It's been a while since we've posted an update on where we are with building out and deploying Indaba, for which we apologize. We've been buried deep in designing and building new features and let our regular updates get away from us. To rectify that, here's a quick update on some major highlights and developments.
We've had a very busy spring and summer filled with new organizations jumping onto Indaba. Among them: the World Wide Web Foundation is now using Indaba to field its first-ever "Web Index," something we're very excited about. When the foundation of the guy who created the World Wide Web wants to use your software, we think that's a good thing!
On the development side of things, we are currently in the midst of going live with a series of rolling updates designed to make Indaba easier to use and faster to set up for new projects. In June we implemented full-time HTTPS across the platform to improve Indaba's security for all users. Last week we rolled out a series of cosmetic changes designed to make the process of discussing a survey in Indaba more intuitive. Next month we'll be improving Indaba's site mail functionalities to include the presence of a Sent Mail box as well as the ability to forward received messages to other users on a project.
But the really exciting upgrades are scheduled for September through November. These will include the rollout of a major new system tool called Control Panel. Control Panel is a new suite of interfaces designed to allow project managers to better (and safely) control their projects without having to ask Global Integrity staff to make changes on the backend for them. Among the things project managers will be able to do with Control Panel:
– safely configure, test, and launch their projects with minimal intervention from Global Integrity
– add, swap, and change users involved in their project
– add, edit, and adjust survey questions
– designate colleagues to have project manager and organization manager privileges
Two other major new features will be rolled out around the same time as Control Panel:
– the ability to send Question Lists about a survey to any user on a project for responses, not just the original submitter (this addresses a major use case identified by a range of users)
– the ability to field surveys of infinitely complex (or simple) hierarchies rather than being forced into Indaba's current rigid "three-tiered" question set structure
These are exciting developments that will make using Indaba easier for everyone. But we're already looking ahead to 2013 for our next major build, which will likely focus on building out Indaba Publisher to allow for even faster, more dynamic ways of publishing completed Indaba projects to the web and other digital channels. Two specific ideas we're exploring include tighter integration with third-party mapping platforms to allow for easy geo-visualization of Indaba data, and the creation of a "Super Web Widget" to allow users to better and more easily customize some of the existing Indaba web widgets in a way that better reflects their website's style, layout, and project methodologies. Have ideas for other features we should consider? We'd love to hear them.
Last and certainly not least: at long last, the Indaba user manual is here! We had long neglected documenting the system's core tools, which was an obvious oversight. We are very happy to have now published an extensive set of materials that describe what the platform does from top to bottom. We'll continue to add to this manual over the months and years as new features come online, and encourage project managers to crib and adopt from it in developing their own project-specific documentation.
Onward and upward…
— Nathaniel Heller
–- Image: Herbrm