The Problem: Program Officers are the road warriors of a foundation. They are frequently traveling to meet with current and prospective grantees, which tends to take them away from their offices and frequently their laptops. They need to be able to access important information on grantees and their proposals, yet our Foundation Management application does not afford them that flexibility today. Due to its current Silverlight implementation, the application is not responsive and cannot be accessed via mobile devices.
The Opportunity: While Program Officers would love to have access to the application, they do not need to do everything the desktop app is capable of while on the go. Rather, they need a small subset of that functionality to be optimized for a mobile experience. From my discussions with our own client support specialists as well as foundation officers themselves, there are three main tasks that a mobile app ought to support:
1. Insight into the active tasks that they are responsible for
2. Access the grant record for a current or prospective grantee
3. Access the contact information on file for a given grant proposal
With those key actions in mind, I designed a lightweight application using material design standards that would allow Program Officers to efficiently work in the Foundation Management app while on the road.
The role: Lone UX designer working on an “Off The Grid” project—a biannual event in which we are encouraged to work on side/passion projects.
Every task is associated with a specific grant, and assigned to a specific user for completion. FM Lite users can see all of their outstanding tasks, and can refer to the grant in question via the "View grant" link on each card.
Users can also take advantage of a faceted search to quickly find their item of interest.
If a user wants to quickly refresh their memory on critical grant information prior to a board meeting or site visit, they can access the grant and view a mobile-optimized view of that information.
Although the desktop version allows users to make edits to a grant record, we chose not to support that feature in the Lite mobile version. We wanted to solve the specific problem that Program Officers face spending so much time on the road. To do this, we had to build an app that is small in the scope of what it can do, but still very valuable to its target market.
Also included in this Lite experience is a directory of grantee contacts. There are typically many emails, phone calls, and documents exchanged between grantmakers and grantees during the life cycle of a grant, so it is important that Program Officers have access to these contacts on-the-go.