By Jack Crawford, b.world Engineer
Hello and welcome to b.woah!, where I talk about the development process behind b.world.
Insights, our latest feature, makes it easy for your team to add, well, insights to your work as you do it. Have an anecdote related to an Activity in your Logframe? Made an observation about results that led to a decision? Need to record stakeholder feedback to share with your team? Simply tap the💡and add it!
As your project implementation continues, these little pieces of narrative will accumulate, creating a living record of what you did, why you did it, and what you learned along the way. But that’s not all, folks! Insights from across the project are collected and available inside the Story Editor, ready to be dropped into your writing with an easy drag-and-drop!
But how did we get here? In May of 2022, we began discussing what came next on the roadmap after our previous release and an idea stuck in my mind. In academia, I was always encouraged to “actively read”, to underline and make notes in the margins of books while reading. Then when the time came to write a paper on that content, those marginalia would power the writing process like a textual palette to pull from. Could something similar help b.world users tell their stories?
To that end, I began making some preliminary sketches of how this tool would look on the Story editor:
From there, the concept of Insights came along fairly quickly, although the name wasn’t fully settled. Below is a picture of our first pass at the Insight creator. Instead of appearing in the sidebar, the authoring tool popped upon whatever element you wanted to annotate. Initially, tags were predefined, and Insights could only include a single tag.
After this progress on the Insight authoring side, it was time to switch over to where Insights come full circle: Stories!
We want it to be as easy and as intuitive as possible for you to author and share your impact stories, and the content palette is a natural step in that direction. You and your team have written all this content across your project, you shouldn’t have to hunt it down or type it out again! That’s why the palette contains not only Insights but almost every piece of written content in your project, ready to be dragged into your story as you write.
Projects accumulate a lot of narrative as they progress and adapt, so as the palette sidebar evolved and all that text started piling up, I color-coded the categories of the text to see how they all laid out.
Regardless of clashing palette, this is remarkably close to the Insight tool as it stands today! Insights and other written content from across your project are brought together to improve your story as you write it! And now, here’s a look at the final product in action: