A New Client: Manitoba Health

Sun May 20th 2012

An old co-worker approached me about a new project. Turns out he's doing contract work for the Office of Disaster Management, which is part of Manitoba Health. The folks there want to build an online system to assess hazards, risk, and vulnerability that communities face, in order to help them better prepare for future natural disasters.

My friend shows me the state-of-the-art for this type of work. Wow, what a sight. It's all Excel spreadsheets with cryptic numbers and formula everywhere. An "average user" is supposed to complete this? Guess that explains why nobody's really doing these assessments.

Well, there was one exception with an online assessment that the province of British Columbia produced a few years back. However, that system is not particularly user-friendly. The site looks pretty out-dated too in comparison to today's web standards.

Manitoba Health is interested in developing something more modern, interactive, and basically, accessible for the general public. So my friend approached me with this project. Basically, we are going to turn the assessment into an online survey. My friend tried to do it himself using survey monkey, but found a lot of limitations in their layout and functionality. So we will provide a customized solution for them: They design, we implement, everyone gathers for feedback, repeat.


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