NOTE: This is a full archive for the Project Community: You & The World (2013) please see the main site for the most up to date information.

Posts From Group 4
Once this group convenes and develops its project focus and team name, this will tell you more about this group.

The most important thing I have learnt about using online communities and networks in innovative…

The most important thing I have learnt about using online communities and networks in innovative design is how useful they are. We can all communicate and express what we believe and think. Then we compare any analyze and come up with the best possible solutions originating from the combined ideas of all of us.

My personal design principles for designing and fostering online communities. I would say they are the following.

  • Good design makes a product useful
  • Good design makes a product understandable
  • Good design is unobtrusive

I think that for the specific task we were set the three design principles above fit best. The product had to be useful, understandable and not frustrating to use, hence unobtrusive. 

However may I say I don’t really now how much designing and fostering of online communities I have really done. As a group we think we came up with a good way to introduce the network but we haven’t designed anything I believe. 

To the next year students:

This is certainly a fun project to take part in. You work closely together with others where you will create friendships for the rest of the course. Try working together as best as possible, try not to always work as a big group but split up into two or three smaller groups from the start so several small tasks can be finished. This is much more efficient. 

How to work well in a group is something I will certainly take with me for the rest of the program.

Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: J's Blog

Finalizing the project

New technologies have changed society in such a way that we can’t do without them anymore and design that comes with it is more important then ever before. The success of a modern day product is decided by it’s functioning aswell as by it’s design. For me as a designer this brings a lot of opportunities and that is why I look forward to the future. I always loved technology and to be a part of the development of innovative products is my goal. Preferably with my own company on my own way.

Project Communities showed me how to make your ideas reality, to be a teamworker and to communicate with your client.

Make your ideas reality:

Learning about crowdsourcing and funding was very interesting. These inspiring concepts make it possible to get solutions and development costs from people all over the world. A quick look on Kickstarter shows us that if your idea appeals to the internet audience you will be able to get the money you need for development. Promotion and feedback included.

Teamworker:

It is important to work with people. You can’t do everything by yourself. To do this properly you need to be open for the others in the team. Listen what ideas a person has. Mostly all the creativity and work of everybody combined makes the end product more of a success.

Communication with the client

Our client was Solidaridad. To have a client really makes you think you are doing an important job. Just like in a real company. I think this was a perfect way to learn us how to communicate with such parties. You need to know the wishes of the client and the client needs to know what you are capable of hence the end result will be satisfactory.

The project was confusing at first but it became clearer along the way. I enjoyed working as part of group 4. 

Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: de Lang's Design

What did I learn?

For me the most important thing about using online communities in design is that everybody has got the chance to share his ideas and to find supporters, which means better chances even for startups. Though I knew this before so you can´t really talk about learning at this point … Now to my “design principles”. I don´t really know what to write here. Did I design and foster online communities or networks? I don´t think so. In my eyes that would go much too far. We have an idea of a solution we came up in this course but that doesn´t make me to a network designer. Furthermore I never heard anything from an expert about the designing progress. Furthermore I got no real insights.That´s why I don´t understand why I should act like I made principles for myself. At the moment I´m just a bungler who studys IDE to maybe become a designer in the future.

But I think that simplicity is one of the main points. When the end result would get to complex it could maybe terrify the users so they wouldn´t even become real users. Also my personal taste is very orientated to simplicity. Less is more.

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The Farnsworth House

To next year´s students: If you are getting confused just cool down. That won´t change. Also you should try to create a good group atmosphere. For me the personal conversations were much more interesting. I know that´s not what I´m supposed to write but I´m just trying to be honest. All the new people I met and the experience I got by working with them is something I will take from this program.

Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Philipp is using tumblr now. So innovative

The last but not the least

Checking out "7 Design Principles, Inspired By Zen Wisdom" by Suzanne LaBarre today I got extremely inspired by one of them:

fukinsei or Imperfection as an invitation for co-creation 

This principle puts together all the different pieces I came across in the last two weeks into one beautiful puzzle.

Firstly, it echoes the discussion we had on vulnerability a couple of weeks ago. Revealing yourself as an imperfect human being (asking for help or support, for example) activates empathy followed by active actions to help or support. And thus becomes the basis for interaction.    

This idea was also a red thread for "Self Unself" exhibition at the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven curated by Thomas Widdershoven (creative director of Design Academy Eindhoven) and Jan Konings I was lucky to see at Dutch Design week 2013. 

The first project I’d like to mention is Phonebloks by Dave Hakkens, the telephone inviting for co-creation and customization.

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This phone consists of the base and various blocks that can be clipped onto it and changed when needed.

The second one - Eternally Yours book is a reflection on how to make a design sustainable implementing personal details into it. 

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The book itself shows how it works including very personal photos of the  designers. 

