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Posts From Group 8
Once this group convenes and develops its project focus and team name, this will tell you more about this group.

fastcompany: Google’s new, flat logo was 14 years in the…



fastcompany:

Google’s new, flat logo was 14 years in the making

This may deceptively look like a small change, but it’s actually the culmination of 14 years of evolution for the Google logo: never a matter of if, but always of when.”

Posted in Community, Group 8
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Only1Gideon

Weekly GuIDE 5

Now that we’ve learned about crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, I find that they are very important options to take into consideration when designing a product. The “crowd” in those words makes these options unique and gives them a higher value, because it makes you realise that you need a lot of people when designing a product. That doesn’t mean that working alone is not possible, but collective input does result in greater achievements, whether the services or goods were to be tangible or not.

I’ve talked a lot about crowdsourcing in one of my blogs and I really like the idea of it and found it to be very beneficial. Crowdsourcing can be done for different motives such as inquiring or propagating ideas. I realised that this were very important for Solidaridad, because in order for them to develop their employees’ branding strategy amid the workforce, crowdsourcing is essential. We also have to try to maximise the knowledge exchange within Solidaridad, thus crowdsourcing is definitely the way to go. Our group must make crowdsourcing accessible by customizing their social intranet platform, thus the knowledge exchange would become higher. It is very important in this case to have all the employees aware of everything going on within the workforce and this is where crowdsourcing plays a big role and will allow for everyone’s creativity, inquiries and ideas to be shared and that’s how the spread of knowledge nurtures.

Crowdsourcing isn’t only essential for Solidaridad, but also for us as a group as I’ve mentioned in my blogs. We as a group made a Facebook Group where we informed each other of important notices, shared ideas and posted inquiries. It was important for us as a group to communicate and make use of crowdsourcing on a social platform, so that we can propagate our ideas to help us with our challenge for Solidaridad.

Even though crowdfunding isn’t important for our specific challenge; it is still a crucial factor when designing. Phone Bloks (http://www.phonebloks.com/) for example is an innovative idea that was spread all over Facebook as an idea of a phone that lasts. In their case, they made use of crowdspeaking and what was really left was the crowdfunding. That’s when you realise that the only thing that is stopping you from producing your product, is money, and that’s were crowdfunding becomes the next step. However, you still need to make use of crowdsourcing in order to have crowdfunding, and this is another way of using crowdsourcing; to get funds. You need to spread your ideas, have your supporters and get them to pay to support you.

I’ve had some experience with fundraising for charities in my previous school, which is the same idea as crowdfunding. I’ve always done it in groups for global issues such as one of my project’s aim which was cancer awareness. The renowned cancer hospital in Egypt called 57357 was solely based on donations and we wanted to help by fundraising within our school community. We sent e-mails to everyone in the school including the parents with our goals for our cancer awareness project which was to raise a certain amount of money to be donated.

So how can crowdsourcing and crowdfunding help designers? Crowdsourcing will definitely help them create a community that is built on trust, thus a high reputation. It will allow them to receive feedback from the community as well as opinions on their ideas. It will also help them interact with other designers and that will bring in more ideas and creativity. As for crowdfunding, it will allow designers to get money faster and from people that they know will support their ideas and will probably buy the product as well, so in turn that would give the designer and the client mutual benefits. Crowdfunding is definitely an easier approach than loans from banks which is very hard these days especially when we are in an economic crisis.

However, there are certain disadvantages as well to crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. I can’t think of many disadvantages, since I find these to be great options for designers, but sometimes designers don’t like the “crowd” in sourcing! Some people prefer to work on their own and rely on simple marketing strategies such as primary research and secondary research to be able to pitch their product. Yet again, crowdsourcing can be unsuccessful if you don’t have enough people to contribute to your project and that’s when you have to make sure that you have marketed your idea in the correct place according to your target audience. I think the worst thing about crowdsourcing is that people don’t get motivated to share their ideas or contribute to it, because they just don’t see what they will get out of it. Incentives can be a solution, but that is not possible when your next logical step would be crowdfunding. From my experience with crowdfunding, I think a main limiting factor was our lack in crowdsourcing. Many people didn’t know about our fundraising project and so many people didn’t contribute!

