• Objectives and Site definition

last modified November 29, 2006 by missmoun

Design Document / Needs Analysis


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PART A: FOUNDATION
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1. Concept Development

1.1 Objectives Definition


  • Create online collaborative environments and tools to facilitate the organization of social action, locally or thematically and increase the ability for citizens to get more involved in their democracy.
  • Transform ideas into real actions; transform individuals and single initiatives into organized groups and communities.
  • Help users find each other, communicate better, learn from each other,  get organized, get something done in the world and tell everyone about it.


1.2 Would have succeeded in 3 years if

EXPOSURE
It's become the place where you want to be or the tools you want to use if you are into some form of social action (MySpace for community activism).
It provides a (series of) good comprehensive resources on people and actions happening in one's neighborhood and around the world.
RESULTS
It has translated into real things achieved in the world.
It brings fourth the possibility of open source social action... not only top-down.
PEOPLE
It has found it's niche of users who really needed the tool, are using it actively and sometimes in ways we didn't even envision before.
It has a strong developer base in the Open Source community with people using and building on top of what has been done by TOPP.


1.3 Short term goals (more or less 6 months)

Have a release. w/ beta of most/all of the features we are currently working on as well as complete documentation (both front-end and software).
A group of repeat users with specific (and diverse) needs addressed:  solving some people's real problems in the world.
The ability to access real users and real feedback.


2. Context 

Looking at competition and inspirations
http://www.openplans.org/projects/topp-private-sandbox/links-bank


3. Design Criteria


WHAT OPENPLANS.ORG SHOULD BE?
TAGGS TO TALK ABOUT OPENPLANS

INVISIBLE
- makes the tools disappear behind the task they facilitate
- could disappear all together if embedded in someone's existing site

SCALABLE
- allows for different levels of involvement
- scales as projects grow

CREATES MOTION
- created connections between people and/or projects
- helps projects and people move forward
- invites users to be pro-active
- make the workload lighter (fun)

INDIVIDUAL & COLLECTIVE
- allows individual initiatives and people to stand out
- give a sense of group and collective action: all working together somehow (communities)

SIMPLE BUT NOT CHILDISH
- obvious and clear without being condescending
- finds a more mature and specific web 2.0 aesthetic