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IS480 Team wiki: 2011T2 IMATEAM2

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Project Description

Project Description
   

Our team will be building a web and mobile social platform that enables attendees of conferences organized by IMAPAC to interact with each other before, during and after the conference. This social platform will allow them to post and receive conference updates, engage in discussions, network with industry partners and arrange meetings. The platform will be built using a content management system written in PHP such as Drupal. Data analysis will be applied to the information provided by the sponsor to build a user-centered system that provides recommendations to the conference attendees based on their individual profiles, such as suggestions of industry partners they might want to work with.

Motivation

Motivation
   

Attendees of IMAPAC business conferences vary widely, from governments to NGOs, businesses and academics. They currently do not have a platform that allows their attendees to communicate efficiently with each other. Extra time spent on handling logistics issues such as scheduling of meetings, searching for contact information, arranging meeting locations etc. could be better spent on trying to create an even bigger impact for the social causes they are advocating. We also believe that if organizations have an improved communication channel, especially after a conference, they will be able to build a closer link to one another that further nurtures the social enterprise spirit within.

Hence, our proposed web and mobile platform can potentially eradicate the above problems by being user friendly and interactive. We will achieve this by applying heuristics used in usability studies to the user interface design. The platform will be interactive because we will consider all aspects of each group of users’ needs and enable them to engage one another according to their business relationship.

Project Deliverables

Project Deliverables
   

Overview:
At the end of the project, our team aims to deliver a robust and dynamic integrated social platform that will improve the overall experience of conference attendees. The platform’s focus will be centered on IMAPAC’s aim to promote good social causes and help businesses do good. Our project will achieve this by meeting the user needs that arise from attending a conference and all the relevant interlinked events such as discussions and meetings. The platform will be deployed on a virtual dedicated server.

User Oriented

Web platform:

  • User profile module - Profile, information, interests, conference history of users. Allows adding of 'friends'
  • Recommendations module - Recommends fellow attendees and conferences to users based on interest keywords
  • Conference/event module - Information about the conferences: Introduction, time, date, venue, list of speakers, list of attendees
  • Real time module - Voting, post/respond to questions and notes taking
  • Discussion forums module - A forum for users to discuss issues and interact both pre and post conference
  • Sponsored children module - Includes information of the children to be sponsored; allows users to be updated of their progress
  • Private messaging module - Allows users to send private messages to each other
  • Evaluation module - Allows users to rate and evaluate conferences and speakers
  • News and announcements module - Allows users to read the latest news and updates about conferences, social causes and IMAPAC

Mobile platform:

  • User profile module - Profile, information, interests of users
  • Conference/event module - Information about the conferences: Introduction, time, date, venue, list of speakers
  • Private messaging module - Allows users to send private messages to each other
  • News and announcements module - Allows users to read the latest news and updates about conferences, social causes and IMAPAC

Admin Oriented

Web platform:

  • User registration
  • User profile management
  • Event creation/management
  • Notes creation/management
  • Polls creation/management
  • Evaluation forms creation/management

Project Usability

Usability Studies
   

Our team aims to develop a user friendly and intuitive platform for our users. Hence, usability studies play a big part of our development process as they allow us to assess user requirements and find out what works best for them. Usability studies will be conducted in two forms: heuristic evaluations and UAT.

Heuristic evaluations will be based on Nielsen's ten usability heuristics, which are ten general principles for user interface design.
Violations of these heuristics will be assessed on a severity scale of 1 to 4 according to these factors:

  • Frequency
  • Impact
  • Persistence

1 = Cosmetic problem only: need not be fixed unless extra time is available on project
2 = Minor usability problem: fixing this should be given low priority
3 = Major usability problem: important to fix, so should be given high priority
4 = Usability catastrophe: imperative to fix this before product can be released

Project Scope

We will utilize an open-source content management system written in PHP, Drupal, to develop our web application on. We chose Drupal because it is highly customizable, scalable and flexible in terms of UI design, functionalities and access control. Our project can be divided into 2 core components: the web platform and the mobile application.

