Rescuing and relaunching a new system to help children thrive
Thrive is an online tool devised to young children with their growth and development, supporting them with emotional health, well-being and social skills. Its trains and helps teachers understand the real needs of the children by carrying out psychological assessments to help them understand and tracks the children’s needs being signalled by their behaviour and give targeted strategies and activities to help them re-engage, develop and thrive.
The psychologist founders systemised their process and came up with a proof of concept, but it wasn’t built on sustainable technology; just a CRM called Tabs used to administer all the users, which everything revolved around. Thrive was embedded into a few schools and it offered user log in, profiles, license renewal, training facilities etc. and started to see some good results, but making changes was time consuming, the code wasn’t industry friendly and the whole site and user experience was dated. We needed to build a modernised replacement with all the same functionality, plus more and ensure the ease of use from a front-end point of view.
Gradually, we took the functionality and developed it into a modernised system with simple, easy to use controls. Within this we built an assessment management tool, where teachers create questions and series of assessments for the children. The tool allows them to carry out fully functioning group and individual assessments effectively. It then informs the group that there may be a few children that need support and it allows them to identify where the child may be slightly deficient. Thrive provided the algorithm but we built the tool, so they’re able to add/edit questions and build on to it themselves.
The system we built had to integrate with Tabs, as this holds the information of all the teachers and active organisations. To do this, we had to implement heavy integration and build API’s but ultimately this turned into a rescue mission due to the quality of a third-party build. Throughout development they wanted to be able to have a lot of flexibility in the system in terms of how teachers can configure questions and solutions. Therefore, we built a complex system but stripped part of it back so it so that it was still user friendly. Over and above all of this, the original website was quite basic as it was built onto the front-end of Tabs, so we have re-built this entirely from scratch on WordPress and a much slicker design and UX. Using algorithms this still plugs into Tabs so they can log in and create all their courses. Tabs is still fundamental to the system, but we’re trying to slowly replace it through different strategies.
Ultimately, we were able to see what the client feels, empathise and go on a journey with them so it’s translating this clinical stuff that’s in the founders’ heads into a system.
One of our key challenges was making the tool as easy as possible for teachers to use and understand. The front-end of the new system is extremely user friendly and has already been a great success with 3,000 organisations and 16,000 individual users using the system. The industry standard code also means changes can be done four times quicker and any future party can easily build on top of it. So, we have saved the business time and also the end users.
The project started as a one-off build, but Thrive were so happy with what we produced, they now have continuous development from us on a project by project basis. We’ve taken over the system management and all their servers, creating a data warehouse that allows them to do their own reporting.
A mobile app is in development and we’ve built and API with the future aim for parents to be able to use the system to do their own assessments; as well as rolling it out to the Australian market.