Martin’s List is a website of resources for youth leaders. Youth leaders could share resources with each other, but it was clunky and difficult to use — so no one used it. We created a custom web application that allows users to easily upload, comment on, search for, and download resources. UX was improved, and more users began to use Martin’s List.
To put it simply, Martin’s List was a mess.
What should have been designed as a database of church resources was originally built as a website without growth in mind.
The idea was a great one — allow youth leaders from churches all across the country to upload and download church resources. They wouldn’t have to create their own resources, but if they did, other youth leaders could easily take advantage of them.
Except that’s not what was happening.
No one was using the site because the user experience (UX) was lacking and all they could really do was look at it — not interact. What should have been something incredible instead sat around doing nothing but eating up money. It was also difficult to maintain, and with only one administrator running the entire website, well…
It just wasn’t working for anyone.
The site needed to be built as a web application. It needed to be much more user-friendly. It wasn’t going to be the next social network, but it needed to borrow elements from social networks.
A web application was the obvious solution. They allow users to more easily access data and even crowdsource data. Web applications are collaborative and give the users something to do.
Essentially, it needed to be like a social media website where users can upload and download resources, comment on resources, and be highly searchable.
What We Did
- Made the site easy to maintain
- Divided resources into categories and allowed new categories to be created
- Created a discussion area where users can comment on resources with changes they’ve made
- Created the ability for users to pin items to their profiles (much like Pinterest)
- Created algorithms for advanced search capabilities
- Created algorithms that created a “feed” for users, much like Facebook
What the Client Thought
“Seeing it come to life, seeing people finally understand what we were talking about … it was amazing. People were excited about it. They were excited to see that it was usable and accessible.
“It’s so much better now. It helps people who may not have been otherwise connected share resources. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can see what’s happening around the country and pull from there.
“When you have a vision in your head and you have an idea in your mind, and then you actually see it on the screen — that’s just a real joy.”
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