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 6
Once this group convenes and develops its project focus and team name, this will tell you more about this group.


Eight weeks have been and gone. We now find ourselves putting the final touches on our video and beginning to reflect on our work the past two months. Its hard to believe the times gone so fast and that we were so naïve to begin with.

Each week we have dived into a new topic whether it is crowdsourcing, technology stewardship, marketing or work teams, all have encouraged and demanded – working in/on/with an online community or network. Going into this project I had little experience with this, however I soon realised how essential and beneficial this form of work is in the innovative design industry.
Its benefits stem from the concept of a smaller world where global communication is no barrier. Shared knowledge is key allowing us all to gain and pass on lessons learnt or information gained.  The increased use of online communities and networks is currently – mid-snowball effect – gaining popularity by the day. It’s a movement designers cannot ignore and in-fact is creating an entirely new way or working creatively.

One design principle resounded with me after this project and that is “The Pareto Principle” ( Perhaps because this was so applicable to our groups experience. This Principle states: “80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” Through out this project we experienced a multitude of problems, from; team management to customer interactions and even just the development of solutions.  However it was only due to these problems we encountered that we were able to innovate and come up with solutions – improving the team and the work being produced.

As for tips for next years students… COMMUNICATE! Our teams communication left a lot to be desired and it effected our working relationship. This would be my biggest tip to you along with making the effort to meet face to face, it is so much more beneficial to the efficiency and shared understanding throughout the group.

This experience is going to be invaluable, it is my first real experience working for a customer in a group or international participants. I have gotten an insight firstly into what to expect. I now know how much team work is going to be prevalent over the next 3 years and being aware of this allows me to ensure the way I interact with certain team members is beneficial to the efficiency of the group. Although I go away from this experience feeling my team could have performed better I am very proud of what we have created and thankful for all the lessons I have learnt along the way.

So for the final time..

That’s all for this week!

Untill next time, Siras Henderson xx

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: NABOO DESIGNS.


After working together for 4 weeks we are finally starting to find our rhythm. Slowly but steadily. Initially we dealt out “positions” which we thought was most fitting to everyone’s personal skill set. Although some of these have remained the same, we have found that some people are more suited to other jobs.

I’m finding the motivation of the group great, it is lifting my spirits whenever I am struggling. Equally the leadership has been awesome, Luca has taken to it like a duck to water. He is extremely structured and his understanding of the task is the best in the group.

Equally everyone else is using their own personal skill to contribute. Although Luca is taking the lions share of the work load up till now I hope for the rest of us, with his assistance, to be able to take some of the pressure off of him.

However there is definitely room for improvement! Firstly our initial decision to use Facebook as the main form of communication in the group I believe this was a mistake, as people are posting data at random times and we are not all online when this happens for instance I frequently am out when informed someone’s posted. By the time I get home I have completely forgotten about it. Other groups are using google drive and I would love my group to consider this. Google drive would allow us to access information when we want to and when we are focused on the task at hand.

Initially we had little to no understanding of the task however now we are in the 5th week (half way through the project) I feel we finally have got a grip on the task at hand. For me the difficulties was my lack of knowledge on platforms and anything technology related. However my groups knowledge has made up for this and they are slowly developing my knowledge on the topic too.

Working with such a large group there is always challenges. One of these is ensuring everyone is equally involved. The girls confronted the group last week saying they sometimes felt that we were dismissive of there ideas. This of course was a big surprise to the rest of us however we were able to ensure from now on we listen more attentively when they are talking.

In addition Maarten brought up a very valid point of native English speakers intimidating the others. Of course this was un-intentional but subconsciously the non natives feel intimidated due to their inability to express them selves as fluently. If you visit Maarten’s blog there is a link to a website which discusses how groups can get a handle on this problem but also how we can use it to our advantage. I would recommend every one from all group reads this!