Therefore, I concluded that it is most important to develop a community first before crowdfunding. Crowdfunding may take longer than simply getting loans from banks, but if designers have established a good sense of crowdsourcing and formed a community that has the same vision, I believe that crowdfunding would then be the easiest step for designers.

Posted in Community, Group 8
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Yomna Farid

I need people

Hello everyone !

This week Everything became clear to me, because the topic is actually really good and intresting.
Let’s start my reflection with crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is very cheap and easy way to collect opinions. A lot af volunteers are willing to help companies , scientists etc. But the publicity of a publication/article/post can be bad, because there are a lot of people who do not really care about the subject. They can give stupid feedback or they can simply give you a stupid idea. Anyway, there is an excellent example of crowdsourcing - Wikipedia. Everyone can write an article, everyone can correct it. But there are a lot of “funny” people, who writes jokes there. Anyway, this website is a great succes.

Then, there is crowdfunding. This is amazing ! You share your idea/plan with people on internet, asking them to help and to donate some money into the idea. And people are helping. I used cwordfunding once ! I played in a band, and we collected money via the internet for rent of a hall, to play a concert there. :)
Also this is really useful for designers, they can see who can be intrested in their projects.

I can understand designers , who are working alone. This is a good way to concentrate. But sometimes you really need help, or maybe you have a creative crisis, and then your team can help you.

We were extremly productive this monday, and I think we can still be productive if we work in a smaller groups, like we did.

Rays of love,
Anastasia

Posted in Community, Group 8
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Top of the World, Project Community stuff

Week 6: The Crowd

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For the past weeks we’ve talked about crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, two major parts of Open Innovation. Before discussing this in class and doing some research, I knew nothing about these two terms. However, I found out that I’ve seen and taken part in these activities.

For instance, I’ve used Beta versions of some programs and computer games. This, as it turns out, is an example of crowdsourcing, as the programmers test their product on a (sometimes limited) number of people to see possible problems or malfunctions in their work. Despite from this, I also made my input into Wikipedia, due to the fact that this website enables any person to apply changes or write articles of their own for other people to see.

I, myself, believe in crowd knowledge, but I’ve also seen a lot of rather DUMB, let’s say, unwise people. This brings up the first and most obvious drawback in using the crowd for coming up with ideas/solutions. Usually, companies pay experts money for completing a task, because the experts are experts and they know what they’re doing. The crowd, on the other hand, is not as competent as actual professionals, so I figured that when it comes to crowdsourcing solutions, the tasks should not be too complicated.

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However, addressing the crowd with your problems has it’s major advantages. For instance, professionals usually charge big sums of money for their work, because they are experienced and clearly have a lot of knowledge in their area of expertise. Using the crowd definitely costs less.

In addition to financial benefits, crowdsourcing also enables to generate diverse ideas due to the number of angles from which the problems are addressed, which may be a significant factor if, for instance, a company/designer has been trying to deal with a problem for ages, maybe even hired some people find a solution (outsourcing), but these people (might even be professionals) cannot provide a viable solution. In this case, crowdsourcing may become the only way to address the problem.

However, since the number of “employees” when using crowdsourcing can go up to billions, these people and all their ideas can get out of hand. In some cases, the management process can take too much effort and time and it is simply not worth the struggle.

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Crowdfunding is definitely a good idea for design because, for example, typical funding (as in investments or bank loans) is not always applicable to some kinds of design works, whereas addressing the crowd enables the company to find those who might get interested in their projects - from all around the world (usual funding limits the opportunities to get money at least geographically).

Nikita

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Posted in Community, Group 8
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Communities need us

Groups

The more this course moves forward, the more I recognize that it is hard to express your opinion in a group. Common group members watch everything you do and listen very carefully. Judgements are fastly made and wrong conclusions could be drawn, when someone acts or says something in a split moment. When a group makes a wrong observation, I automatically become more aware of my contribution. Moreover, I am disposed to with-hold my opinion.

