USD WISE

WISE

What is WISE?

WISE is the world's first geo-contextual social learning platform. It's a mobile-friendly web application that allows students and faculty to share experiences about specific locations and to engage students beyond the classroom.

You can read more about it here.

The Team

From design to launch, this was a 17-month long effort. Avi Badwal, Sr. Director of Enterprise Technologies at USD, oversaw the development of the project. Shivani Singh, Functional Analyst, was key in capturing and communicating system requirements. My job as Software Engineer was to facilitate the implementation of this project. An outside design company was hired to sketch out the design of the website, and another one to code the app itself.

What I did

During the Idea phase, I helped design the product by providing feedback from a student perspective.

In the Design phase, I tested the HTML designs for mobile and desktop versions. I also put the designs under version control.

Most of my involvement was in the Implementation phase. I helped facilitate physical or remote access, fulfill and communicate project requirements, and expedite decisions to ensure progress could be made without interruption. I also acted as a middleman between the Senior Architect of the outside company and USD non-technical users. When Shivani was not around, I acted as a Project Manager.

During pre-launch, I assisted with the marketing campaign for the app and helped answer any technical questions that arose.

Challenges Faced

A login page was never created by our outside design company. Once we identified the issue, I created one immediately and deployed it within one day.

As the implementation company reached development milestones, my main task was Quality Assurance. I discovered bugs with the front-end of the app involving improper data validation. I discovered bugs with the keyboard navigation of UI elements in the app. I discovered a usability issue where images were not being cached and minimized by the app resulting in long loading times. I helped bring up to project management that key fields for Faculty users, such as Course Reference Number (CRN), were not included. All of these issues were raised to management and resolved. Sometimes we had to increase the scope of the project to make sure the issues got worked on, but this was necessary for building a succesful app.

All throughout the project there were design challenges. I gave design feedback on literally everything, from the fonts being used to the logos to the images and colors. I worked hard to make educated decisions and not just a heuristic ones.

What I'm doing now

I am now working on designing and coding the iOS app for WISE. I will also help maintain the app and address any issues that might come up.

Summary

WISE is a geo-contextual learning platform. I was the Software Engineer tasked as the technical liaison between project management and the outside companies developing the product. I was also involved in QA and Marketing the app.