Wow, time goes fast.
So what do I think is the most important thing about the use of online communities in the design process ? I think since the Internet and its media changed the way to be together it also fundamentally changed the way designers can be together with their clients or future clients and interact with them. Recent insights - also from the introduction week (thanks Gustaaf) - have shown me that designing is always about creating something for the customer, the people. It’s about them. So connecting to them via online communities and networks seems to be a smart and plausible thing to do. Forums in which customers discuss with other customers is I think a great source of valid feedback, it is mostly honest. Tesla Motors the successful automaker “startup” has a special “Enthusiasts” tab on their website with a forum and other things.
Online communities should be easy to use and accessible to everybody. And there is no online community without a relevant topic to talk, discuss, think about. A good online community is a social one where people care together about a certain relevant topic.
To all the ones who will attend this course I would say it’s all learning by doing, what you put in to it is what you get out. Thats what we have been told in the beginning and I found that to be true. I think I didn’t put enough into it. In parts it’s a simulation of your later way of working and it will teach you valuable things about people, teams, procrastination and others.
This is the beginning so don’t be afraid to fail, we’ll fix it later. But more important don’t be afraid to succeed greatly.