ELMO - The Carter Center
The Carter Center collects a tremendous amount of data during its election observation missions. We created ELMO, a web- and mobile-based system that allows observers to submit data using smartphones or tablets. Staff members at mission headquarters can then review the data and draw conclusions about the election. This technology places The Carter Center at the leading edge of technology use in election observation.
ELMO supports location editing and mapping. GPS data is collected in the field with mobile devices.
The system also includes an integrated custom reporting engine.
Mealyzer - Columbia University
Mealyzer allows users to photograph their meals and receive near-real-time feedback on the meals' nutritional content. Users estimate the nutrients contained in the meal and receive an expert analysis minutes later. Studies have shown this feedback improves nutritional estimation ability, which is important for healthy eating. The system comprises a multi-platform mobile app and a Rails backend web app and API.
Mealyzer features a diabetes module that integrates with a cutting edge blood sugar estimation model.
We use Ionic/Cordova to support Android and iOS with a single codebase, reducing development cost.
Mobile App and Web Infrastructure - Hollaback!
Hollaback! is a non-profit and activist movement working to end harassment in public spaces, especially harassment directed towards women and LGBTQ people. We created Hollaback's mobile apps and site infrastructure, supporting activists in over 50 different cities around the world. Our work has included research, graphic design, interaction design, and development. Our work has been featured in the New York Times and numerous academic publications.
We developed and maintain iPhone and Android apps for the organization.
We made extensive use of the Wordpress Multisite framework and developed custom plugins.
Madeline System - The Working World
The Working World (TWW) finances worker cooperatives, businesses that are owned and run by their workers, through a groundbreaking non-extractive method of finance. TWW has coined a development strategy that creates quality, lasting jobs anchored in disadvantaged communities in the U.S. and Latin America, without ever creating debt in the neighborhoods they serve. Sassafras is designing and developing the Madeline system, a web application that will be used to manage and track these projects. TWW is also developing a peer network of 22 organizations around the country that are replicating their innovative model. These peer organizations will use the Madeline system as well. Eventually, the Madeline system will support a public-facing crowdfunding platform for worker co-ops everywhere.
Heartmob - Hollaback!
Heartmob is a platform that provides real-time support to individuals experiencing online harassment and empowers bystanders to act. Our work on Heartmob has included design, development, and research.
RealRisks - Columbia University
Partnering with researchers at Columbia University, we applied our expertise in design research (participatory design and usability testing) to develop a culturally sensitive breast cancer decision aid targeted at women in northern Manhattan in New York City. The decision aid allows women to determine their risk, understand what risk means, and develop an action plan to be used to jointly make decisions with their doctor. Design Action Collective developed the illustrations for this project.
rCredits - Common Good Finance
rCredits is an innovative community currency and payment system that envisions local democratic control of the economy. Sassafras is developing an overhaul of the Android app merchants use to accept rCredits. It will also include features for individual members to send and receive funds. The new app will be available on both iOS and Android.
MESS - Ann Arbor Cohousing
MESS is a system for managing community meals in cohousing. At the three Ann Arbor cohousing communities that use MESS, community meals are held as much as 5 times per week. MESS allows community members to sign up, provides a cost breakdown for cooks, sends notices of upcoming meals, and manages member account statements and payments. Such a vibrant community meals program would likely not be possible without MESS.
Residents browse menus for upcoming meals.
Cooks plan their grocery purchase based on a detailed signup summary.
EOS - The Carter Center
We worked with the Carter Center to overhaul their database of election obligations and standards (EOS), a compendium of information on the elements necessary for a successful democracy. EOS is used by field staff as a reference for their democracy consulting work, and is also made public so anyone can compare their country's practices to the standards of democracy defined by international bodies. We used our expertise in information architecture and modeling to clarify the underlying data structure. As a result, our design makes it simple to search and filter for authoritative sources in election law. We implemented the web application using Rails.
Our expertise in information architecture and data modeling resulted in an easy to use search and filtering interface.
The system includes a citation system to easily include sources in bibliographies and reports.
Diabetes Detective - Columbia University
We worked with researchers at Columbia University to build a web and mobile application to help people in low income communities manage their diabetes. We applied our expertise in interaction design, graphic design, and development.
We developed a Rails app that collects blood sugar levels and helps people set goals.
The system includes a mobile component that sends reminders and collects blood sugar levels through SMS and voice.
Diabetes Educator Community - Columbia University
We worked with Columbia University to develop an online community for diabetes educators across the U.S. The site features a structured knowledge base that allows educators to explore common glycemic problems, triggers, barriers, and goals. These knowledge base articles are tightly integrated with the site's in-built discussion forum.
Aggie - Georgia Tech
The result of a collaboration with the Technologies and International Development Lab at Georgia Tech, Aggie is a web application for tracking events in real-time via social media. It retrieves data from Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds, and ELMO instances and supports a team of operators in triaging, organizing, and monitoring incidents revealed by the data. Aggie is built using Node.js and AngularJS.
Aggie's multi-process architecture allows it to scale to a rate of dozens of reports per second.
Aggie has been used in many countries to observe national elections via social media.