The most important thing I learned about using online communities and networks in innovative design is that one can really find an answer to every question. If there is no existing match in Google try another searching engine, ask in a forum, ask anywhere, ask your fellow students, teachers, mentors, clients someone will have an answer for you. The only thing you have to guess is who might help you best, because that will save loads of time.
For online communities and networks I would suggest the following design principles which are partly developed from our research and teamwork-experience and partly adapted or copied from already existing design principles, like the ten principles for good design of Dieter Rams.
-avoid too much information on the first sight, but who wants to know more should be able to get easy access to the needed information (an example of the work in our group: we will make an additional report to the video in order to provide our client Sheila with information on how to apply our strategies)
- the developed strategy should not only sound good but actually work, that affords enough research and if every team member rethinks what somebody has thought of it is more likely to be a strategy that is useful to the organization than a strategy that only one person has come uo with without doing any research
-The Graphics of the website should represent the aim of the organization
- Donors have access to information about where the money is used for
– connecting all existing and new pages and ways of communication of the community, to make it easy accessible for all kinds of different target groups, people should be able to find information fast and understand it without more effort than reading, this I why a translation of the website of Gogorobí Fundation is necessary to make the information accessible for more people (who do not speak Dutch)
- there should be a constant long lasting relationship between investors and the fundation
- the strategies should be different from the way other people would solve the problem, originality is demanded for getting attention and becoming more popular, this will help the organization to become more popular
- never try only one way, always develop different ways to solve a problem, give people the chance to choose what they think is the way to solve a problem suiting their wishes
- people can identify themselves with the service or manner how they are adressed, every kind of media deals with different target groups, big companies can be addressed by mail, single persons can be approached more casual, but the approach should always stay serious
I would tell next year’s class that the course can teach you a lot on how to use internet communities and get to know more ways how to communicate online like on meetingwords, how to improve your teamwork skills, meeting the needs of a real client, work on a project, divide tasks, deal with problems learn to find alternatives and rethink your ideas, discuss ideas and focus. The content of the design you do depends on your project and your creativity. It will be a strategy for a NGO either, branding, fundraising or something similar.
In order to get the most out of the course you have to do your tasks, always be aware why you are supposed to do something and if you have no clue, think of a possible reason. You have to engage yourself and try new things. If you don’t involve yourself you won’t learn anything. Nobody will spoon-feed you the content of the course, you have to make your own experiences but you get support with it and can ask anything you want to.
This course is valuable because we improved our teamwork skills and we learned how o deal with a client. We practiced research and made our first steps in innovation. I experienced how a creative process in a group may look like and how ideas can still be improved by other team members, because everyone always finds something that does not work in someone else’s idea. This course taught me again that teamwork can be fun and really creative.