Success Story: PlaceSpeak Industry Sponsor of BCIT ISSP
Over the Fall term of 2023, PlaceSpeak was fortunate to work with a class of eight computer science students from BCIT as part of the ISSP. The Industry Sponsored Student Projects program (ISSP) provides students with real-life experience by working on IT or software development projects directly from industry. Students work in teams or individually with an industry sponsor, proceeding through the development life-cycle to develop IT or software solutions.
Program students presented their Industry Sponsored Student Projects (ISSP) on December 4th at BCIT Downtown Campus. PlaceSpeak Founder and CEO, Colleen Hardwick, was in attendance.
The concept of ISSP is simple: put BCIT Computing students to work on creating a viable or software solution for your business challenge. In the case of PlaceSpeak, this project focused on the individual citizen or Participant side of this 2-sided platform. PlaceSpeak acts as an intermediary between the two sides in order to break down silos, and enable a citizen-centric model.
To date, PlaceSpeak has focused its development on the Organization side to prove out the SaaS revenue model and obtain sufficient customer traction to self-sustain. Now, the time has come to focus on the Participant or individual user side of the platform.
The objective is to make PlaceSpeak habit-forming. The value proposition for the individual is to stay informed about proposed changes and other events and information based on where they live. This value for the citizen/user/participant is the full application of the IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation namely: INFORM > CONSULT > INVOLVE > COLLABORATE > EMPOWER.
The project is broken down into segments and this particular ISSP project focused on three key features:
- Gamification – Badges
- Polls – Neighbourhoods
- Boundaries – neighborhood boundaries for the USA.
Here is a link to the final: BCIT ISSP Final Presentation
In order for PlaceSpeak to reach its full potential and both attract and maintain participant users, elaboration on the design of the Participant Profile is required. This starts with encouraging certain behaviours which can be expressed through gamification, namely badges. What behaviours do we want to reward?
Badges – These badges were created by the ISSP class cohort.
The ability of participants to create polls was identified as a sought after feature elaborating on the neighbourhoods. This will give individuals the ability to poll their neighbours.
PlaceSpeak had previously identified and implemented neighbourhoods across Canada. This class helped identify neighborhood boundaries across the United States (USA).
The ISSP class was a great success and hope to complete the scope of work into 2024.