BGC Safety (Spring 2020)
Creating an improved, user-friendly bus attendance system for the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta.
Our project is an MVP that aims to digitize the bus attendance system for BGCMA. This paltform will be used by 3 key stakeholders at BGCMA: the executive team, the club directors at each of their club locations, and the bus drivers that drive the bus routes day to day. Each of them will benefit from this unified platform as it allows for easy data flow between stakeholders as well as easy data visualization so that the club directors and eventually executive staff can utilize bus attendance information to optimize bus routes, manage students safety, and view larger club attendance trends across their organization. This project began this semester, so we have spent a lot of time conducting user research to reach upon the solution we began to build out this semester.
The Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta is part of a national organization that provides every student a safe, positive, and engaging environment for them to achieve great futures. They do this through club locations across Atlanta that hold after school programming for students of all ages.
Client Goals 🥅
BGCMA's goal is to have a digital system to manage their bus attendance data so that multiple stakeholders can access a single source of truth. Right now, their systems are all paper for bus attendance which creates difficulties in data access and makes it more difficult to manage the information securely. Since their bus attendance system touches many students, they would like for it to be more reliable and efficient, so that they can optimize their bus operations and safety further.
End-User Goals ⚽
There are 3 main end users, the Executive Team, Club Directors, and Bus Drivers. The goal of the executive team is to have a unified process for bus attendance management across their 20+ club locations so that they can utilize the bus attendance data to identify larger trends in club attendance and safety incidents. The goal of the club directors is to easily manage bus routes for their club location. They also hope to use bus attendance data to maintain bus rosters at their max capacity and to manage safety incidents that may arise in day-to-day operation. The goal of bus drivers is to identify and check in all students entering their bus routes. Our application serves all of these key stakeholder groups.
We built out our application in NextJS, a powerful framework for combining ReactJS user interfaces with serverless endpoints. Our dev team built many of their screens with CSS from scratch, with some elements designed with Material UI. The application is hosted in an Azure instances for production deployments.
We went through a few steps in the design process. We began with user research interviewing multiple end users at BGCMA. We utilized this input to create initial mockups that were critiqued by Bits of Good design team members and by the nonprofit stakeholders. We refined these designs and iteratively got feedback from the nonprofit on them.
Past Attendance History
Club directors need the ability to view student bus attendance data in order to understand which students are using the bus more frequently than others, so that they can optimize the bus to serve as many students as possible. This view allows them to do that with clear visual cues and a student-by-student modal to get more granular details about student attendance.
Bus drivers need a simple UI to be able to mark students as attended on their bus routes daily. These two screens allow bus drivers to select a bus route, and then mark whichever students are attended. They can even take notes on students to watch for behavior/other incidents. The data is then shown to club directors via the attendance history page and a live bus attendance page.
Starting at the beginning of the semester with a blank slate, there was a lot to consider. We had to figure out what the problem was, who the problem was affecting, in addition to actually building out an application. It took us a few weeks to interview more BGCMA staff to really get a grasp of the problem we were dealing with. This semester has been a lot of brainstorming, prototyping, getting feedback, and starting from scratch again. But, our team really put the time thought in to tackle these problems. Although our work is far from complete, we are proud of the understanding we have now about our client, and can't wait to see where the project goes in the future.
"I really enjoyed growing along with my talented team. We were able to handle ever-changing requirements smoothly, and our teamwork and coordination really made the project an enjoyable learning experience for me, all while contributing to a great cause!"
"Being a Junior Dev on the Bits of Good - Boys and Girls Club Safety team, I have gotten hands-on experience with coding in the real world. Alongside the invaluable coding experience, I enjoy knowing that I'm a part of an awesome community whose mission is to make a positive impact for nonprofit groups."
"It's amazing seeing something that was once a sketch turn into an app that hundreds of people are going to use. I've gotten hands on experience that can be hard to come by as a freshman. Overall, working with other designers and my team have made the process exciting and enjoyable, and I'm excited to be part of BoG next year!"
"Although we hit some curveballs this semester, I am so so proud of what we were able to accomplish as a team! None of this would have been possible without each of everyone's effort, and I am so glad I got to know everyone in this team."
"Problem solving is always exciting. What was special about this one was that the team had complete independence to chase after a solution with real impact, all the while being surrounded by super-talented and passionate peers."