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Approaching the end…

Another week has come and getting very close to the end of this project. Our team work is improving in my opinion as everyone is more aware now that tasks need to be done and that there isn’t a whole lot of time left for this. Also the more there’s been done, the more there is to show which has a motivating effect on the team. This week’s theme was marketing, and it was very helpful to get more information about this area. Marketing is a very important aspect in the world of businesses as it’s a way to sell what your organization stands for and really to get people’s attention.

When looking at the themes we have covered up to now such as technology stewardship, crowd-sourcing, crowd-funding, work teams and marketing it is quite clear that some are more of use to reach our goal of solving the unmet need of out NGO. If I would have to pick some of these themes as the most helpful ones, I would pick crowd-sourcing and crowd-funding. The reason for this is that the more brains thinking and the more people helping, the more ideas, solutions there will be. As this might be difficult to manage sometimes, it’s important that there is much attention paid to organizing this in a productive manner. This will lower the chaos and the overflow of ideas and opinions, funneling good and helpful information straight to the organization.

Crowd-sourcing is such a good tool as it allows a large diverse group of people interact with the company and share all sorts of valuable information and advice. As the main focus is to improve the platforms user experience and usability it is essential that these average users are addressed and are taken into account. Not to mention the amount of money that can be saved using crowd-sourcing as the organization doesn’t have to hire as many professionals to give their opinion.

Crowd-funding is important as there will be more financial support in order to get these new and helpful ideas into action. It will help the company expand and make it possible for them to reach out to more and more people. This will really boost the momentum and make sure the organization will not land in any kind of slump.

In my opinion the solution should be a very straight forward platform which can be managed by all types of people. It should of course be esthetically pleasing and really catch the attention of the users. As well as this, it should show all the vital and important information that the public needs to see in a clear and neat manner. And lastly it should be easy for users to communicate easily with one another and really engage on each other’s ideas through the help of visual aid.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Paul's Design Elements

Collaboration is key

Were already in week 6 and its getting closer and closer to the end of this project. Crowd-funding and crowd-sourcing have become terms most of us are now familiar with. We’ve been shown how they are helpful and why it’s important to be aware of them when coming up with your own designs and products. As both terms have in common and already state, is the word ‘crowd’ which plays an important role. Crowd, obviously referring to the mass of common people. But let’s look at the two terms individually.

Crowd-sourcing is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large groups of people and most importantly from online communities rather than from traditional employees or suppliers. It combines the efforts of many volunteers or part-time workers where each contributor of their own initiative, adds opinions and remarks, leading to a greater result. The benefits of this are that many people, who do not work directly within the project, express their opinion and advice with as a result a well rounded and mostly honest feedback. Some disadvantages of crowd-sourcing are that you get very many opinions from many different people, making it difficult to always use the abundance of advice to your advantage. You might get overwhelmed making it more complicated to get to the

Crowd-funding also known as crowd financing, is the combined effort of individuals who network and combine their money, usually by using the internet, to support projects, products, design or services initiated by other people or organizations. So instead of taking a big sum of money from one place, you get many small sums of money from many different places which are easier to achieve. This can be very helpful and beneficial as funding any kind of project is very crucial to the start of it and thus the outcome.

Despite of the many advantages of crowd-sourcing, many designers have the need to do things on their own, so that they can take 100% credit and because they might not be open to anyone else’s opinions and ideas. In my opinion this is being foolish and arrogant, as all great inventions came from a collaboration of great minds.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Paul's Design Elements

Group Dynamics

Teamwork is incredibly important to succeed in any project. A multicultural design team is even better, as everyone has different upbringings and backgrounds causing them to think in different ways and see things from different angles. This creates an elaborate range of knowledge and methods to work with which will only benefit the outcome of any given projects. Despite of the benefits due to the difference in each person it also brings a range of disagreements with one another as people don’t always have the same mind set. For this class I’m grateful to also be in one of these multicultural groups.

We’ve been working for four weeks now in our group and in my opinion the start was very slow as is to be expected when meeting new people from new cultures and working on something that was quite new to all of us. Despite of this we were still able to communicate and get along just fine. I find that the way we work together during class hours is at times effective and we mostly give attention to everyone to express their opinion on the task. Also the schedule that we have been using to complete each week’s assignment and to keep up-to-date has been working out well as it gives us more clarification on what has to be done by which date and by whom.

 Of course working in a group with other people and especially of this size is quite challenging as you need to be able to communicate your ideas with others and the more there are the harder it is to get everyone to agree. This also has its advantages and that is that there is more feedback and a greater variety of ideas.

Another challenge is that each person is different and therefore has to be treated a bit differently in order to make them feel comfortable and open to your suggestions and this also is not always an easy thing to do.

Furthermore, keeping up with the work in respect to the time left is another obstacle. It’s easy to set stuff of for the next time when things get difficult, though when things are moved up the whole time the time left isn’t, causing for delays and thus a lack of time to complete tasks.

Lastly, communicating with our customer has been quite challenging as he might be busy or we might be busy and then information doesn’t always get obtained on time causing us to get stuck on tasks etc.