It seems that social networks, such as facebook, tumblr, twitter, work exactly in the same way: they are only valuable when filled with personal details, relieving it’s user to the world.

Other internet services, such as crowd founding enable people to co-create the product they love, while crowd sousing is a platform enabling open innovation.

Using internet services based on imperfection (and thus interdependances) is a way to recreate the way the world communicates and acts. Deepak Chopra in his video about social networks calls this process co-programming of global brain. 

To the next year students I would advise to perceive Project community course as a co-creation process, in which every imperfect individual is of great importance in co-creating the whole. 

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Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Mairya's intercultural puzzle

Was an honor…

In this new world, not use online tools is difficult. Everything happens online and the most important information are in the internet. 

With online communities you can exchange information more easily and obtain feedback of your work from people that understand about it. You can “follow” someone that you admire. And these online communities can help you to improve your network and keep it growing.
All of it together helps the designers understand what is necessary in the world and what people are expecting, therewith they can create something unique according to the information they obtain online.

Before I choose my principles I had to understand what they are. So I read the websites that were posted on week 8 and I chose the ones I found most important:

  • Internationality: to be able to use all online communities and expand your network it’s important disseminate your knowledge around the world, and to do that you must be sure that everyone will understand what you want to transmit.
  • Innovative: doesn’t matter where you come from or where do you live, people are always looking for something new, different, that will make them see things in new ways. A design that has creativity is always thinking about how he/she can do something innovative.
  • Break from routine: inspiration come from the most different places, so it’s nice to have a break from the daily routine; you never know what your mind can create when you are not  thinking about the problems or where do you have to go.

To everyone who starts this course, the most important thing, in my opinion, is to be friendlily with your co-works, they will be with you during all the way. You will help each other and its important to have in mind that everyone is different and has his/her own culture. So listen what they have to say, you never know what they can teach you.

And don’t forget that you will be working for a real client, so, ask his/her opinion about your ideas to solve the problem. And, of course, try to gather all the necessary information about your client.

This is the first course you will have in IDE program where you work with a real client, and we can use all the experience that we gain with it in the next course, for example, how to work with people from all over the world.

Before I finish my last blog, I want to say to the others team member of Group 4 that it was an honor to serve with them. ;)

Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Meliga's Community

FINAL. PROMPT :DESIGN

So, what is the most important thing I have learned about using online communities and networks in innovative design ?

Using online communities and networks in order to generate, create, refine and build up ideas and concepts is a very useful and encouraging method to bring designs into existence. We have talked about tools like Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding but also creative inspirations and platforms for collecting and exchanging ideas. What I face as a new and interesting fact, is that many creative and innovative people like artists and designers have difficulties to “disclose” their ideas, probably facing the fear of loosing connection to it. Through sharing and revealing, they take the risk of loosing impact on the concept or in worst case the adaption of the idea by someone else. An other factor is the “lost” of originality and self-initiative. Nevertheless, in my opinion, these factors should not be restricting or limiting the creative/creating process. But should be exploited in all kinds of levels. Regarding this, the most important insight I can extract is, that it is not necessary to “go the way alone” but instead be open minded for inspiration and help. Because in the end, it can bring enrichment and new perspectives to both sides.

Katinka’s design principles for online communities and networks :

 + Good design should be direct and obvious

Design in online networks should encourage and comfort the user, relying on a clear and obvious structure.

+ Good design should be user friendly

It is important to emphasize the user by demonstrating and underlining the handiness and usefulness of the platform.

+ Good design should be pleasant and esthetic

An esthetic and pleasant appearance brings visual and mental harmony,complementing its usefulness.

+ Good design should be inviting

It is crucial that the user feels connected to both the structure and appearance of the networks design, so he feels invited and addressed to its content.

+ Good design should be adjustable and customized

A good design should offer a customized use of the platform, adjusting it to the individual user and offering a distinctive and unique design.

THE END

So, we reached the end of our ProjectCommunity course. Looking back, it was 8 weeks full of confusion, conclusion, questions, answers, serenity and above all, full of emotions. Im pretty sure, that every single person of our class experienced these weeks in a different way. Not only regarding us as individuals and the way of development with all its obstacles, but also our experience to work in a group. Naturally, and as I had expected it, every group had their difficulties and issues, and though it was a tough task to manage that, I think and hope we all learned from our experiences with the people around us, so we can use and apply it in the coming years. What I experienced is, that most of the times, especially the difficult and unpleasant situations are the ones that you can learn the most of, if you handle them consciously and reflect yourself and the people around you. And I think that we all can be a little bit proud of ourselves. Though we dont know our NGOs mind yet, I think we did a good job and everybody checked that he has a responsibility for the group which motivate to contribute our own work. In the end, we laughed,cried and struggled together and that made us grow together.

