On July 1st, 2017, EventMobi kicked off a new company-wide volunteer program called 150 Days of Action. The initiative is our way of celebrating Canada’s 150th milestone anniversary by giving back to the community through volunteering, and to inspire our employees, i.e. Mobiers, to be helpful and empathetic – two key values that are at the core of our company and part of Canadian culture.
The EventMobi 150 Days of Action program empowers Mobiers to pursue volunteer experiences they care about, and share reflections on what they learned. The target is to contribute 150 company days to volunteering, and we’re well on our way to achieving this!
Clare Kim is in charge of continuous improvement operations at EventMobi, and AJ Robidas and Petro Podrezo are software developers. These amazing Mobiers share their experiences volunteering for a non-profit organization called Rumie, which focuses on increasing accessibility to free digital education.
Clare, AJ, and Petro’s 150 Days of Action Volunteer Experience
The 150 Days of Action program at EventMobi provided an amazing opportunity for us to take a break from our everyday work cycle and spend a day (or three!) doing something that we normally might not have aspired to do. It really motivated us to explore our interests and find a meaningful way to give back to our community through volunteering. In this case, Rumie reached out to EventMobi after hearing of our initiative and presented a unique opportunity that was too good to pass on.
What is Rumie?
Rumie is a non-profit that makes access to free digital education possible for underserved communities worldwide. They are building a platform that brings digital educational content to places where access to content is very difficult or limited, such as rural areas in developing countries. They’ve worked around the world from Syrian refugee camps to the Canadian Arctic.
The platform includes an app that enables mobile access to content consumption, as well as a website and content manager web application. The app features videos, pictures, and text content from various sources like YouTube. The content is procured by amazing individuals all over the world and really promotes a global community.
Why Rumie Needed Our Help
As Rumie is still in its start-up phase, they are constantly tweaking and updating their platform, including the user interface design. They asked EventMobi for help with testing their app and website, to make sure that it was an easy and intuitive experience for users. As the target users for the educational content platform would, in many cases, have limited technical knowledge, it had to be as intuitive as possible. And of course, with EventMobi being an event app provider, we were just the right people to provide assistance to Rumie’s initiative.
Our Experience at Rumie’s Head Office
When we first arrived at Rumie’s head office, which is located at the Digital Media Zone in Toronto, we were given an introductory presentation about the platform by Kyle Lubieniecki (Product Manager) and Hannah Heinson (Visual Designer) and informed of challenges the Rumie team was facing. Their main challenge was in identifying the potential pain points and speed bumps that could occur in the process for both users (learners) and uploaders (teachers). Being in the beta-testing phase, this was an early run-through of user testing in the pursuit of a seamless user experience.
The next step was to actually use the Rumie website to study what the platform does. We filled out a survey and provided feedback on how easy it was to use and to find information. After that, we dove right into using their app.
The feedback we provided about the app was the most important part of our time there because the app is what the children and course instructors would be using. It was a priority for Rumie to ensure that the app is as seamless and useful as possible. We spent about an hour pretending to be the user and trying to accomplish the tasks they’d typically be doing. At the same time, the Rumie team observed us and took note on the areas where the design needed to be improved.
Why We Chose to Volunteer With Rumie
We had never heard of Rumie at the start, but as we learned more the organization, Rumie’s mission and purpose resonated with and inspired us. Who wouldn’t want to support efforts to provide accessible education to everyone around the world, especially the most vulnerable? Also, we liked that the help we provided has a wider reach of impact, as it will ultimately improve Rumie’s platform for a smoother UX.
What We Learned From Our Experience
Coming from a tech company, we felt that we would be able to provide valuable feedback from different departments and backgrounds. As a bonus, the experience provided us with a bit of insight into our own processes.
We were able to experience different methods of user testing in a different company as well as the joy of interacting and making connections with different communities. We got a glimpse of what it’s like to work in an incubator as a hub of creativity and work. It was definitely an enjoyable experience and fun to partake in with fellow colleagues outside of the office.
Thanks to EventMobi for providing and promoting this opportunity. It definitely enabled us to have a new and unforgettable experience!
Need Ideas On How To Give Back to Your Community?
Based on our volunteer experience through EventMobi’s 150 Days of Action program, we’ve come away with three tips on how to get motivated to give back to your own community:
- Find communities or themes you feel passionate about or connected to. Volunteering for something you have interest in makes the entire experience that much more meaningful and fun.
- Challenge yourself to do the best of your ability in giving back. Nothing is too little. This is a chance to go above and beyond. When you see the impact that it can make, you will feel that much more satisfied with yourself.
- Grab a friend! Help starts with one person and spreads. Volunteering is less intimidating when you have a colleague or buddy with you. In this case, more is always merrier!
Want to read more about EventMobi’s 150 Days of Action initiative?