Revolutionizing Investigative Journalism with Sifter

Project length
Team size
1,5 FTE development team
Case study
April 6, 2023

Revolutionizing Investigative Journalism with Sifter

Sifter is an open-source intelligence (OSINT) platform that enables journalists and investigators to collect, analyze, and display their data and findings together in new ways while giving them another method to earn from their hard work with a revenue-sharing model.

John Ferreira, who is the designer, product lead, and CEO of Sifter, took the development into his own hands by using Noodl to build the Sifter from scratch at a time with low availability of development resources.

“Without Noodl, Sifter as an MVP would not truly exist. Both the product and the team are amazing, and it has changed the game when it comes to being a designer. Now I’m not only designing products, but I can also build software businesses as an individual.”
John Ferreira, CEO & Product Lead, Sifter

The challenge

Building a complex platform like Sifter, requires a lot of time and resources, and with the initial challenge of low availability of development resources, John went on to build Sifter himself.

Although John is a trained designer with 16 years of experience, building forward-thinking products for both startups and big corporations, his knowledge of coding and development is limited.

Low-code tools proved to be a possible way to get started, but most of the tools John tried were too limited to deal with the complexity and custom design of Sifter.

Noodl was the first platform that could support this complexity and enable a low-code way of building the required novel interaction patterns and node-based graph views featured in Sifter’s design.

“Noodl opened the door for me to build my own product from scratch. As the first product and company to offer a platform that could support the complexity of my Sifter project, Noodl gave me an easy-to-use and flexible platform that let me build my product, where Before Noodl, my designs existed only in Figma, and I had limited experience with low-code tools that lacked the necessary flexibility to achieve my goals.” - John

The solution

Sifter is on a mission to build the best visual sense-making tool out there for researchers. So far, their solution is built around the following three aspects of the investigative research process:

🔦 Sourcing
Sifter makes it easy to source information from local computers, with indexing and OCR of text to facilitate search and retrieval.

🔍 Analysis
Sifter’s starting unique selling proposition (USP) is a user-friendly node graph that helps investigators make sense of the information they have gathered. This means that it's easier to understand where there are connections between people and organizations. By link know connections which will come from the raw data.

📝 Distribution
Finally, Sifter enables researchers to distribute their findings using dynamic visual embeds wherever they publish their reports. This makes it easy for readers to engage with and understand the information presented. Could be a substack medium or our own writing tools.


Overall, the work on Sifter has the potential to revolutionize the investigative research industry, aiding investigators in uncovering the truth more efficiently. The impact of this work cannot be overstated, and the possibilities for further development and innovation are thrilling. 

“The process of building Sifter using Noodl has been a revelation, providing new insights and possibilities that have opened up further avenues for product development. While there are still some logic gaps to be addressed, the progress made thus far has been astounding. Furthermore, the integration of AI tools with Noodl's logic has worked wonderfully, demonstrating the potential for future innovation in this field.” - John

If you're searching for a low-code solution to turn your ambitious ideas into successful software without any limitations, then Noodl is the platform for you.

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