WJC system of apps

About

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is an umbrella organization that caters to the needs of the Jewish communities and organizations in 100 countries around the world.

 

The Problem

In 2015, WJC engaged Evermore to deliver a database management system. WJC aimed to simplify and improve both the work and communication processes within the organization. With these goals in mind, the team came up with the idea to create a set of tools to internally share, update and use accumulated knowledge and documents.

Evermore asked me to join the team and design this ecosystem of apps that would serve their client.

The task was to make a simple intuitive UI that would not require advanced skills to start using.

 

Limitations

We had to come up with a scalable solution for the user interface that could be used across all the apps. When you use all the apps, you need to get the feeling they are part of the same system. And at the same time, the apps must be different enough that it is evident when you are switching between them.

In terms of color palette, we had to stick with blue and all its close relatives so that we didn’t deviate much from the current branding of the organisation.

 

Solutions

At the time we started the design, Google Material Design was becoming popular and we were all excited about it. It was looking like a good solution for what we wanted to achieve. It quickly became evident that we had to design a lot of custom components to accommodate the client’s needs. But nevertheless, it was a good base to start from.

The initial wireframes were made inside of Sketch App, and after a few iterations they were used as a base for the current design.

 

Process

To ensure fast turnaround, we worked on a 2–3 day revision cycle. The reviews were made during conference video calls and inside Slack.

 

Responsibilities

I was working on a three-person team. The other members were a product manager who conducted the client interviews and gathered the requirements, and the lead developer of the project who was creating the architecture of the system and kept us on track when it came to the app’s performance. The three of us worked on the user experience. We used user stories created from the collected information from the client.

My role was to mock up ideas we had on the conference calls and create the user interface of all the apps. I prepared a style guide for the dev team for easy handoff, and supported the developers with graphic resources and consultation.

 

Outcomes

There are five working apps at the moment. We constantly gather feedback from the client and improve the experience, and have been getting positive reviews. And the client is asking for new features from time to time.

 

Learned Lessons

Show your early-stage designs to the team to validate your ideas. A fresh pair of eyes always helps. Since the project started, we have improved the design handoff. There are no more PDF style guides; we now use Avocode for handoff, and everything goes smoother and faster this way.

The things we can improve are the way we gather data after the product is up and running. We can set clear measurable goals, and maybe start using A/B testing for the things we are not sure about.

 

Duration

2015 – ongoing