Lastly I would like to discuss the effect of culture on the functionality of our team. All 9 members hold a different culture and this is both a constructive and a restrictive aspect. The variety allows a lot of new and exciting ideas to be shared showing perspectives of many. However when communicating it can be difficult, words may be interpreted differently by others, this is when it is important for us to communicate. Especially us native English speakers, if the others have use a word inappropriately it’s important for us to pull them up even if the we understand what they are trying to communicate.

Until next week - over and out!

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: NABOO DESIGNS.

Thank You all.

I’m starting to write this blog and thinking. It’s over? Latest blog? The end of a long, endless Monday? Probably so. But I have to what I two months ago wouldn’t even think to say.

I’ll miss this !

I remember the beginning, who caught only one word: Chaos. I feel like it was yesterday. No one knew what to do, all filled with a sense of unease and uncertainty. But today, our hourglass are almost empty and we can no longer follows the last grains of sand that slowly but surely completed the first stage at this school.

What is going on here? - We often asked, during the long and unorganized google hangouts.

But now we are at the end of a new beginning, turned about-face and see our tracks we leave.

Let’s decipher them.

  • At the beginning I see the shortcut NGO. Honestly, I did not know what it is. However,  I already know. Thank you.
  • Next, I can see ‘Technology Stewardship’ - Yes. Technology. In fact, I felt like at home in. I have reviewed and reinforced the importance of technology as in normal everyday life and in work and communication also. 
  • Crowd-sourcing. For me again, hitherto unknown concept. But this lesson has helped us realize our position and role in the project.
  • Teamwork. I remind this class, as one of the most valuable for us, as a group. It helped us to understand the power of group-work and taught us to use it the most effectively.
  • Crowd-funding followed. For me personally, the most valuable and most inspiring among all.
  • And at the end, one of the most important topics which was Marketing. Marketing is all around us and is part of everything. I dare say that in many cases is the key. ( Simple idea of quality marketing can make a hole in the world and vice versa with bad marketing we can sink even the best of them.
  • And now we are here and there is only the last task. Will present our work, efforts and thoughts to client.

But. The question is. 

What is the one most important thing have you learned about using online communities and networks in innovative design?

What is the most important thing ?

That’s clear for me.The most important thing is awareness of what our online communities and networks offer and permit. It’s an almost unlimited amount of information, ideas and also inspiration. Speed​​, clarity, accessibility of information! But! The simplicity is essential! I learned a long time ago just like it confirmed. Communication is to be direct and clear. Information served to make them comprehensible and easily understandable. So we can avoid misunderstandings and confusion.

Considering all you have learned and experienced through our classroom time and your work for your clients, what are your design principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks?

My Design principles ?

Yes. I have them. These are the words which I deeply enthusiastic in myself and who are trying to to follow the, whenever I do something / product. Design is the only way to communicate with people. People need to understand you. Needs a clear message read by every product of carries. The message is encoded in a single word-Design-

People still do not like things they do not understand. Quite the contrary. Do they ??

Maybe I can consider these  ten principles for good design of Dieter Rams , as mine as well. 

Finally in this blog I would like to express a big frankly Thank You to Marteen for guiding, tutoring but mostly for his positive energy and the mood which brings to our group and of course to 8 great, awesome people whom I had the honor during these 2 months to get to know.

I am glad that I can say that Project Community gave me really a lot. As new knowledge, experience, overview of the most forward word friends. It was fun and useful experience, so I look forward to more projects!

And for you to prospective students. Start will be messy but life is not always easy. That each of us knows. So what tips would I give to prospective students? Be prepared! And enjoy your ride!


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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Michal"S Harbor

Thank you!

Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Project Community 2013

Week 8

 If I have to be honest, I cannot believe that this is our final week. I just gained confidence about my work for developing the project and suddenly this was our last chance to put all our effort to further develop our presentation. Still, I feel confident about our group work.
I think this Monday was most useful, because the topic was very interesting to me. We were talking about multi-media and audio-visual presentations and the different techniques we can use to make them more interesting to the audience. In my opinion, the thing that made me and the other group members from group 6 think about our visual outlook of the presentation were the examples shown by the teacher. This way we became aware of the mistakes we can make, i.e. the pitfalls. For example, we understood that our presentation was five minutes longer than required so we started working on making it shorter.

