Blueprint Folio came to Synergema wanting our help to develop powerful solutions to gather, synthesize and interpret information about non-profit grants. The big issue with grants between organizations is they all have different standards, qualifications and reporting. Blueprint’s goal was to bring all of this information together and develop a standardized means for individuals searching for grants.
Walking a mile in the user’s shoes
Blueprint has an edge in that they possess the mindshare of how grant-making organizations work. They used this knowledge to catalog all of the foundations and develop structures for standardizing the information, maintaining the objective of helping researchers and others seeking grants to find them easily. Blueprint was in the process of working with investors to develop a working prototype for this innovative tool at the time they enlisted Synergema’s collaboration.
They wanted to develop an online tool that allowed organizations to search for available grants based upon a number of factors, including sectors of impact, global region, and reach. In a way, this tool would serve as a research tool that would operate similar to the way users research investing in potential stocks.
The number one concern was synthesizing the volume of information into data that was consumable by users so they could act on it. Blueprint engaged Synergema to work with its team of researchers, foundations, and real users to understand the issues. From there, we developed a working prototype that could be used for validation and user testing, eventually to be launched live worldwide.
Synergema ultimately developed a series of sketches, designs, user flows, and wireframes. We accomplished this through a series of sessions that led us to understanding goals, key performance indicators, user tasks, and the needs of the stakeholders. These assets were, in the end, moved into working HTML prototypes. These prototypes allowed for potential investors to touch and use the application. Rather than investing in an idea, they were investing in a real concept that was polished and proven.
“Many times, ideas have to be fleshed out. Ideas are great, but when you start fleshing out the ideas through sketches, designs, wireframes and prototypes, a business can gain valuable insight into how real users are interacting with their applications. So rather than launching your application into the wild and hoping it’s successful, strong planning and testing can lead to applications that are applauded and grow your business.”