Mon 14.02.2022

Tinkering on solutions

The guy‘s forehead shows quite a few wrinkles. I can literally see all the thoughts going on behind his frontal lobe. An almost visible haze of creativity and brooding is wafting through the room. It touches one of our new teammates. Her pupils widen and show signs of findings or proposals. Eventually, she starts talking. Others are listening. Pondering. Making notes. Notebook keyboards are clacking. I collect fragments of what the developers are talking about. Discussions about data architecture, frameworks, use cases and interfaces. Occasionally I even get an idea of its meaning. It is an amazing atmospheric experience when you put a bunch of smart people into a room, give them something to find solutions for and enough coffee. I love it.


Dear friends and backers of YARPS!

Welcome to 2022. The world has barely changed since last year. There is a pandemic. Governments, especially here in Germany, are amazingly sparkling with its management. If there are any stage directors of our species’ history out there, they do have a weakness for funny surrealism.

Meanwhile, the YARPS team experienced a few changes – I previewed these in the last announcement. We’re putting quite some energy into knowledge transfer to our newer colleagues. Therefore, we began the year with a successful three-days YARPS project scope workshop. As you might have guessed from the first rows of this announcement: Yes! It was exciting and very constructive. I will try to summarize the core aspects and outcomes of the workshop.

We began with a deeper look into the current YARPS prototype (and its functions) you’re all using. The debate then circled around the main questions of how we want to improve YARPS, its core functions and what it should look like. The very technical part dealt with the present development status, with linking data architecture and user interface layout. A major topic was about which features shall be included in the next usable prototype and which are to be added at a later time. All things considered, we brought the whole team to the same level of knowledge and identified priorities for the upcoming weeks and months.

Speaking of priorities: As you all know, we highly value the input you as a community provide. We evaluated the idea hub content and looked into all the fantastic feature ideas you submitted. During the workshop, we discussed priorities and complexity of implementation. Further we decided to involve you in a feedback & evaluation phase concerning usability and consider the results to be very important. What does this mean in detail?

Sarah – our new usability design expert – experienced the full YARPS project scope during the workshop and subsequently worked out her project plan. It contains (amongst others) development of more intuitive wording, full scale information architecture and as an intermediate milestone the alluded feedback & test phase. The main aspects of usability are the identification of all relevant use cases and a user-centered structure. A sophisticated usability design allows any user to quickly and easily find all planned functions and information in YARPS. This requires the conception of data structure and information architecture to be holistic in a way that takes into consideration all basic features (that shall be provided in the next prototype) and all other features that are to be added sometimes in the future.

As part of this process, Sarah is planning to conduct a user testing soon which aims at producing evidence about intuitive and coherent menu navigation. We will let you know when the testing is ready to be started – and we count on you! Details of the implementation of the user testing aren’t fix yet – but for Kickstarter backers, participation is guaranteed! Every participant will have an impact on improving usability of the next YARPS! So stay tuned!

The workshop not only did a great job by bringing everyone on the same level of knowledge about the project’s progress. It also spawned an image of what YARPS could look like in the future in the team’s heads. We’re all really excited!

All the best on behalf of the YARPS team,