A Finnish digital business consulting company, Kisko Labs has been building tools on the web with Ruby on Rails since 2007, arguably the most renowned Rails company in the country. We sat down with Vesa to discuss how they use Libpixel at Kisko Labs and why they’ve been a supporter from the early days.
With LibPixel, it's very easy just to set the URL, the image processing parameters you wish to use, and it just works.
Lauri: Who are you and what do you do?
Vesa: My name is Vesa Vänskä. I'm a software developer and partner at Kisko Labs.
Lauri: What are your use cases for using image processing?
Vesa: At Kisko, we build web products for our customers. The products almost always use images in many ways. Therefore, we need a convenient, performant way of handling and serving images to the users. Usually through a CDN. LibPixel has served well us in those areas.
Lauri: You've been a long-time LibPixel user, but how did you solve the image processing and delivery problem before?
Vesa: We would process the images locally on the application server. The images would usually be stored in Amazon S3 and served through a CloudFront distribution.
Lauri: Why did you choose LibPixel?
Vesa: Well, we knew the LibPixel developers very well and knew what they were building was going to be a quality service. That gave us confidence to try it out. But the more important question is that why we've kept on using it and expanded to most of the projects. The answer is that LibPixel is very easy to use, for both designers and developers. I asked one of our designers why he likes LibPixel and he replied that "it's idiot-proof." If you're a designer and not very technical, the thought of having to configure a CloudFront distribution might be horrifying. With LibPixel, it's very easy just to set the URL, the image processing parameters you wish to use, and it just works. A designer who's comfortable with HTML and CSS can be as productive user of LibPixel as any developer. The developer experience of LibPixel is very well thought out.
Lauri: Why should companies and agencies like Kisko Labs use LibPixel?
Vesa: Choosing LibPixel as your image processing solution will simply save you a lot of time. No need to process the images in the backend, upload and manage versions, and that extra work. It's all taken care of by LibPixel. It'll remove friction from the team's ways of working. Designers don't need developer support just to get some new image variations.
Lauri: Can you quantify how much LibPixel has helped you in improving load times for your clients, or saved you time on the development side?
Vesa: Well, we haven't really measured the performance impact on using LibPixel versus our own solution, because we were quite performance conscious from the get-go. So, I think most of the savings come from not having to build a performant solution yourself. I know that LibPixel is built on Amazon cloud technologies and it gives me confidence that LibPixel is built on the industry standard foundation. If I can rely on Amazon infrastructure, I certainly can rely on LibPixel.
Lauri: What would you say to a developer or a CTO who's choosing an image processing solution right now?
Vesa: I'd definitely mention that LibPixel is very easy to use and get started with. I think that's a big deal. Other solutions in the market might have wider set of transformations, but if you're looking for a simple, focused service, LibPixel is definitely a finalist. It's priced competitively, works very reliably, and it's easy to use. And the development time you can save is significant – at least it's been that way for us.
Lauri: Would you recommend LibPixel?
Vesa: I'd definitely recommend LibPixel for people doing web software that have image processing requirements, and need to serve images fast to your users.
Lauri: Thanks for your time Vesa!