As a developer in Blueprint,
a campus organization that creates technology for nonprofits at UC Berkeley, I had the
amazing chance to work with a nonprofit called
Ashby Village is a nonprofit that connects retired members of the community to
each other and provides the resources they need to remain active and independent.
What makes this my favorite project is knowing that what we build is for
All Ashby Village members are over 50 years of age. They often are not the target user for today's social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter. This made designing and developing a private social platform for our intended audience a huge challenge.
Some important design choices based on these usability tests were
Since many of the villagers (that's what Ashby Village calls its members) used email as their primary mode of digital communication, we added an email notification system that sent them an email every time one of their groups created an event and to remind them of upcoming events. I designed the below email in HTML.
The villagers responded very positively to our sessions. They were more than happy to ditch their current communication platform and instead migrate to Ashby Village Square. Here is a picture from our launch day:
1. Design for a noble cause.
2. Responsiveness, responsiveness, responsiveness!