This weeks theme was marketing but that is not specifically what this blog addresses. This week we have been asked to look at the project in context I guess, looking back at what we have done, and which will be of most use to us in our challenge. We should first remind ourselves what the themes have been over the last 8 weeks. We explored four distinct themes.
Idea networks was the first theme we looked at, we explored how our projects needs could be identified and how ideas can be generated using the internet, online tools, whatever is at your disposal! After this we moved onto working teams and how to design a team. How online tools can be further used on a global level, how to organize teams of people separated geographically and so forth. This was a very important week for us, but more on that later. We then moved towards less creation and more promotion. Crowd-funding and marketing were the last two themes and both of those had varying degrees of application for our challenge. Crowd-funding looked at how new ways of investment options for designers and business’s can benefit their causes and allow anyone to bring something to market with support enough to at least break even. Marketing obviously is selling your ideas and getting them out into the world, however, our challenge with Soildaridad is orientated on creating a system of collaboration and improvement. On having a system flexible enough to support different regions and infrastructures but also be user friendly and have an over all good experience. This experience has to be good enough to retain users and make the intranet a success. With this being said the first two themes in my opinion had most importance for the project’s challenge itself.
Design work teams I believe was a very influential week on our teams ideas and end result. My first reason for believing this is the challenge itself. We were asked to create a user-friendly system, a system that gave it’s users a good experience. This was the core of our challenge and using various technologies like Google Hangouts and Meeting Notes gave our group insight into the possibilities previously unknown to us. This way of collaboration was intriguing but not always flawless. It took a few weeks to get the hangouts working fluidly, and of course there is this transition time between systems, familiarity vs functionality. In the long run of course it is better to accept change and adapt, or to be the one creating the change. These weeks really showed how if these systems were integrated properly then it could be of a huge benefit to even just us studying. Solidaridad is about sharing and creating a better future and to do this communications are so important and the ability to work online and share this work will only help speed up the process of improvement.
The second reason I thought these weeks were incredibly insightful was that we did not have much pressure, not a whole lot of work (relative to now). This relaxed people and you could identify the types of people in the group and how they interacted without a looming deadline. Being in the first weeks of school this added a further dynamic to the situation, people were wary of impressions and tended to not push their ideas as much as maybe the idea deserved. On two levels this was good because I could see who wanted to work and who was keen on the project itself. If the project excites you and motivates you without pressures of looming work then you can start identifying that person as someone willing to put in effort and work. Conversely you noticed the shy types and identified them. Everyone has ideas and I think everyone has the potential for great ideas, as I said some people don’t push their ideas as much as they should so sometimes you need to help pull the ideas out. This helped towards the end result because I started to get a good feel for the group and how it was forming, but also how it could be flawed as we had many strong personalities and varying opinions on the actual meaning of the challenge. This was partly due to the lack of response from the contact but also from a subtle language barrier. The nuances of the English in the briefing sheet left a lot of information to be desired. This later into the project caused a panic but it all just in the long run helped form our own working group, much like we had to do for Soildaridads intranet.
Lastly this in this theme we really started defining the needs of our NGO. Although clarity might have been lacking at some points on the task at hand, we really started getting a good framework for a system that eventually turned out to resemble our final ideas. The theme previous we had worked on a diagram defining the needs and priorities of our NGO, however, this was very term dependant. You had to the find the right words and anticipate the relevance based on the information you knew. After a week of reflection we all came back with radically changed ideas because of how we all interpreted the diagram differently. User-experience to one is not the same thing always as it is to another. You could chalk this down to language, cultural differences, stupidity, whatever, it doesn’t really matter though because what it does is it brings you away from your own ideas and into someone elses. Having to have a discussion about what exactly is user-experience a week after deciding it was very important felt odd but also felt much more constructive. We started to gel together in this week I felt and despite hardships faced later on I think this week could have went entirely differently and so would have the result of our project. Hopefully the success of this week is reflected in the grading over the project over all.
The solution to our challenge always had to be a system of collaboration and sharing. Intuitive ideas could be quickly brought to life and shared around the globe. Time is important in Solidaridads quest of sustainable practice by 2050 because it’s a massive problem to tackle. I believe the only proper way to achieve this is to be truly open source. Is to have an intranet, which also acts as a primary source of news for the company. Looking at the Facebook of Soildaridad, only 1600 likes, however, the thunderclap achieved much more success then the Facebook. To me this indicated a break in the connections between their outlets. I think Instagram, Tumblr, should be incorporated into the drupel system, bringing people to the website and Facebook more. Using these two platforms as a home base and bringing people in with images from around the world of hope and progress will entice people to keep in touch and best of all most international works probably have an iPhone. In regards to collaboration a layer under all this open source would allow people to collaborate and work behind the screens, publishing, sharing, commenting to colleges and the world, to spread the ideas and movements started. I think this is how Solidaridad could reach a lager audience client base and have successful implementation of the system. You have to give not just the people a reason to care but also the worker to care about the relevance and influence this system could have towards their goal.
Has been a good productive week, so lets keep it up!