Regarding my advice for the next years students, two things come into my mind :

+ ” grift your teeth and go for it “

and

+ ” all roads lead to Rome “

The former, because I had to frequently tell this to myself, and I think I was not the only one. Especially looking back to the big CONFUSIAM at the beginning I guess it was kind of a helpful motto to have.

The second, because I think that everybody in this course searched and found his own way through it, and made different experiences and got different impressions. And finally, we all reached our goal, going contrary ways in different directions !

Finally, I can not give any advice on how to get the best out of this course, besides of trying to be attentive and conscious and not to give up, even if you feel like it sometimes.

Now to answer the last question, I have to admit that I can not really answer it yet. In my opinion it will be answered by itself, through experiencing the next steps on our path. But I did learned a lot, and Im sure I will use my knew knowledge and skills in the future.

Thats it for now.

Thanks for reading :)

Katinka

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Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: +

Meeting the unmet needs

Im certain that crowdsourcing will be the most use to meet the needs of our NGO. 

Reason for this being that the more people can come up with more ideas, find more information and share the resources. Our NGO has all the professionals and other members to shape a very informative platform. Every single person has a lot of knowledge and once they all understand why its beneficial to share their knowledge over Drupal then it will expand and expand to a point where the people will constantly update and improve on the information available. That way when one person needs to have the newest information regarding a certain topic then he wont have to call some co-worker and ask him to send it to him because the information will all ready be available on drupal. 

If a Forum part can be added to drupal then there is chance that the people from different areas can easily help each other. Something that might have been cumbersome before can become an easy process as they are all communicating over the same platform. You can help here and there and dont actually have to write emails or make calls. You can post a question and get replies from some people you would never have guessed knew the answer. 

Crowdsourcing will also prove to be a time saving process. Why start searching on countless websites for something that the guy next to you might all ready know and have faster access too.

Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: J's Blog

Dear Passenger! Welcome aboard of Drupal commons!

Our task for the NGO is to “introduce Drupal Commons to an international group of professionals with a diverse cultural background”.

And we started with figuring out, who our target group is and what problems they might face while starting to use a new network.

Here is the brief overview:

  • There 200 people from all over the world (the number rapidly grew last year)
  • They change every 4-5 years
  • They meet 1-2 times a year to align the information
  • People are mostly concentrated on their direct duties
  • They travel a lot or spend a lot of time in the field
  • IT-staff is not necessarily there in every office 
  • There is a lot of other software being introduced at the same time

So the main problem is Drupal being an additional load for hard working people. There are two ways to change the situation: make motivation clear, showing that it’s worth it and comfort them, showing that it’s not hard to get used to it.

We chose two strategies to reach this goals:

  • team work as a basics to introduce and give some personal attention

As long as we know from the 4th week that “small teams work better”, we would propose our NGO to choose one person responsible for implementing the platform (ambassador) and make sure that he or she spends some time talking to each member of the group.

  • home page layout as a way to promote the new things that are coming with Drupal  

"Welcoming" has always been something that sets the tone of overall communication. In Russian tradition it is bread and salt ceremony that is to show the guest how important he or she is. The book always starts with foreword. For the on-line communication it’s the homepage.     

The homepage of internal network can include: motivation elements (in the shape of small icons always available, like here); comforting-welcoming elements (video to say “hi” in different languages, interactive tutorial with arrows). The last but not the least point is a possibility to receive an up to date feedback from users (small forum), also showing that every point of view is important. 

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Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Mairya's intercultural puzzle

Can you see the end?

Although crowdsourcing and crowdfunding may help Solidaridad in some aspects, it doesn’t help us to solve the problem of how to introduce Drupal to all the employees of Solidaridad.
Just to give you a little context, Drupal is a tool that Solidaridad wants to use to help the communication between their several offices. Drupal can be explained as a type of social media, that can be internal or external.

So, for solving the problem, we decide that the most important themes to use would be Teamwork, that includes the concept of “I, We and Network”, and Marketing. Both of these concepts we saw in the 4 hats that Nancy presented to us and we went deeper in these subjects during some classes. In the class of this week, for example, we learn more about Marketing and we understood better how to use it in our advantage.

Before I present the solutions that Group 4 thought that would be efficient, I will say why I think Drupal will help Solidaridad and I will list the problems that Solidaridad might face to introduce the Drupal platform: 

  • Why Drupal can help: Drupal would help by gathering all the information of Solidaridad in just one place, making easier for people search for some document, or how another office solved a problem that your office is having now. And, since it’s an online tool, I could open it anytime I want to search for something or send a message for someone of another office.
  • Problems they may face to introduce Drupal:
    1. People can resist to the use of a new tool, since they might be accustomed to using email;
    2. Solidaridad have offices in a lot of different countries, so it’s a little difficult to arrange meetings with frequency and conferences calls sometimes may not be enough;
    3. With the offices in different countries the working hours of each is different, so they can’t introduce Drupal at the same time to all;
    4. In each country they have its own culture. Therefore, one strategy can work for one offices and the same strategy can fail in another;
    5. Usually the people are in the field working and they don’t have the computer with them all the time;
    6. The employees are also busy, so they may not want to spend time learning how to use Drupal;
    7. And Solidaridad don’t want to spend a lot of money with IT technology, that’s why they chosen Drupal.

