The best way to achieve a great final product is to test a prototype!
We have now conducted two sessions with a working group of young people to prototype our new mobile app and website for the country’s unemployed youth.
As my colleague Dejan explained (See: Youth Mobile App: Bringing job opportunities to young people in fYR Macedonia), the first paper prototyping went great. At the second prototype session, we were able to test our initial work in software, adding colour and life to our idea.
One of the most important aspects of these working sessions was that they were conducted by young people for young people, giving everyone involved the chance to put forward their suggestions for what they want to see on the web and the mobile app.
It was an invaluable experience to learn about all the options, buttons and other details that young people want in order to make the most of the application.
The best of these ideas were then sent to the Social Innovation Hub, where designers from our valued partner, the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering, are working on the website and the mobile application.
Another important result of the session was that we came up with a name we all liked for the new app. The name, PRV, means ‘first’ in Macedonian, and we used the initials to send a clear message about the content of the app:
- P – (praksa – internship)
- R – (rabota – job)
- V – (volontiranje – volunteering)
Now the beta version of the application is almost complete, and we are busy contacting employers, NGOs and universities throughout the country to collect ads for internships and volunteering opportunities.
For the job ads, we are connecting with the Employment Agency database so all the ads can automatically go to prv.mk. We are also focusing on raising awareness among employers of the need for entry-level jobs and for more interns and volunteers.
And in cooperation with the Employment Agency, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the UNDP team working on the self-employment programme, we are enriching the application by adding options for young people to access self-employment and training.
In the meantime we are also working on creative ideas for promoting prv.mk. We would like to reach as many young people as possible, and introduce the website and app as an informational tool for all available vacancies in the country.
It is so exciting for me to work on this project because I remember facing the same problem myself as a graduating student, spending all my time searching the internet for an internship.
Back then I had the idea of a one-stop site providing all the possibilities for young people in one place, though I never before had the opportunity to make it a reality. Now, with two young people thinking alike and with full support from the team, it is the perfect time for this idea to come to fruition.
I couldn’t be more happy and hopeful about the outcome, because I genuinely believe it will help a lot of people our age!
The excitement is growing day by day as we approach the moment when we will see the final product and hear the comments of those for whom the app is intended. We hope that from now on, just one click will provide young people with opportunities to progress in their careers.
If you have any ideas, suggestions, success stories, or questions, please don’t hesitate to share them with us!