We are excited about the launch of the iOS app for Best Buddies, the first non-profit organisation amongst our clients! Best Buddies was founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver to end the isolation of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The app is intended for members of the Friendship and Citizens programmes, who build one-to-one friendships and social groups across all of the US and the entire world. Our designers Karolina and Magda were able to experience the Best Buddies spirit at their annual Leadership Conference and infuse the positivity and enthusiasm into the app’s design.
The app, which is only at the start of its development, allows for members to exchange photos within their local chapters, organise themselves using the built in calendar and report on their monthly activity via Friendship Updates. State offices can use the app to share stories with all members and the public, connecting Best Buddies across the country. Moreover, members can connect with their friends from other chapters, an interaction so far left to outside social media. The upcoming milestones will enable chapters to share the most inspiring stories with the general public. Family members, alumni, partners of the organisation and fans will then be able to follow their chosen chapters and keep up to date with what is happening. The biggest challenge of the project was integrating with the existing members database and keeping the continuity between what the tens of thousands of users already know and expect from the online system. Additionally, the app is intended for a younger audience, which meant diving into a world of online social interactions and learning the customs of Generation Z.
The team on Polidea’s side collaborated and communicated regularly with Best Buddies HQ in Miami to make sure the app was meeting the organisations needs. To make sure that it was also on point for users, designers Magda and Karolina travelled to the BB Leadership Conference at the start of the process and consulted numerous staff, but also the members themselves. This was followed up with surveys and testing by actual chapters in Florida. We look forward to continuing our work on this rewarding and community-driven project.
To know more about this project, check out our "Best Buddies" case-study here