Apart from that, I believe it is not always better to split up groups, in order to create more edges. Sometimes, a bigger source can be dexterous to connect different thoughts. It will drive the group process, when a person will be able to analyze all of these injections, and can come up with a good strategy or scenario. It is up to the common group members to take or leave this input. Out of my own experience, I conduct that it is better to not interrupt the group thinking and not to force my own thoughts too much. Because of the cultural differences, I have to consider my words and manners.

Referring to tasks, there can be made a distinction between average and arduous tasks. When we are dealing with a complicated task, I am motivated by being pre-occupied with it. If an ordinary task has to be fulfilled, I’d rather perish in the Hilton!lol

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Posted in Community, Group 8
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Only1Gideon

Crowds

This week’s topic was very interesting and eye opening.I was introduced to crowdsourcing and crowdfunding ,but in some way I was already aware of them.Crowdfunding is a great way to for gathering the necessary resources.

Teamwork is a key factor for our project.It is the soul of every group project,because when people communicate with each other they’re able to combine their best qualities and ideas and achieve a much better result in the end.

At first we had some trouble with teamwork and communication.Everybody was shocked from the quick change in…everything.We did’t exactly know what to do and there was a lot of confusion.But we quickly adapted a started working as a team.Since then I’ve seen a lot of improvement I’m confident about the result.In on order for us to deliver what we’ve promised we have to communicate more and better.Our Facebook group has been very helpful.In some way we’ve used it for crowdsourcing.We are a small crowd that exchanges information on facebook. :)

 

I think everybody prefers to work alone,but that’s just maybe because we haven’t seen the advantages of working together.It is actually much easier.When we devided in small groups we became more productive,so,in my opinion, we have to reorganize and change our work process.We’re all busy,but we have to find time in our schedules more frequent meetings.We can even do a Google hangout if everybody is up for it.

Everybody can pretend to be a lone wolf but in the end we all need help!

Posted in Community, Group 8
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: MMartin

usefull or not?

Crowdsourcing - Is crowdsourciing useful? well it can be useful is it is used the right way. To spread the word about a certain design is not always a good idea as it is very easy those days to take ideas over and to give the idea your own name. It gets really hard to ectually prove that the product or idea is yours.

Crowdfunding - Is crowdfunding useful? I personally think it is really useful, as you interact with people and make people aware of the idea. Then you can get their interrest and people can use if they want to contribute on this or not.

The input of other designers and other users can be very good, but we have to be very careful in every step we take offcourse. There are some designers who like to keep the product for themselfs and don’t like others to help them or to add ideas onto the persons idea.

cons: The product doesn’t stay an one person’s product, it becomes part of many people, and it gets really general and it isn’t known who the designer was in the first place. It has to be a product which is extreemly attractive to people because it has to make people enthausiastic about it to want to work on the product.

pros: How more people work on the idea/product how easier it gets to continue with the product/idea, without money it is bassically impossible to produce anything these days, so with the crowdfunding it is easier to promote the product and then see who wants to contribute on it and who wants to spread the word and help making this product become real.

 

Posted in Community, Group 8
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: IhsanRadOne

Team work, Yes we can :D

How is the team work in my group, well I can say it’s not perfect yet, but it’s getting there….

It’s working well for me when I exactly know what the steps are which we need to take, instead of just not knowing what to do all the time. To split the group into smaller groups worked well for us as a group, we could share more information as we don’t get lost in between the talkes of every person.

Those last weeks are really challenging for me as we have got so little time but so much to do, this time pressure works really well in our group, people feel the pressure at the moment and know that we all have to work harder and harder to get to our target.

The inpact of the size in the group is huge, we worked with the whole group in one go at the beginning, but after the lesson we started to split the group into smaller groups, this worked out perfectly, so from now on we will work in this way because this is the most effective way.

The impact of culture is sometimes noticeable, this is mostly noticeable with the time and arrangements. Tasks are not always as clear as eachother but that is because some tasks are just harder to compleet then others.

In the coming weeks we will have to make clear rules, make sure everyone knows what to do and we should do this by dividing the tasks. We should make clear appointments and make sure everyone attends them. Another usefull thing we found out is to send everything we written in the lessons on facebook so everyone can read them again.

