We, Nandi Joubert, Siphesihle Nqweniso, Larissa Adams and Danielle Smith, are working on a very interesting (and sometimes very confusing) stage of the KaziBantu Teachers’ Toolkit – the technology development phase. We are working closely with the Centre for Community Technologies (CCT) at the Nelson Mandela University, led by Professor Darelle van Greunen and a team of developers, project manager, designers and IT professionals.
Even though we as students and researchers work on websites and with mobile applications on a daily basis, we do not have an idea of the intricacies of the design of either of these. We quickly learned this during the past week!
Both parties started with a brainstorming session where everybody placed their ideas and difficulties on the table. This was followed by an intense discussion and problem-solving session that slowly led to the website and application we envisioned, pinned to paper. Feeling comfortable that everyone is (more or less) on the same page, the CCT started explaining the flow of events that will ensure that their developers know exactly what we require.
First of all, ‘Personas’ need to be created that explains the typical user of our application or website – keeping in mind that different people will visit these sites for different reasons – all of these possibilities need to be taken into consideration and therefore covered per ‘Persona’. The latter basically takes the form of a story, even including pictures, that contains as much detail as possible about all our fictitious users.
The second step entails ‘User Case Scenarios’. Here again a story needs to be written, this time explaining how our fictitious users will use the website or mobile application. Which steps will lead her (or him) to the computer, how will the website search begin and what they can, and ultimately will do once the website or application is opened.
Easy – don’t you think? Well, not so much. Research and project work remains an amazing process – who would have imagined ‘fiction writer’ can be added to the skills section of my CV.