The large size of our group does have an impact on our productivity and efficiency. Working in a large group is definitely more challenging as I explained earlier. By splitting this bigger group into smaller groups (which my team and I have done a few times) makes it easier to communicate fast and effectively and making the group more dynamic. The more people there are in a group the more diversity there is but less efficiency, so by splitting up and coming together again you are able to really get the best out of everyone and thus the group as a whole.

The culture difference between our group members has a positive effect in my opinion, as having a different backgrounds makes our team more diverse. It helps in the sense that not everyone’s thinking the same way, and thus bringing many different aspects to the tasks. For me personally, being multicultural, it’s very comforting and interesting to be surrounded by many different cultures.

What I would do to improve our group’s efficiency is to make smaller groups more within our group. Also increase the communication within the group in order to have everyone more informed about everything, making our time in class together more effective.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Paul's Design Elements

Lost in space

In today’s world, internet is something most people cannot live without. Our generation and even more the generations to come are faced with this phenomenon on a daily basis. With this comes online communication, such as Facebook, Twitter, email, Instagram and all sorts of forums and blogs. This has had a great impact on the world and changed the way a lot of us spend our time and communicate to one another. There are both positive and negative results due to this change, but in the end it affects everyone in a different way.

When I think about my own network and how I use online spaces, I have to admit that I sometimes do simply use it as an individual and do not always fully interact with people. For example, I have an Instagram account, in which you can share pictures with the followers you have on your account, and you can see pictures of the people you follow. I hardly post any pictures myself, but do enjoy following the pictures others post.

Despite of this I do also use other online spaces to interact with people not just as an individual, such as Facebook. I attended an international high school where a lot of students/friends came and went on a yearly basis due to their parents work etc. It made it difficult to stay in touch with them as they moved all over the world. Facebook really made it easier to stay in contact with these friends and to share each other’s new experiences through pictures, videos and messages.

I am a member of many bounded groups, these mostly consist of my close friends or students I work with for certain projects. Having this closed group allows us to interact with each other but still having some sort of privacy from the rest of the viewers as they cannot enter this group. It makes it more efficient, especially when working on a project as you can address all your team members at once with the same message and thus makes sure it doesn’t get lost within the countless other posts of people who are not involved in the discussion. This is also applicable to this project, as my group (6) has a closed group where we can interact and communicate easily with one another regarding the work that has to be completed and to make appointments.

When looking at the online spaces I use my most valuable ones are probably Facebook, Youtube and Instagram as those are the ones I use most often. These are also the ones that are most comfortable for me to use as I am very familiar with them and thus it is never a struggle to use them. They also have most of what I’m interested in and relevant to me. Tumblr has some more value to me now than before as I am using it for this class and thus putting time and effort into it aswel.

Despite of using some of the present online spaces, I think there is a lot more out there for me to discover and get acquainted with, and I am sure many more new online spaces will pop-up in the coming years which I will be open to start using.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Paul's Design Elements

Expanding my database

We are now in the third week of this class and the knowledge about the project and Solidaridad is becoming somewhat clearer. Despite of this, my group and I still have plenty of questions and uncertainties popping up during our project hours. In my opinion this is a good sign, as we are walking on uncharted area and are experiencing new struggles as we go along. This project is definitely a new learning experience for me as technological knowledge is something I don’t have a lot of, but am hoping to gain during this project and the future.

Talking about technological knowledge, I have never really followed any kind of computer class and thus have not very much expertise in this area…unfortunately. This does make learning about it very interesting for me as I am aware of its importance in today’s world. The use of technology is very important for online communities and networks, and is the backbone of communication in many companies now a day.

Another part of all of this is “digital identity” which is more or less an online or networked identity claimed in cyberspace by an individual, organization or electronic device. These users may also project more than one digital identity through multiple communities. As pretty much all of us use either  Facebook, Myspace, Twitter or Instagram etc. we are creating an identity for ourselves on the world wide web, and though you’re mostly in control of this, our identity may be warped or seen from the wrong perspective making it all very different to the truth behind this virtual identity. On the other hand it is very useful for communicating not just with friends and family, but also with your fellow students, colleagues from work and other businesses.

My wish for the near future is to build and strengthen my technological knowledge which I can use for now but also for the future of my academic years and working years. After each new step I make I hope there are new doors to open which will only lead to more opportunities and benefits which give me and my technological knowledge space to grow…

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Paul's Design Elements

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Paul's Design Elements

Achieving Visual Unity – week 2

Our first class was interesting but also very confusing. The whole subject and project was a bit vague and the exact goal wasn’t too clear. As the class progressed it started becoming more clear, as more information was shared with us and we had time to research.

I see this subject helping me to use social media to connect and interact with other people who share similar interests. It will teach me how to set up my own online community, properly presenting myself and the important ambitions I have. In addition to extending the knowledge I already have, I will learn new things that I will be able to apply to my everyday use of social media. I think working in a group will provide a good and stimulating environment where I can learn from others and also learn to work better together in order to accomplish our ultimate goal. Working together will help this NGO come up with the most innovative, exciting and creative solutions.

What I can bring and contribute to the group is my creativity and open-mindedness to new ideas. As a visual learner, I believe that I’ll be able to contribute to our projects physical appearance and what message it communicates. 

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Paul's Design Elements

Welcome

this is my - Paul’s - blog on being a new innovator in the world of Design.

Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Paul's Design Elements