The Needs Map (Ihtiyac Haritasi) is an interactive humanitarian platform that offers an opportunity to connect people in need to the individuals or institutions who wish to help. The first version of Needs Map was founded by IDEMA, Dr. Ali Ercan Ozgur, Elif Kalan, Guler Altinsoy, Hazal Dut and the famous Turkish actor Mert Firat. IDEMA is an entrepreneurship initiative specialized in developing and implementing innovative, sustainable, socio-economic development projects across Turkey and all around the world. Mert Firat was appointed as the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador on October 3, 2017. As Turkey’s first Goodwill Ambassador, Firat pledges to focus on raising awareness and support for the Sustainable Development Goals including full support of the Needs Map V2.0 platform, not only in Turkey but also globally. The platform DREAMSPACE designed and built cultivates online collectivism by leveraging the latest technology, creates social awareness, provides self-sustainable methods to help organize humanitarian projects and donation-management tools.
The Needs Map impacted thousands of users in Turkey. DREAMSPACE collaborated with IDEMA and Mert Firat to re-design and re-launch the Needs Map V2.0 website in 2016. Aligning with the websites’ mission which is to allow caring for others effortlessly, DREAMSPACE, voluntarily, audited the problems thoroughly and upgraded the platform. For the first version, a small team of volunteers faced many challenges by plugging in all requests one by one which was time-consuming. The amount of data input from V1.0 was excessive which led to the creation of V2.0.
DREAMSPACE is proud of designing a website that allows scalability on a global level. It drove our strategists, engineers, coders, and designers to go far and beyond the expected norm. From the start, we collected a great deal of data for months. As part of the process, we then re-strategized the entire user experience and user interference (UX and UI) and re-designed the website platform for the desktop and mobile devices. In addition to that, we added a new suite of features such as Security Upgrades, Social Media Connect, User Profiles, Feedback, Human-Centric Help Categories, Individual and Group Scheduling Capabilities, Project Management and Alert Systems.
Design is a journey of discovery. At DREAMSPACE, we believe that the journey in creating a design of any user interface should include thorough research, flawless functionality and effortless usability and content; the key to conveying emotions.After assessing the previous design of Needs Map V1.0 website, our primary experiment was to revitalize the site by developing a much simpler platform for friendly users.
The design has a purpose and that purpose must be responsive. The Needs Map V2.0 is designed with a responsive, modular and adaptive infrastructure. Not only the back-end of the site is capable of input and output mass data through the cloud, but the front-end has also been designed to display on a broad range of devices such as desktop computer, mobile, and tablet. Users have the freedom to access the Needs Map anywhere!
Sometimes, all you need is a little splash of color and simplicity. Our first task for the color aspect of the Needs Map was to avoid the clutter and create a more unified aesthetic. The emphasis on rigid colors and more harmonious palette were made to help the users navigate smoothly without any frustration. Choosing the correct tone is crucial and essential in interface design. Common users are exposed to primary colors constantly, as a result, we decided to deviate from saturated hues by softening the tone. After utilizing our basic color theory knowledge and playing with different tonal variations, we decided to use blue, red, and green to accommodate the users’ psychological impact on decision making. Each color was selected for a specific reason. The soft red was chosen to alert the “needs” element of the Needs Map. The mint green was chosen to represent the “support” functions, which transcends a sense of safety and harmony. The light blue color was adopted to “resolve" needs” as it is the original brand color and indicates tranquility and calmness. As for the background, white and a subtle grey were utilized to put an emphasis on the main colors; blue, red, and green.
The Needs Map V2.0 includes 18 “support” categories for users to choose from. Our goal was to develop universal icons which would be easier for the users. In alignment with our color scheme, these icons allowed us to create a visual system, further simplifying site navigation for users.
Over the past nine months, DREAMSPACE upgraded the Needs Map V1.0 and launched the V2.0 entirely pro-bono, providing roughly more than half a million dollars in services. DREAMSPACE and IDEMA already started planning the V3.0 of Needs Map which will feature a non-profit e-commerce platform that supports small local businesses in providing services and goods to help with the needs listed on the website. Both companies are also looking to partner with Artificial Intelligence technology companies in the near future. We believe the use of Ai will help us scientifically narrate the needs-data compared to location-data so predictions can be accurately made to help avoid sustainability issues in the future.