As usual, after the presentation we divided into smaller groups and worked on different tasks. I really liked the idea that two of the group members thought of. They decided to change the design of the presentation completely, because ours was too simple. They came up with the great idea to make it like a railway and each section of the presentation will be a train station. In my opinion, this is a very original idea and in this way it would definitely be more interesting.

Through your research, what is the one most important thing you have learned about using online communities and networks in innovative design?

Honestly, I had no idea that methods like Crowdsourcing and Crowd funding exist. The most important thing that I learned about using online communities and networks is that they are extremely useful and can only benefit you. The Internet is one enormous space, where people communicate, share ideas, videos, pictures, etc. Nowadays, almost everyone is using the internet for one reason or another. When it comes to developing a better business it is extremely important for one to have an online community, since in this way you have a bigger audience, e.g. a lot of people look for customers or investors online. I think that it is also a smart place to look for great designs, because as I already said, everyone is using the internet and online networks are one of the main places, where artists promote their work.

Considering all you have learned and experienced through our classroom time and your work for your clients, what are your design principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks?

The first thing that makes an impression on me in a website is the visual outlook. I think that it is best if it is simple, but still original. This is why one of my design principles is Simplicity.

It is also very important for me, a website to be well structured and accessible. I personally have visited a lot of websites, which have great visual outlook, but are extremely hard to use, because the information is put in the wrong place. The second design principle which I choose is Accessibility.

Last but not least – Tolerance. In my opinion, EVERYONE should listen and even if accept not, then at least tolerate the opinion of others.

My advice for next-year students? When you decide what to study, don’t consider the opinion of your parents, because when you transfer after a few weeks and you go to Project Community class, it might come as a shock to you. Just kidding.

My advice is to get to know your task and the different websites you will need as soon as possible, because then it will be much easier. At first, everything is very unclear, but when you get to know what is expected from you and when you make sure that you have asked all the relevant questions, it becomes quite easy. After all, we are not doing rocket science, and I think that if you put some effort, everything will be alright.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Chocolate brownies and cookies

Thank you !!!

I cant believe this is the last blog post..
Solidaridad, don’t leave uuuussss!

What is the one most important thing have you learned about using online communities and networks in innovative design?
The most important thing i learned in project community is that online communities and networks are our allies, today everyone is connected to the web, (some of them 27/7) We, open innovators, shall make good use of our social networks, wheter its for self promotion or recieving feedback, it is really powerful when you know how to use it, this course opened my eyes to it.

What are your design principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks?

I will pick 3 of the 10 principles listed by Dieter Rams.

  • Good design is inovative
    Everyone knows that, but very few can be trully innovative, for a social network/intranet to be inovative, it cannot be a copy of existing ones
  • Good design is honest
    please solidaridad, do not EVER consider putting advertisement on your network, it makes me sick how successfull websites sell pixels for ugly ads theses days
  • Good design is as little design as possible
    This will be forever in my head, in 2008 when i first joined a graphic design school in Brazil, i had this asian teacher, almost 100 years old (as he likes to remind) who is a trully master in visual methodology, he reminds me of Mr.Miyagi from Karate-Kid in every aspect, and every single class he would repeat his famous phrase: “Less is more”

What would you tell next year’s class about the course?
You WILL feel lost in the first week, for sure, but don’t panic! Focus on the weekly tasks and blog posts and everything will be fine. Do your own research, even if you divided tasks in your group and someone else is already researching that subject, do it for yourself, learning doesn’t hurt, after reading about something you feel more confident to discuss it with your colleagues.

What are your tips for getting the most out of it?

Do it for yourself! While researching for this project i’ve come across amazing content rich websites, even if something is irrelevant for the final project but is interesting somehow, save it to your favorites folder, take notes, write about it and stick to your wall. GET INTO IT. This project will end at some time and you will miss it, but it always depended on you to go after knowledge, be curious for life.

