The white paper as a genre comes in many flavors, but for our team at Eli Review, they are as much for an internal audience as for anybody outside of our group. They spell out what “Eli Review” is not in terms of screens and clicks but conceptually, why it exists and what it is meant to do without mentioning about how it accomplishes those things. Most significantly, they have helped us prevent feature creep, making sure that all development fits into our established mission.
There have now been two versions of the Eli Review white paper:
The 2013 version of the document guided the development of the app for five years. The 2018 version is meant to take over for a new version of the app, as soon as development is ready to begin.
In both versions, my job was to lead the process of crafting these documents first by producing drafts and then shepherding the feedback process amongst our team and thenleading the revisions. I also produces all of the art.
The significant difference between the two versions of the white paper is a good indicator of how Phase 3 development will differ from Phase 2. The 2013 white paper focuses quite a bit on the technology, particularly the information structures, where the 2018 version is more interested with how Eli can detect signs of learning and improvement. The 2013 version also focuses on the workflow of the app while the 2018 is more indicated in the importance of feedback and how feedback is the revision fuel for learning, a concept that will drive development of a number of new features in Phase 3.