be scalable, employing load testing to simulate millions of concurrent requests.

As the user-facing application neared completion, our teams worked to iron out crucial administrative capabilities like content and user moderation, and program scheduling — to ensure that Erupt’s well-publicized platform launch would be a success.

The result

Winner of 4
prestigious industry awards for creativity
1 hour 15 mins
average time spent on app per user


Just 16 weeks after project kickoff, CitrusBits was able to deliver a fully-functional, scalable, video-based debate app that has impressed our client, their investors, and most importantly, the fast-growing community of users and viewers the app was designed for.

The Erupt team is excited to be continuing its collaboration with CitrusBits and creating exciting new experiences within the Erupt app.

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