Blueprint’s Spring 2016 team

Reframing Progress Into New Goals

Learn more about what our 5 project teams have accomplished so far, as well as what they have planned for this spring!


Ashby Village

Ashby Village is a community that provides local seniors with opportunities to socialize with peers, volunteer, and access key resources that they need to live independently.

Blueprint is creating a custom-built social platform for Ashby Village to better engage and inform members about events and services in their area.

What sets the Ashby Village project apart from Blueprint’s previous projects is the extensive focus on user testing. Because the core demographic of Ashby Village is more comfortable with using traditional communication methods, such as telephones, it is necessary to rethink some technological conventions that younger audiences are used to and customize them for Ashby Village’s users.

Blueprint developers Shannon Chu and Nikita Rau assisting Ashby Village members during the initial product launch.

Since Blueprint’s project team began work last fall, the first users of the platform have been able to:

  • register and create online accounts
  • join various groups within the Ashby Village community
  • post announcements and message members with live updates

In the upcoming weeks, Blueprint’s Ashby Village team is continuing user testing. To improve the product’s functionality, some features that are in the works include:

  • email notifications to notify members of new events in their groups
  • clear instructions for members who are unfamiliar with the internet
  • mobile and tablet responsiveness

Ultimately, the team hopes to hand off a polished, intuitive platform to Ashby Village by the end of the spring.


Bizworld

Bizworld provides entrepreneurship and financial literacy education programs globally for children.

Blueprint is building an online classroom management tool that will enable Bizworld administrators to collect accurate feedback from students and manage classrooms effectively. The portal is ready for beta testing, and a product launch is scheduled with 10 classrooms on Monday, February 1st.

Important features of the app include:

  • feedback forms for students
  • dashboards for both teacher and admins
  • exportable spreadsheets of the data that Bizworld can use to track/analyze their various classrooms
A classroom management dashboard for Bizworld teachers

Through user testing in the upcoming weeks, Blueprint’s team hopes to eliminate any bugs and make the portal more polished. Additionally, the team hopes to add three key features to the platform:

  1. full form editing abilities for admins
  2. adding more information to Classrooms so that Bizworld can get a better sense of student demographics
  3. a slight redesign of the Teacher dashboard to make all the steps of classroom management more straightforward.

By the end of the spring, Blueprint’s Bizworld team hopes to transfer complete ownership over to Bizworld’s administrators. This will involve helping them set up and learn how to maintain a portal instance on Bizworld’s own servers.


California Rangeland Trust

California Rangeland Trust (CRT) works to preserve wildlife ranges across the state to promote natural habitats and improve ecological conditions.

Blueprint is currently building a program for CRT to more efficiently manage and edit endowment data for the rangelands they protect. This program will replace the unwieldy set of Excel sheets currently in use, allowing administrators to more intuitively and easily change values for years worth of data.

Over the last few months, Blueprint’s CRT team has completed numerous functionalities for basic data management. These features include editing and deleting various data types, importing current data from Excel, and creating formulas.

Currently, Blueprint’s team is fixing up small bugs. In addition, they have plans to finish up other features to maximize the program’s utility. Some of the upcoming tasks for Blueprint’s team include:

  • editing the functionality of various data values
  • ensuring the formula parser works for every formula that exists in the Excel spreadsheet
  • creating a tool to export data into CSV files
  • implementing password protection for sensitive data

While the CRT team wraps up these features, they also hope to add additional capabilities into the program. Based on feedback from CRT’s administrators, having the ability to generate reports and selectively condense certain data types would make Blueprint’s app even more useful.

By the end of spring, Blueprint’s team hopes to finalize these features and hand off the completed program to CRT for use.


EDGE Youth Leadership

EDGE Youth Leadership (EDGE) reaches out to local high school students to develop their leadership potential by organizing leadership workshop conferences.

Blueprint’s EDGE team is creating a custom online system for administrators to handle all the necessary tasks involved with planning and executing their leadership conferences. This includes having an admin dashboard, creating and sending client forms, and hosting email capabilities.

Blueprint’s team will be continuing to work on these features and fix bugs. User testing with EDGE and their clients will commence at the end of February, which will lead to more iterations based on feedback.

The main view for EDGE’s volunteer management portal

One key area the team is focusing on is connecting the various features of the app together seamlessly. Since the functionalities of the app are complex and varied, ensuring the interface is simple and feels centralized is crucial. This also involves creating a feature to import past data from previous years, when EDGE didn’t have a unified technology. In this way, Blueprint’s app will be able to consolidate data and make their workflows more efficient.

In the long run, Blueprint’s EDGE team plans to continue to iterate with feedback and use the application live with EDGE in their annual conference in early June.


Sage Youth Mentorship

The SAGE Mentorship Project is a UC Berkeley student-run program that connects UC Berkeley students with local elementary school students so they can help mentor them and develop their personal growth.

Blueprint’s team is building a mobile app for Sage’s mentors to use to electronically verify volunteer hours and receive notifications. This will improve communication between administrators and volunteers and ensure mentors are kept accountable.

Completed features for the iOS and Android apps include:

  • geographically confirmed check-ins at volunteer sites
  • admin verification for both all users and check-ins
  • archives for semester history
  • announcements for schools and admins

Now, Blueprint’s Sage team is working on polishing all of these features. Their goal is to launch the apps in time for mentors to use starting the second week of February.

The main goal for Blueprint’s team is to test the app at three different volunteer sites with as many users as possible. Receiving user feedback from students will be useful in terms of adding more features and improving the UI as needed.


Thanks for reading!

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