How will it be valuable as you continue your path through the IDE program?

As i said earlier, it opened my eyes to the use of social networks and many other things like marketing strategies, i will never forget what i learned in this module, also, the fact that we didn’t pick our group, made me interact more with people out of my little circle.

It’s already on the title, but again, THANK YOU ALL, i’m missing it already.

Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Project Community 2013

It’s The Final Countdown

Yes, it has arrived. The fated time has come.
We are nearing the end of our course.
Buckle up for the final countdown, this will be the last ride.

Over the course of this course, I have learned much more than initially predicted. I could write you an essay regarding every dirty little detail, but let’s keep this relevant to the task.
Foremost: What is the most important thing I have learned regarding utilizing online communities ?

Online communities and networks are double edged blades.
There can be no doubt about the amount of incredible information, ideas an aspiring open-innovator such as I will gain from using these modern opportunities.
However, therein lies the problem as well. An excess of information leaves much to doubt about the authenticity of given information. Or relevancy of information, where the gems are hidden beneath the dirt.
Therefore, one should always choose carefully. “Where to ask it”, “When to ask it”, “Whom to ask”, and “How to ask.”

And in this process, I have also set myself some design principles to be noted when designing and fostering a online community, or network:

A thoroughly well structured website, to be easily loaded, accessed. It shall not have to be burdened by unnecessary gimmicks, yet shall not prevent:

The website has be greatly forthcoming towards the individual needs and liking of each individual user.

A clear structure to clearly allow groups of  their own interests to meet, share discuss etc.

A website which intrudes with the life of the user is a website to be destroyed. The one community to strive, is the one to integrate subtly with the lives of the users.

A online community that closes it’s borders shall one day run out of ideas. Opening borders, welcoming new users into the network allows people to feel home, to feel appreciated. To stay.

Lastly, an online community must also want to stay, and build up as one The very design of the website must feel all of above, it must make everyone feel home, to want to log in and see what other family members have said. Only so can it withstand the test of time.

We are nearing take off. This is the last check before the take-off. Looking back, what can I share with the next generation ?
This course is going to be confusing. Many obstacles will be laid upon your way. Not every task will make sense, and even when they did, some were useless for the big picture: the customer’s needs ( task ).

I will lay it upon the next generation to focus on the biog picture. Should one try to include everything or every detail into the answer, it will entangle.
Clarity first, thoroughly bend every nook and canny of the task given upon you. Make sure everyone understood the task.
Communication and preparation is key. Speak to your peers, your tutors. Prepare in advance, be ahead. It allows mistakes or unnecessary details to be fostered out earlier.

Yet as negatively I might have made it sound, certain details of this course will stick to me, as they are important to me.
Copyright, experience with a customer and problems thrown into array. Working together as groups. This will help me grow, for a better future. 

And for now, this is the final countdown. The last show on the road before we move on our path towards a future we design ourselves.
This. Is. “The Final Countdown”

See you along the road chaps.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Justin's Lil' Box Of Thoughts

Final Week

This Week’s class

It finally week 8, final week to prepared and complete our presentations. We were given a presentation on ways to present our work but group 6 is one step of the game. Our presentation and script is near completion but we came across one issue. We recently discovered that the length of the presentation has to be maximum of 5 minutes but we preparing to present a 10 minute presentation. We had to restructure and reduce our content to fit into a 5 minute time period. We also assessed out current presentation and realized it was not very original as we just used a popular template, so we came up with a more original theme that will fit nicely with the reduced content we now have. Because our presentation has to be a developing story, our new idea is to have a train ride and each section of our presentation will be divided into train stations until we get to our final destination. We are also working on using animations to make it more interactive and enhance the experience of our viewers.

Class was very productive, as we all seemed to be more motivated to finally complete this project. We all had our certain task to complete. We had some reducing the current script, others finalizing the proposed advice and myself with Gregory were generating ideas and creating our new presentation format. Final task is to record the narrator’s voice and put it over it and fit our reduced content onto our new presentation platform.

