What is it?
During my time at thoughtbot I was the lead developer on Administrate - a library that helps developers set up a useful and intuitive admin dashboard for any Ruby on Rails app.
The project grew out of observing my clients' and coworkers' frustrations with existing Rails admin dashboards. While several other options exist, they often made it difficult for users to find information they're using for, and challenging for developers to customize beyond the default behavior.
One of the things that drew me to this project is that, unlike most open-source projects, Administrate's interface is used by non-technical people. The goal was to design an interface both general enough to be used in any Rails app, and intuitive enough for non-technical admins to be productive with it.
From the beginning the project was driven by user testing and feedback. Before writing a single line of code, I watched coworkers work with the existing libraries to find pain points. While developing, I created several iterations of prototypes and collected feedback to validate my assumptions about the project.