Educational Justice, a nonprofit startup based in Louisville, KY, needed a better way to allocate admin duties and communicate with participants. This centralized software system is that solution.
About the Organization
Educational Justice (EJ) strives to end educational inequity by pairing a 5th-8th grade student with a high-achieving high school student for long-term academic mentorship.
Before, EJ used 6+ applications to run the nonprofit. The EJ Activists App centralizes all features necessary for day to day responsibilities and overall organization growth. It is both a centralized CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and Social Networking system available via web or mobile app. It is designed to assist both participants and staff by effectively guiding the user throughout the application process and the program in its entirety via a scheduler and calendar, as well as a messenger and notification system. The app also has personalized profiles with editable avatars, rescheduling functionality, check in software, data exportation, meeting logs, trivia, and a prize system based on points earned.
At EJ, I led the client-side of the project, starting shortly after the Discovery Phase. I reported directly to EJ’s Executive Director and Board of Directors. We hired an external software company where we had three different teams of a Product Delivery Manager and Director throughout the duration of the project. I met weekly with the software manager and development team to implement EJ’s vision. I was heavily involved in the end-to-end design process, explanation of user roles and functionalities, mockup design, the review and creation of user stories in Jira, as well as the planning and execution of user acceptance testing and beta testing.
I both created wireframes for the application process and offered feedback on user flows to help the team visualize the user’s journey throughout the program in its entirety via both web and mobile. Additionally, we created a permissions matrix for each of the 9 user types.
Once both the software company and EJ agreed to the product requirements, I worked with the design team to create mockups. I created the landing pages and offered my insight for the user pages, including but not limited to the Dashboard, Calendar, Messaging and Applications, and Accounts pages.
Communication with Developers
Throughout the project, I continued to work daily with the software manager and team to ensure all requirements, functionalities, and designs were on par with the stakeholder’s specifications.
User Acceptance Testing
Due to a delay in project development, we went into the UAT Phase while some functionalities were still being developed. I created a UAT Plan for EJ Staff to test the software as is and submit feedback via surveys. I then collected the feedback via a spreadsheet log, prioritized each item, and sent this UAT feedback list to the software team for review. At the same time, I was in constant contact with the software manager and director regarding all pending developments for both MVP items and UAT findings.
Outcome & Beta Testing
EJ Leadership and the Board, the software company’s leadership, and myself met and compromised on MVP requirements for project completion. I continued testing and documenting issues as the software company developed functionalities. We were given the Beta website and mobile app. I created and implemented a Beta Pilot plan for a small group of real users (~40) to test the web app only, per the software company’s recommendation. Based on Beta testing survey results and prior feedback, I compiled a list of critical features necessary for optimal full program implementation. EJ’s Board and the software company are currently in negotiations regarding best steps moving forward.