Project Functionalities - User (Attendee, Speaker, Sponsor, Organizer)
Functionality Description
Web Platform

Profile of attendees

Users can sign up for their accounts and set up information such as bio, interests and conference-related history details.

Real time feedback

Allow attendees to provide real time feedback to speakers and fellow attendees during conferences in the form of live polls and comments.

Friend system

Anyone with an account on the social platform can add another to his network via the Friend system.

Conference/event details

Provide attendees and speakers with conference information such as detailed location, time, date, attending list, topics covered etc.

Networking opportunities

Enable users to connect with potential business partners by matching them to other users with similar interest and keywords.

Make a Child smile

Allow conference attendees to read some stories about the sponsored children helped by the efforts of IMAPAC and B1G1 thus far. This page will also have a link so that site members can choose to make a donation if they wish to.

Private messaging system

Enable users to send private messages to each other. There will be a setting to make it public or friends-only.

Post-conference rating and evaluation

Enable conference attendees to complete their post-conference evaluation for the conference and its speakers.

Personalized recommendation system

Users will be recommended similar conferences based on past history.

Live note-taking function

Allow attendees to take notes live during a conference which they can choose to save, send to email or share (public/friends only).

Search

Search for other users according to name, interests and keywords.

Discussion Forum

Forums for pre and post conference discussion.

Mobile Platform

Profile of attendees

Simplified (only View) profiles of attendees.

Conference/event details

View conference details such as those detailed above.

Geo-location services

Locate conference location on smartphone maps using GPS.

Announcement and news

View and read announcements and news to be kept updated of event happenings.

Private messaging system

Send messages on-the-go in case they need to contact a fellow attendee.

Project Functionalities - Administrator
Functionality Description
Web Platform

User registration

Import .CSV files of all newly registered users into Drupal by Admin to create the accounts

Profile of attendees

Admin can create, edit and delete profile information of all users (attendees, speaker, sponsors)

Conference/event details

Create, edit and delete conference data with uploading of files as conference resources

Live note-taking function

Manage notes taken by users at conferences

Real time feedback

Able to create polls and vote on polls during conferences

Post-conference rating and evaluation

Create rating/evaluation forms for attendees, view and collate responses

Project X Factor

The X Factor
   

The selling points of our project are features that are different or not readily available in other similar social platforms out on the market such as LinkedIn and Facebook. In addition, our social platform is specially customized to meet the needs of conference attendees by catering to every aspect of their interactions.

Unique features of IMAPAC Connect include:

  • Real Time Feedback - Allows attendees to vote in polls or raise questions during the conference. This improves the audience interaction aspect of the conference and makes it easier for speakers to receive feedback.
  • Real Time Note Taking - Allows conference attendees to take notes on the web using their laptops. Handwritten notes can be slow, untidy and easy to misplace. Typed notes on the web can be saved can shared with users who are in their social circle.
  • Business Card Exchange - Allows conference attendees and speakers to exchange virtual 'business cards' over the platform in order to build a wider network and keep in touch with contacts met at a past conference.
  • Provides both conference attendees and speakers the ability to interact and keep in contact beyond the actual conference itself, which might have been harder before as the conferences are international and attempting to exchange email addresses can be a hassle.
  • Our web platform will be developed using Drupal to create a interactive social experience for users with customized functions for the target audience. All features will be closely integrated to provide the most user-friendly and convenient experience for the user as possible.

Clickdl-brown.png Click to see how Connet is different from other social platforms

Development Environment

Development Environment
   

Server
Our web platform will be developed in Drupal and deployed on a virtual dedicated server for our development phase.

The specification of our production server is:

  • Operating System: Windows Server 2008 r2
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • Total Disk Space: 20 GB
  • Bandwidth Quota: 500 GB

Our sponsors have been informed of possible changes in capacity requirements and the server can be upgraded accordingly as we are on a monthly subscription.

Server status:
Active, FTP site configured.

