Opening statement: Making the IMRC Center a hub for collaboration beyond the classroom will strengthen the programs the it houses as well at the services it offers.
Initial Focus: Account Manager
Meeting with Owen Smith, IMRC Center Director: This meeting provided a lot of great information that allowed me to narrow the scope of the project from its initial state. Owen suggested that growing the business membership program at the IMRC would be of benefit financially to the center, but that the focus should still remain on the students and creating opportunities for them. This led to the IMRC Student Freelance project, which aims to provide local businesses with skilled workers and students with educational and economic opportunities.
Initial Outline: James and I met to create an initial outline of “ideal features” for both the client-side and admin-side. Ideal Features
Meeting with Sean, Fab Lab Manager: After the scope of the project was determined and initial features thought out, the next step was to get buy-in from the Sean to ensure that the IMRC Account Manager would be useful for IMRC staff. He was very supportive of the endeavor and gave some helpful information about several initiatives the IMRC is pushing. For example, when we mentioned the “Account Balance” page and functionality he stated that in the future they hope to be able to accept credit cards on the spot via Square, so reloading an online balance may not be necessary. Sean also expressed his concerns regarding the future of the project after we graduate. Making the system something that is easy for future students/staff to alter is of the utmost importance so that it does not become obsolete. Sean, James, and I determined that bi-weekly meetings or meetings the week of milestone reviews would provide a useful feedback system.
After the meeting with Sean we decided to explore the possibility of creating a custom WordPress plugin rather than the standalone web application we had initially chosen to pursue. This will hopefully simplify the update process and fit more directly into the current workflow of IMRC staff already using WordPress.
Latest registration system:
Closing statement: By initially focusing on refining internal systems, with input from stakeholders, we hope to streamline the business membership and student freelance programs in the future.