Now the big question: How to solve all of these problems with Teamwork and Marketing?

                                          

First the Teamwork, Maarten told us a little a about the Ambassadors of each place and we had the idea of work with them to help people see the importance of Drupal. Instead going direct to people and say that they HAVE to use Drupal, we would show to the Ambassadors how Drupal will improve Solidaridad’s work and then they could transmit that to their employees in their own way. And here we see the idea of “I, We and Network”, where the Network is Solidaridad, the We is each office of Solidaridad, and I is the employees in this offices.
This solution would solve the problem 4, of different cultures, since each Ambassador will introduce Drupal according to his/her culture, the problem 2, of distance, they wouldn’t have to try to do conferences meeting with each office to explain Drupal and problem 3, of difference with the hours.

Regarding the Marketing, we’ll use Internal Marketing as one of the solution for the NGO. How we would use it? Our idea is to put Drupal as the start page of the browser. Therewith, every time an employee opens the internet they will see the page of Drupal and with time they will get used to it. And in this start page will have some “details” to help people to understand better Drupal, such as an introduction video, an interactive guide, a forum for question and some icons in the corner that you can click to obtain more information about some aspect of Drupal. This would help people to get familiar with this tool, solving problem 1 and solving the problems 5 and 6, because people would have a good and quick way of learning how to use Drupal, without losing a lot of time.

                 

And these solutions wouldn’t cost much to Solidaridad, so the problem 7 is not a problem anymore.
But, for us to present this in a good and understandable way, everyone in Group 4 need work equally and hard! I don’t think that have ONE important thing for the success of the project, but SIX important ones: Maria, Willem, Julien, Philipp, Katinka and Julia!

Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Meliga's Community

THE FINAL STEPS TO OUR GOAL

This time I want to start with a brief overview on the themes we have been looking at in the last weeks and then analyze them and make a reference on our NGO’s unmet need.

CROWDFUNDING & CROWDSOURCING 

These tools give the opportunity to make an ‘open call’ to a wider community. Used in the ‘right’ way, these tools are the perfect start/base for sharing knowledge and ideas and moreover they can bring diverse perspectives and critical thinking to the problem/situation.

ME/WE/NETWORK

These three components, which are part of every community, are based and build up on each other. Starting with the ME, which can be an individual person or project, and which represents the WE as well as the NETWORK. Then the WE, which is crucial for gathering ideas and perspectives and then working on them on a collective level. And finally the NETWORK, which empowers the ME’s and WE’s to cooperate and collaborate and through this, to achieve higher goals.

TEAMWORK

Not only the teamwork itself but furthermore the structure and form of teams/groups have a huge impact on a running network or community. Knowing how the group size influences the work and how this knowledge can be used to work on different creating processes is central and can be very helpful.

MARKETING 

For me, marketing is a very broad term with lots of subtopics. Thats why I am gonna focus on my understanding of it, especially regarding our NGO challenge. Referring to Solidaridads problems and difficulties, I guess the marketing is more focused on an internal level which makes it an ‘internal marketing’ for me. I did some research on this and found the following definition : ‘Management philosophy of promoting the firm and its policies to employees as if they are the (internal) customers of the firm.’
( source : BusinessDictionary.com )

Moreover, internal marketing is described as an inward facing marketing, which is used by marketers to motivate all functions to satisfy customers. I think this idea can be transferred to Solidaridad.

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This is a visualization i made, to explain my thinking. Solidaridad is the center, surrounded by the different topics in different colors. But finally,in combination with Drupal they are combined.

That is because I dont believe that there will be ONE specific theme of which Solidaridad will benefit the most, but a combination of all of them, since they are build up on another.

I think the most crucial part in introducing Drupal to the various Expertise Centers is, to show them that we are aware of the fact that they have different cultural and ethnic values and understanding of things and to try and support them. Furthermore, we should try and comfort them in their usage. I believe that it plays a central role to give them the feeling of being helped and supported if needed. For example by connecting them with an individual contact person ( respectively ambassadors ) or by creating a interactive guide, so they can successfully implement the platform and finally use it on a daily basis. To sum up, the perfect solution should be based on motivation and support for the employees, created through transparency and direct communication/help. So, we should try to create an easy running internal interaction for every Expertise Centre and then, if that works, connect the smaller parts of Solidaridad on a global level. If we can achieve that, I guess that we have build a good base for them to finally work collaboratively together..

Thats it for now.

Thanks for reading and kind regards,

Katinka

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Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: +