Through your research, what is the one most important thing you have learned about using online communities and networks in innovative design?

From the 8 weeks, the most important theme or idea that I have meant is to take advantage of online communities and network. I believe to be successful you have to start to develop your online community before advancing with your project.

It is apparent that your online community is just as or even more important than your offline community. The new world and society are rapidly advancing and moving into the cloud within the digital age. It has become mandatory to seek your customers, stakeholders and other community members over the World Wide Web. It allows for another method to hear from more customers and stakeholders. You always have the ability to communicate and share with your online community where and when ever. Because of the shear size of the Internet, your audience is greater and has the capability to always grow at an unprecedented rate with the aid social media (communicating and sharing). With this greater audience, the chances of success are higher as your ideas become for accessible and help is always there. It is almost like a free marketing fool. You are provided with a rich, vibrant and versatile society giving you a greater option of choice. It doesn’t matter what method (crowdsourcing, crowd funding online marketing) is used to aid your project, the main message is to use them to their full potential with the aid of online communities and networks. It is a faster, simpler and more accessible method of connecting with your community. I believe that this is the future of successful innovative design and development.

Considering all you have learned and experienced through our classroom time and your work for your clients, what are your design principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks? Don’t know what design principles are?

Even though the community is over the Internet, it is important to understand that technology does not develop communities but helps create a framework that shapes the community toward the specific goal. My design principles that I would implement include: Maintainability, Accessibility and Simplicity.

All product and services require updated and improving, as the design process is a cyclical procedure. Too keep your current customer base and grow your community at the same time, advances have to be applied at a regular bases to enhance your product. This will develop your online community and will request your community to keep on asking for more.

Accessibility is an important principle as this determines how easy it will be for your community to get their hands on your product. The more accessible your product is, the larger your community will be.

Simplicity is a major factor that must be taken into consideration when trying to develop your online community. Customers are not willing to in effort to learn how to use your product, so the simpler your product is, the rate in which your community with grow will increase.

Advice for next year students

The beginning might be confusing and unclear, Try to get a grip on what the task as soon as possible. Ask your tutor as any question as you can as they will guide you though most of the course. Since there will be a great number of members in each team, set yourselfs roles and targets. The key is to be vocal and communicate with your group member and tutor and much as possible. Learn to work as a collective team.

As this is the last blog for this module, I like to say thanks to my fellow group members for putting in their effort and working collectively together. Also thank you Maarten for helping us with your advice and guiding us through is project.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Untitled

One World, One Web

It’s already the last week of Project Community and so this is the last blog post. By looking back at the beginning of this project I was extremely confused and I had no idea of how we should go about this challenge. Now, when we are at the very end, I feel almost stupid as how disorganized and chaotic I went on about it in the beginning. I think that if my group and I could start over with this project now, we could probably make an exceptional project. However, we can’t do that, we simply have to deal with the mistakes we did in the beginning and learn from them. But our struggles each week did actually pay off as we now managed to come up with our end video… Or at least we will finish it by the end of this week!

So, every week we have gone through different topics; crowdsourcing, technology stewardship, work teams, marketing…And what do all these have in common? - The concept of sharing ideas, collaborating and communication between people from all over the world. The online communities and networks that exist today are all about this idea and we use this social aspect to innovate and solve many of the contemporary complex problems that we face every day. The most important thing I have learnt about using online communities and networks in innovative design is therefore the concept of SHARING.


I believe that what we are looking for today in design or the creative process is to accept people’s own ability to create their own solution instead of basing it on their need for help or a new product. I don’t think that we should focus on designing new products but instead use these design methods (design principles) together with the rest of society to create new services that can change people’s life for the better. This is at the same time building a more sustainable future, as if people engage each other, share their ideas, give feedback etc. then communities can grow by themselves. These communities and, let’s say, collaborative services that we have been looking at are not based on any particular technology, but function of existing technology, especially information technology that connects people and other artifacts; particularly the Internet. This technology allows for people to collaborate, synchronize, share customize and so on. All this ties together with the terms we have worked with during this project, such as crowdsourcing and crowd-funding. 


