Maurice Paykel Charitable Trust

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The Maurice Paykel Charitable Trust Board had been administering paper-based applications for thirty years when they asked us to create a system that would automate much of the process and improve efficiency for applicants and administrators alike. The resulting MPCT web application is stylish, plays nicely with smartphones and tablets, and minimises effort for all its users.
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What the client needed

  1. The MPCT application had to work well on tablets, and key tasks must perform adequately on smartphones.
  2. We needed a consistent interface with standardised behaviours.
  3. Administrator activity had to be event-driven, with email notifications when intervention was required.
  4. The most time-consuming tasks should, as far as was feasible, be automated.
  5. Technology in the charity sector is often not cutting edge: the MPCT had to support IE8 and provide clear direction for applicants who attempted to use it on older browsers.

What we built it with

On the server we used a MySQL database and PHP 5.3, with Fat Free Framework to simplify routing. We added modules to dynamically minify and merge javascript files and stylesheets, serving at most two .js and .css files for each page. On the front end we used the Twitter Bootstrap framework, with LESS for styling and Knockout JS to simplify data presentation.
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Applicants

applicationPotential applicants can create an account either by typing in the required information or by uploading appropriate files. After that, a confirmation message is sent to the provided email address with a clickable link for verification. A funding application can be created as soon as the account is verified.
applicant-dashAn applicant can manage current and historic applications from the MPCT dashboard, downloading a spreadsheet with application data if necessary.

Trust Board members

Trust Board member accounts are created by an MPCT administrator. Board member dashboards display a summary of the current funding round and the ability to search, filter and export application in previous funding rounds.

As for all MPCT users, Board members have the ability to edit profile details and site preferences.
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Administrators

Administrators are notified of key MPCT events by email. On logging in, the dashboard gives them immediate access to and seamless editing of the most immediately important information. »

Adding notes to their dashboards allows administrators to manage pending tasks and activities.
admin-noteAdministrators have access to a wide range of web application settings, from file types and data limits to notifications and SMTP parameters.admin-images

 

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The MPCT web application logs all key activity, allowing easy investigation of user issues. Administrators have access to this information through a sortable, filterable table of log entries.

When a funding round is complete and Trust Board decisions have been made, an administrator can quickly iterate through the applications to enter results and, if necessary, customise the standard letters or email messages sent to applicants.
admin-finalise« The footers of all administrator pages provide four columns of top level metrics.

A key feature of the MPCT web application is an intelligent table for displaying all types of data. Whenever the user changes a setting at the top of the page, the data is automatically reloaded after a configurable pause. When the user wants to change multiple settings, this pause ensures data is only reloaded once.

All tables allow filtered and sorted data to be exported as a spreadsheet for external use.

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