Building relevant tech: A product that’s efficient and simple for charities to use
At the very beginning stages of jiiWA, the team behind the Toronto-based startup drafted, designed and built their technology with their clients’ needs in mind — technology that is relevant to charities’ daily operations and makes administrators' lives easier.
“We knew there was a problem — charities and nonprofits often lack time, resources as well as technological capacity when it comes to data collection and management,” CEO and Co-founder of jiiWA Kristina Flynn said. “Our product had to be simple and familiar to the tech products they were already using and something that’s easy to integrate into their daily workflow.”
jiiWA is cloud-based software that collects, manages and analyzes data to help charities and their funders better understand their impact and the people they serve.
During early testing and development, jiiWA kept in mind that both charities as well as the youth they serve would be accessing the platform. Both are used to seeing and utilizing technology a certain way, whether that be Google Sheets/Forms, or Excel for the charity administrators or various mobile apps for youth.
People who use technology familiarize themselves with certain digital platforms looking and acting a certain way, so it’s important to be “consistent and predictable” when it comes to layout, according to usability.gov.
“We wanted to be really intentional in the way that we created our product,” Flynn said. “When we got down to it, we decided that the implementation of material design principles, elements of accessibility and relevant technology in it’s layout and functionality was really important and had to be something we did from the very beginning.”
Flynn said jiiWA’s product not only assists charities with their administrative work, but is designed in a way that ensures they won’t have to devote even more administrative work to using and implementing their technology in the first place.
“We wanted to build something that actually made their lives easier instead of being additional workload — something charities wouldn’t have to take a lot of time and resources to learn, understand and implement,” Flynn said. “So first and foremost, we built the technology hand-in-hand with them to ensure it was as efficient for them to use as possible.”