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Panda Is The Foundation Of A Psychological Assessment Tool Used For The Department of Defense

Seeking a Developer-Friendly Video Encoding Solution

Adam Hasler builds digital products. He’s the lead developer at The Big Studio, a design-focused consultancy based in Boston. Not only does Adam engage in a lot of design, but he also does all the coding. Like other digital product leaders, Adam Hasler is first and foremost a developer and a designer. When it comes to other projects like video encoding, it’s usually out of scope for a typical day’s work.

Adam’s been working on an app that’s used by psychologists as an assessment mechanism. It’s the project of a psychologist, who’d been applying this assessment framework on paper, and administering it to people that way.

Adam’s task was to build a video quiz where subjects could click on a video and give their feedback. The video quiz component would then record where they clicked, and allow them to give feedback on why that moment resonated for them. Each subject’s feedback would then be compared to that of experts to assess whether or not they could read a situation as well.


“I needed to build a tool where subjects watching a video could say, ‘There, right there, that thing that happened is what I think is important,’” explains Adam Hasler. “In my first test build, I used a solution that involved uploading a video and running it through a script. It didn’t work. It was a disaster.”

Panda Is The Best Solution

To complete the project, Adam needed to build both a testing and an authoring component. Psychologists needed to be able to write the tests, so there were two user personas in that sense: a tester and a test taker. The tester would always be a psychologist, who wasn’t technologically savvy, so Adam had to make a really good test editing interface. Because of the nature of the project, he needed to:

  1. Upload videos
  2. Have them appear in different formats depending on the browser being used

“I discovered Panda through Heroku, and it ended up being the best solution,” says Adam. “With Panda, psychologists can author an assessment video by dragging and dropping it into a container I built. Panda uploads it, and collects the feedback. We don’t have to worry about uploading 4 different video file types, because Panda encodes the videos to work on different browsers.”


Panda Delivers Encoded Video To The Department Of Defense

 Thanks to Panda, the project has been highly successful. One of the key user personas is the Department of Defense, which is testing subjects for their response to conflicts.

“Because of the interactivity, I needed more than a video on a page,” explains Adam. “With Panda, I get that beautiful little jSON object back with all the information I would need to make all the difference for this very little, key component. I love Panda! It made my life so much easier. I think it’s so cool.”

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