Drupal is great for on-line communities. The Maryland Business Round Table (MBRT) created STEMnet to bring STEM specialists and Maryland educators together in the classroom. After working with IBM on the original site, Snake Hill transformed the site into a truly social platform. STEMnet's Facebook-style user interface includes a wall for posting messages and keeping up to date on activities. The site handles all sorts of multimedia and we built an app store-like interface for classroom resources. STEMnet is the first site of its kind in the U.S.


MBRT needed to ease collaboration between their community of industry volunteers and educators throughout the State of Maryland. The small office running the STEMnet program needed a forum to match specialists and educators, schedule classroom programs and find resources. Their goal was to increase capacity by moving interactions between volunteers and educators onto the web instead of through the office.     


Snake Hill proposed an interface inspired by popular social media. Giving users a familiar interface would increase ease of use, usability, and lower barriers to entry. Since many users led a detailed discovery process where we identified improvements to interface and workflows. We looked at popular social media sights like Facebook and collaborative sites like Yammer for inspiration. 

With inspiration in place the design process continued with sketches and wire frames. The interface displayed depending on the user's role putting the most important tools at their fingertips. Workflows were simplified as much as possible with many activities happening on the main dashboard through a dynamic front end. Updates through Javascript calls to the backend kept the users on the same page.   

The final result was a dashboard with an activities feed and tools to find partners and initiate collaboration.