FemTalks Platform Preview

Onderzoek ICT Odisee - 02/10/2019

One European project. Two challenging IT tasks.
By partnering up with the Belgian Odisee University College as the IT partner in the FemTalks Forum project we are developing the project website as well as the digital FemTalks Forum Platform.


The project website is already live and used to disseminate information about the project. Here you are able to find blog posts as well as some of the finished intellectual outputs for the project. While developing this website, we took the opportunity to work with, to us, unfamiliar new technologies.
For the geeks among us, the blog post you are currently reading is embedded in a website that has been built with a Laravel based technology called October CMS.
October CMS is a content management system that aids to create and manage all content visible on the FemTalks Forum website. This allows us to easily add features such as the blogging system, user management and add content to our hearts desires.

Did you know you can comment on the blog posts? Let’s have a conversation!

FemTalks Forum: The Platform

Now the real challenge for us is definitely the development of the FemTalks Forum.
An online platform where migrating women can share their stories as well as receive online training to help them with their digital storytelling skills and an organised collection of external sources for help and support.

Now how will we go about facing this challenging task?

First off, we need to understand our users by asking important questions like “Who are we building this platform for?”, “What do they need and what do they struggle with?” and “What and how can we provide a solution to their needs and struggles?”

The national reports, focus group reports and interviews gave a very valuable insight into the understanding of our target user group. Using these assets, we were able to create what is commonly referred to as a persona.

This persona is essentially all of our target group boiled down into a single person, a fictional character representing our user group. Using this persona every partner involved in the FemTalks project can visualize and understand who the application is being built for. By keeping, in this case Mesima, in mind and always reflecting back to the persona while creating, to make sure the features that are being built, fit Mesima’s needs or help her with her difficulties.

Now that we have a good understanding of our target group, we need to plan out the platform requirements to fit Mesima’s needs and help her with the things she struggles with.

The platform will consist of three main sections. There will be a training section, a community and digital storytelling section and finally a section which organises a multitude of links to organisations already offering helpful services and training in the partnering countries.

Our first focus will be on the online training videos. An MVP or minimum viable product for this training section will be developed in order to get user feedback that will be used to further improve the platform and taken into account while developing the other sections.

Of course, it is not the smartest idea to just start writing code and hope for the best. It is important to try and map out what is being worked towards by creating wireframes and designs before writing actual code. All three sections of the platform were sketched up into a couple of grayscale wireframes. These wireframes provide a first insight into the general outline of the platform!

Posted in Articles on Oct 02, 2019

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