So I know that we can do this as a group. team work, yes we can!!

Posted in Community, Group 8
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: IhsanRadOne

go it alone or go with crowds

"Go it alone" or "go with crowds"? It is a simple choice question which only contain two options. But is that so easy just to choose one randomly? I do not think so. I have been exploring crowdsourcing and crowdfunding for few weeks leading to me a basic understanding on them. 

Have you ever met a situation like picture above that you got stuck in choke point and you can not do anything to get rid of it. I think right the moment is the best time crowdsourcing applies. Nobody is good at in any fields for sure. But wise people save time to crowdsource task/problem to those who is expert in. It is not about avoiding, it is about make best decision and at the meanwhile, when “fool people” still obsess over problem, they can do other things they are good at. I believe this make nobody become somebody. Today, it is a sharing world especially on internet. The simplest sample of crowdsourcing is Yahoo Answer. You give out your question or task on a limited point(like a price). If an answer can solve your problem and satisfied with you points then s/he will reply it and get reward. As a designer, especially when we focus on designing the appearance, we usually meet theoretical problem like does it work in this appearance? Since we are not expert in this part then just crowdsource it. Let engineering do it. On the other side, will crowdsourcing limit our imagination or change the thought we originally have? This could be cons of crowdsourcing. 

Nothing is easy when it is about money! As an entrepreneur, started-money is more important than ideas, in my own opinion. With help from crowd investors entrepreneur is getting close to their dreams. It is not only a chance for who has cases, but it is also an opportunity for those who want to change world by supporting others. Everyone of this chain will have chance to put forward their own ideas to improve product. Everyone is responsible for final product. Designer has to be modest since they seek financial support. Here are things I think borrowers have to do: 

1. update agenda to investors 

2. publicize specific plan to let investors know where money goes

3. take advice instead of working behind closed door

This picture present an old Chinese idiom which basically means that many hands make light work. Eventually product is made to serve people and crowcourcing and crowdfunding are two great way to understands whether product is going to be accepted by most people.

Thanks for reading.

Posted in Community, Group 8
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: TIANZIXUAN

Weekly GuIDE 4

Teamwork is the essence of high productivity and sharing ideas that will lead to great accomplishments. Synergy is crucial within teams, because in order for us to work together to achieve our goals to help our NGO with their employees’ personal branding strategy on their intranet platform, we must be able to work cooperatively together. This in turn will allow for better communication and understanding thus working as a team will come naturally along the way. Ultimately, the whole point of being a team is having a combined effect that is greater than our separate effects on this project.

I personally do struggle with working in teams, because it requires collective commitment, communication and input. That is not to say that I am none of the descriptions that I just mentioned or that I am not capable of pursuing them, but I just find it harder to do that in a team. At first, our communication was hard since I didn’t have Facebook. That was my worry at first since I always find it hard to communicate since I don’t use the same tools as other people and especially because I like face to face communication and meetings, but that of course is not always possible. Commitment can be hard too, as we have many meetings which require everyone’s attendance and when one doesn’t go, we end up with a team where not everyone is up-to-date with the group’s achievements so far. It then becomes hard to catch up thus informing others can become difficult which eventually results in less collective input. In a team, you depend on each other and sometimes collective input can be unsuccessful when only some or the majority of the team have done their part of the work.

Nevertheless, I have learned in the past few years to work better in teams. I prefer working on my own, because it’s easier for me, but there’s something very special about teamwork that leads to greater and unique results. In our case, I find that we did struggle at the beginning with a lot of things. Everything was new to us; we were overwhelmed by this project and we were still getting ourselves settled in the university. We didn’t work as a team in the start and we basically only worked in lesson time. We immediately changed the culture within our group, because we weren’t satisfied with our input into the project. We wanted to work harder as a team, thus we started to have meetings outside of class time and do individual research to come back with insights.