Our groups NGO, Solidaridad, are looking for a social platform that has these kinds of attributes. A way to collaborate, communicate and share ideas and so let “a development cycling of continuous improvement and experience”.

 “Inclusive Design is where innovation and imagination flourish. Meeting the needs of the widest variety of people does not inhibit creativity. It opens our minds and inspires excellence.”

I truly agree with this quote from Sandi Wassmer and her Ten Principles of Inclusive Web Design. I think this links together with the “sharability” world that we live in and how to use online communities and networks in innovative design. With the use of online communities we can easily access information; we can open our mind to other people’s way of thinking and so get new flourishing inspirations. 

What I would tell the next year’s class about the course? Don’t freak out in the beginning as it might seem confusing and unclear. Instead tackle it with Nancy White’s word – confusiasm! Things will become clearer as long as you work with your team and your tutor. Ask questions. And be open to different ways of thinking. It is only now by the end of the project that I have realized how much I have actually learned and that I can take this with me through the rest of the IDE program. Firstly, I will be an experienced team player. Working together in a group of nine is very challenging, but because of the “work teams” week I have learnt the most efficient ways around those challenges. Secondly, by working towards helping an NGO, we increased our understanding of how it is to work with a client and meet their needs …And thirdly, I have gained a lot of insight into the online community world. This very valuable knowledge is part of the future and how we actually more often communicate with each other. 

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Rebecka's Creations 2.0

The end.

How weird, the last blog for project communities… I remember the first one like it was yesterday… How new it all was and how nervous and unsure was I to post it… Anyway, it was a fun experience and hopefully I will not forget my Tumblr account in the future. But enough with the sentiments lets go to this week’s topic…

While using online communities and networks in innovative design I’ve learned that simplicity is the key to brilliance and I am saying this not only as an IDE student but also as an ordinary user. Who likes difficulties? NO ONE! So why make the life even harder than it already is and create fancy schmancy, hard to understand things? I don’t need to look for examples far away, even our school likes torturing students by having all these online communities and networks that students need to follow and keep up to date with the information posted. I would appreciate a piece of paper in the beginning of the year with my schedules and one site where I would see what’s for homework and when various deadlines are. How simple would that be? And we wouldn’t need,,, and 3 facebook groups. As Plato said: ‘’Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.”

My principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks would be: minimalism, accessibility and convenience. All networks that I use share these three principles and I love it. To be honest when I enter websites which are overloaded with information or hard to use, I just turn them off because I get tired and bored very quickly.  Also it is important to use right text, images, layout, bars and even colors because all this can depend on whether the network will be a success or failure.  

To end this blog I would like to say big THANK YOU for Maarten, for guiding, tutoring and advising us through Project Communities. Also my groupmates who were patient and understanding and let’s not forget all the course students and tutors who were very helpful and caring. It was fun and useful experience, so I look forward to more projects! But firstly there are some tips for perspective students:

Dear future students,

Don‘t forget to buy all the strips and then sell it for double or triple price, if you will get an assignment to make a necklace on an introduction week. Just kidding! To answer question what would I tell next year students about Project Communities I have to answer one question for myself: What would I do differently if I had a chance to start all over again? Besides being more involved and doing more work probably nothing… Even though I catch myself thinking pretty often what if the last minute I wouldn’t have gone from team 4 to 6 (Our group was made from one person from each team). But probably it turned out for the best because I met 8 amazing people, with different talents and personalities. What tips would I give to prospective students? Be prepared! I don’t want to freak them out but I felt like a puppy thrown into the water in order to learn how to swim… There is an enormous difference between high school and university especially if we compare East Europe to West. 2 months have passed and I still feel lost and uncertain what should I do… But the bright side is that you will learn one word that would perfectly describe the mixed feeling you will have inside you- CONFUSIASM!!! 

Good luck! 

Xx Elena

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Elena's community ideas