Forgood Social Network

It was with great pride that we embarked on the Forgood development project almost 3 years ago. Not only was this a technically challenging project but it had an aspect of upliftment and social do-gooding which lets face our country needs allot of.

Forgood aims to do just that by creating a social network which aims to put people in need with people who can help with time, goods or money.

Since the very beginning we have helped Forgood gain thousands of active members and have enabled a large proportion of South Africa’s charities to get the help they need by registering and promoting their needs to our audience.

Usability

Usability in the context of a website meant for a large audience and mix of personas has meant that understanding our users abilities, backgrounds and platforms has been critical. We undertook to do Surveys, Wire framing and AB testing in getting the right product to market.

System Design and Architecture

Understanding FG’s business objectives has meant that we have been able to enable them to track and measure to these objectives. As good product design is about being informed and knowing when to Pivot, we have enabled FG to make these decisions, and pushed the boundaries to do so rapidly.

Web Application Development

Originally the site was developed and architected in SharePoint as the original plan for FG was to be more of a content delivery network. With the pivot to more of a social collaboration and platform based services we have moved to an .Net MVC web app, which is more extensible and easier to manage deployments etc. An Agile approach to the new FG look and feel is going to ensure that the FG business is more involved in the delivery and will be able to prioritise feature delivery according to the market requirements.

Front end Development

A number of screen interactions needed to be built in the social network for many different personas. Keeping the design simple yet informative has meant that retrieving the relevant information and displaying it per the design has kept us on our toes. Also ensuring that the site is per design in multiple browsers has meant that the front end development has had to be smart, and progressive. There is nothing like pixel perfect HTML.

Mobile Development

A number of screen interactions needed to be built in the social network for a many different personas. Keeping the design simple yet informative has meant that retrieving the relevant information and displaying it per the design has kept us on our toes. Also ensuring that the site is per design in multiple browsers has meant that the front end development has had to be smart, and progressive. There is nothing like pixel perfect HTML.

Integration

Built an API, and integrated with various 3rd part applications. So far this include News24, and Vodacom.

Analytics

Understanding how people use your website is now a science. With the use of analytics we have been able to better understand the FG user and cater for requirements that were not 100 % clear to us when this initiative started. It’s always important to remember that a website is a living breathing thing, and you need to make informed decisions about its direction and its ability to achieve its objectives.

Result

Apart from having thousands of active members Forgood has been able to expand its business model to Corporate South Africa by offering the opportunity of enabling their staff to help Forgood causes and offset this time against corporate social investment initiatives. As Forgood grows it’s exciting to see the real tangible change in our lives and especially the lives of people who can do with some upliftment.

Take a look yourself: www.forgood.co.za

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