Targeted Platforms
Web portal:

  • Browser: Firefox 8, Chrome
  • OS: Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.7

Mobile application:

  • Web-based application
  • Browser: Mobile Safari, Android browser
  • OS: iOS, Android

Clickdl-brown.png Click to see why Drupal was chosen over other CMS

Learning Outcomes

Clickorange.png View Learning Outcomes

Diagrams

Use Case Diagrams

Clickyellow.png View Use Cases (Web & Mobile)

Architecture Diagram

Clickgreen.png View our Architecture Diagram

Deployment Diagram

Clickblue.png View our Deployment Diagram

Prototypes

User Interface

Web Platform

Clickmocl.png View Mockup Placeholders


Clickmocly.png View Web Platform Designs

Mobile Platform

Clickmoclg.png View our Mobile Platform Designs

Clickmoclb.png View our Logo Designs

Meeting Minutes

Clickmin.png View our Minutes of Meetings

Acceptance Presentation

Clickdl.png Download our acceptance presentation

Time Management

Project Plan

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Project Iterations

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Project Tasks

Clickdl.png Click to download our Project Tasks

Schedule Metric

Clicksch.png Click to view our Schedule Metric

Quality Management

Bug Metric

Clickbug.png Click to view our Bug Metric

Risk Management

Risk Metric

Clickrisk.png Click to view our Risk Metric

Risk Analysis

The risks listed on this table will be specific to our group and do not include generic risks.

Project Risks
Risk Rating Likelihood of Occurrence Impact on Project Risk Mitigation Plan
A

Medium

High

Working with new technology and tools
Team has lack of experience in working with Drupal and jQuery Mobile (for mobile app development) which have a steep learning curve and requires time to familiarize with the technology

Plan the project to allow sufficient time for the team to familiarize themselves with new technology and tools. Pair programming to share knowledge

Medium

High

Deployment

Team might have deployment failures which will require some time to resolve as our virtual dedicated server is located in the United States. Hence, any request for assistance will have to depend on timezone differences. Server uptime is also dependent on the host's reliability and availability.

Deploy and test the applications after every iterations, giving ourselves some buffer time in case of server downtime or assistance needed.

High

Medium

Extending Drupal Module
Required 3rd party modules do not provide full functionalities for the project. The modules need to be tested and custom-coded to cater to the project functionalities.

Prioritize usage of modules which have stable releases for Drupal 7. Allocate time to fix bugs and add custom features in 3rd party modules

B

Medium

Medium

Underestimation
Underestimation of the actual duration of a task during the planning stage due to team's lack of experience and knowledge of Drupal development. This may cause us to fail to deliver intended deliverables for a milestone according to the schedule in the project plan.

Buffer time in the schedule for unexpected lag in schedule. PM to track constantly on progress of the project.

Medium

Medium

Managing Expectations
Managing sponsor’s expectations since sponsors are not technological persons who are IT-inclined.

The team is to update and discuss with sponsor which features we will be able to implement within our project's timeline.

C

Small

Medium

Overpromising on new features

Team may be too ambitious. We may promise more features due to our project being developed in Drupal and underestimate integration or debugging time, possibly resulting in us not being sticking to the schedule.


Prioritizes the core functions in the requirement list. Communicate among team members to check whether it is feasible to implement the feature promptly and take into account all the other tasks that have to be done besides the actual module development.

Medium

Small

Resource limitations

Our team only consists of 4 members and we may have insufficient resources to deliver as promised or may be overworked.

Efficient allocation of manpower for each task. Inclusion of buffer time period for each deliverable.

700

700
Our mobile web application will be developed using jQuery Mobile, a mobile web framework for smartphones. jQuery Mobile works seamlessly with PHP and mySQL, which are the technologies we are using for the web platform. It also meets our clients' needs because it is cross-platform and can be used for development on many platforms such as Apple iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry etc. Thus, we will not have to do different sets of codes for each separate platform. jQuery Mobile also integrates with Drupal. We chose jQuery Mobile over Sencha Touch because Sencha Touch does not support Windows Phone 7.

700

700

Besides those mentioned above, we will be using the following: