The Innovation Campus
In 2015, Wichita State University announced the GoCreate makerspace would be built as part of the Innovation Campus. Just a year later, the building was nearly complete, and the team was ready to start accepting members. The founding team turned to my team at Ennovar to build a web-based software to manage members, equipment, classes, and schedules.
I worked with the GoCreate team to outline the necessary features required from the member management software, and worked with GoCreate’s design agency to understand the requirements for the public website and content management.
The Management Tool
To successfully leverage technology to run the makerspace, GoCreate wanted to let members join easily, schedule tools and equipment, sign up for classes and events, and track usage metrics to measure success.
Our team leveraged the ideas from existing makerspace and coworking management software. In the end the requirements were specific enough to warrant a complete redevelopment. We used the Laravel framework to develop a new software from scratch. This software grew to include a custom Content Management System for the public website, leveraging equipment and event data from within the management software to populate the content on the public site.
Also, API endpoints were developed for the on-premise equipment control systems. These systems validated schedules and users as current members before equipment would work. The system also tracked usage data to allow for analytic evaluation of equipment and classes.