Penn State makes tracking nutrition a snap
The Pennsylvania State University manages a federally funded nutrition education program (SNAP-Ed) for low income Pennsylvanians called Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Tracks (TRACKS). Designed to help both children and adults live a healthier lifestyle and make better choices about what they eat, TRACKS relies on the efforts of hundreds of local partner staff to make the program a success.Download the PDF
The STARtracks data entry system, which converts information collected on paper into digital records, is crucial for compiling the demographic and program delivery data needed for program management and required reporting to federal funders. Deciding that the system was in need of a modernized makeover, the organizers behind STARtracks came to Infragistics Consulting Services for help. Since Infragistics tools were at the core of the original system back in 2006, a smooth transition made for an easy decision by Penn State.
Development of the new user interface for STARtracks was very much a collaborative effort between the team at Penn State and the UX Architects, Visual Designers, and Developers on the Consulting Services team at Infragistics. The Infragistics team started the initiative by implementing the first part of their three-tier process: Discover, Design, and Develop. The discovery stage gave the team the tools needed to address everything from the designs of the new application workflow, user interface, and augmented wireframes, to usability testing and development.
To provide a fast, lightweight application that would significantly improve the user experience, the team decided to do a full technology migration. They moved from their old ASP.NET system to a jQuery-based program, built with Infragistics’ Ignite UI controls. This migration made STARtracks lighter and faster, and allowed users to modify data on the client without needing to rely on frequent communications to the server.
The final result was a new system that meets the ever-growing needs of the STARtracks user group, all the while making the system more practical and efficient. The successful implementation of the new STARtracks application was delivered in three phases that tested various aspects of the user experience among different groups of users. Phase 1 consisted of implementing a brand new user interface to be used exclusively by administrators. Within the group of 210 users that rely on this software, the new admin screens were successfully tested by about 20% of the user base. Phase 2 was designed to showcase new data entry screens for users with all access levels, while the final phase of implementation will be used by the users compiling reports.