After our struggle at the beginning, I realised that we were becoming more productive during class and outside of class. I do believe that we had a sudden epiphany that motivated us all to stop slacking and start working hard. We seem to have a good way of communicating and keeping everyone up-to-date and on track through our Facebook Group. We always notify each other about important dates of our meetings as well as posting our queries and of course sharing ideas and videos that would inspire us or help us broaden our horizon and think deeper. Lately, I also realised that we’ve become very productive when working in class on a certain task, especially after this week’s class task. A lot of us showed a lot more commitment and productivity and this really helped our team to get a little more motivated.

We seem to have adapted to the process of the project after a lot of struggle, however I still think that there are some remaining challenges that we still face, but must overcome together as a team. We tend to find it hard to have meetings as it’s always hard to gather the whole team together outside of class time. I think it’s a challenge that I’ve always hated about teams, because you always have to make time for group meetings, and this takes time off your free time. However, this is fundamental and so all of us must be able to meet under any circumstances. I also find that we need to show a lot more of commitment and motivation. Being committed is hard, especially in a team where we rely on each other and for each other.  We need to show more commitment to meetings and individual work, because one person will affect the rest of the team, as there’s no I in TEAM. Motivation is always a critical factor in productivity and it’s very typical that our motivation isn’t always high. I remember our last day in the introduction week when we had to find what motivates each person in the group. Up until now, I think we get motivated to get high grades, which is actually a good thing.

I really like the topic of this week, because it really was a wakeup call for everyone as everyone began working productively in this week’s class after we had talked about group sizes and had adopted that into our team. Chris Corrigan, hit on some really important points which were evidently shown during class. The impact of group size is immense as it determines the amount of productivity that is done. I really like the fact that Chris Corrigan pointed out that teamwork is about having many edges that will allow for subgroups to form and harvest ideas rather than having one circle where it becomes harder to facilitate ideas. We realised that this was true as we discovered that we worked best when he had worked in small groups during the lesson. However, I also like how Chris Corrigan defined teamwork as having subgroups that brainstorm and aggregate ideas to bring them back to the rest of the group to generate and propagate as a whole team. I absolutely agree with it and it is very successful. We did individual research and came back with many insights that we shared and those generated ideas and even made brainstorming easier. So since a group of 7 is big we decided that a group of 2-3 is ideal. Nonetheless, we must have in mind that ideas come from individuals and that it’s the key to innovation and when working as a team that’s when we stabilize and propagate our ideas together.

We are a culturally diverse group which allows for us to propagate unique ideas as we all come from different countries with different cultural backgrounds that impact our thoughts and ideas. This is in a sense an advantage for Solidaridad as they want to be well-known. We as an international oriented team can critique and deliver ideas that could help them observe any cultural barriers regarding their NGO that could be taken into account for example. Then again, the culture within our group is quite lazy I must say. It is not something that we are proud of, but that we should definitely change by motivating each other, because it will cause less productivity!

We assigned roles from the beginning of the project, which was a great idea! We had our leader, our researchers, our editor etc. That came in handy when we needed for example to publish the Spidergram notes, where I, the editor took the position of writing up the notes and editing them to be published on Tumblr. This also made us aware of our individual tasks and it was a brilliant way of spreading workload across the team when we did individual research at home and brought in many insights that resulted with great ideas for Solidaridad.

Now that I’ve pointed out the strengths and weaknesses of our group, I think it would be a good idea to start working hard on our weaknesses so that we can be more productive. I think teamwork is fundamental and so we should focus on committing to our roles as that would help with controlling our group. We all noticed the immense change when we divided into subgroups and were assigned roles, because by the end of the day, we managed to do a lot of work! We have to organize our meetings properly which also requires commitment and we should set a fixed date for each week. Our tool and method of communication is the Facebook Group which has shown to be very successful for sharing ideas and discussing important things, so maybe we should be a little more active on there. Lastly, I think we should all try to motivate each other more. We tend to get everyone to contribute to the work, but it would be even greater to have everyone motivated instead, so that they can give their full potential.

I wanted to share a few slides of one of my business presentations on motivation. In business, teamwork is a type of non-financial motivation and within every organization; teamwork is the most important thing for high productivity. These slides should help our team understand teamwork better and understand its essential value in the workforce!

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Posted in Community, Group 8
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Yomna Farid