NOTE: This is a full archive for the Project Community: You & The World (2012) please see the main site for the most up to date information.


What are your design principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks based on your experience in this course and your project?

I’m glad to say that I learned a lot from the project communities during this term. In this final report I’ll explain what did I learned by examples and how they affect my design principles.

The first design principle I gained is before you design anything, do research! Find your target group, what are their real problem, is your design working in those specific areas, what are their hobbies and habits, in a word - your design works have to fit their situation. 

For example our final project is to give some suggestions to our client - unicef. Our idea is to ship some cheap cameras to africa and let the kis who suffer form special problems film or take photos of their life conditions. So that  not only unicef but all over the world will see their problems by their angle of views. 

This is a marvellous idea. However with our research goes deeper and deeper problems shows up. How can the kids upload the pictures since africa is not covered with internet. And how could the kids getting the camera. So we did more research and we find that there are many unicef schools for the africa kids. And they could get the camera from the school. These unicef schools usually have internet. That way problem solved.

The second thing I learned is your design should have a good cause. This is the only way people will take your works seriously even it is for fun. Your works should related to humanistic care, sustainability, environmental protection, resource utilization, healthy life style or world peace. 

You can actually do this from different angles, not only the theme. Like the materials you use, the way you express it, the interactive relationship you build. If you just design without a good cause, your work does not have a soul.

 The last but not least thing I learned is more of a design trick - the reverse thinking. You don’t think it from your perspective but think it from the other perspective. Like the camera plan, we don’t just see what problems the kids are facing and find a solution, we let the kids to tell their story form their perspective. The results usually surprise you.

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If you had a design challenge, would you join and participate in one of the types of online communities we’ve been researching? Why or why not?

As a matter of fact, I think internet is just a tool, the goal we are achieving is to have the design proposition nicely done. For that reason, I prefer to meet in person and online both. 

To work in a studio everybody will do their job without delay, because you cannot search the new shoes or check funny pictures online, you will have a strong emotion to finish the work. 

To work online has it’s benefits too, for example I am momber in a lot of professional BBS, in these websites I know a lot people who can help me out even join in my project, but when the works actually coming, I would have to meet them in person for sure.

What I will do if I had a design challenge, first in the studio have a face to face meeting with group members, divide roles for everybody, set up goals, brain storming. Secondly, we can work online, do collecting work and find information suits our project, working like a online community. Step three, in this step we can work either online or face to face, the main goal is to really do the work. And finally, we have to come together again and check if the work is good enough. 

However the example above is about practical jobs like to make a car model, if the challenge is more abstract or we can work with softwares, then online meeting will also do. While we are doing it online, I have a golden rule, every task has a dead line, it is easier to trace the work. Maybe a shaper help with the dead line would more affective. 

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As you think about the learning you are embarking upon here at the university, reflect on the role that your instructors and fellow students play in facilitating yours and their learning. What are they doing? How is it facilitating learning and teamwork based on what you have experienced so far? What has been useful? What would you like to see and experience that you haven’t yet in the facilitation of this course from yourself, peers and faculty? What can you contribute as a peer facilitator?

When it comes to group work, the most important person is the group leader. A community manager as well as a online facilitator is the bond of the whole group, he should negotiate with everybody, host meetings, summarise things goes well and not goes well. However, this week I learned something changed my mind, that is, these works I mentioned before is not only the leader’s job, but all the group members’ job because I know now to manage a group is not only the host’s wrok, but every members’.

Since we talked about group size before, we decide to try it. Our group separate into 3 small groups of two, in this way each small group has their task and a group leader. This is new and interesting, because it looks like you have the same works but actually it changed totally. For example, if someone didn’t finish his group work, as a group of six, the leader need to talk to him and ask why and see who can take over his work, in this way no one is happy with him. But when it comes to group of two, his partner has the same group work with him, the partner will talk to him in stead of the leader, and they can make plans like this time he really has no time so he can take the work next time, in this way, the work won’t be delay at all and everybody is happy.

The method above is a useful way that I experienced. I remembered last year, in another course, we tried something else, which is every body get the chance to be the leader for a week, it does not as effective as it sounds, turns out no body does their work except the week leader. This is a way we haven’t tried yet and I do not recommend, but in this example I learned what I can contribute as a group member - to manage your won work well.

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Reflect on your contribution to your team’s project to date and get feedback from at least one other member in a response to your reflective post. How would you monitor and evaluate your own learnings so far? The learnings of your team? The whole class?

I am glad to say I have learned a lot from the last 6 weeks, the syllabus every

week are clear goals for us to do research, in this class I am not only explore

myself but also to deal with group work, furthermore I learned a lot about our

client, the Unicef, and we could participate by solving some existing problem

with our own designs which is awesome because after all we are designers.

 In the class I like the way to do research about team work by team working in  

real life. Although there are some misunderstandings in the team and was a

problem for a while but I don’t take it as a bad thing, because things like this

make a group grow.

My favourite part is the plan we had for unicef. We planed to send some

cameras or products with camera to the children who need help, let them

record their life or problems themselves. Unicef can use these videos and

pictures to do advertisement and solve their problems. I did some research

online and find out we can actually design a camera phone with cheap price

and if unicef like this we could make the plan come true.

Here is my idea: a phone no more than 50 euros customize with 500M pixel

lens, VGA screen, GPRS module and GPS module. Users can upload data with

GPRS network and use GPS module track and record their location. We can

block the system to make the cheap camera can only upload data to UNICEF


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How much does your personal preference drive your tool choices? What if everyone else in your group had different preferences? How would you proceed as you steward the technology? Does looking at others’ preferences and perspectives change your view as a tech steward? Challenge you?

I found this week’s personal reflection quite interesting, because I am used to search new stuff online, like platform, SE, etc, and get to understand the way to use them quickly as well in most situations. Sometimes the design of the website is bad and I find myself uncomfortable about it, I believe this is a ocupacional hazard as a designer. So my personal preference have a big influence to my tool choices, I do not care if it is new to me, mean while I do care if the platform is comfortable to use. 

In most cases in school, I found everybody is trend to use universal tools like facebook or email, maybe google plus and drop box, it is quite easy to accept, no one really against those. When talking about different preferences in the group members we have two situations. 

One is within the team the smaller group have different suggestions, the situation normally is this smaller group or individual give up, I wouldn’t mind to do so because in group work, this kind of thing happens everyday, arguing only will delay the work but not helping with anything. But I will for sure hear their suggestion first, this is very important to let everybody have a chance to talk and be listened to in a group, maybe he have a better idea and the whole would benefit from it, not to mention in the coming projects even in years you will have a better choice. I would love to see this situation happens, to keep learning new stuff from somebody else is always a way to improve myself.

Another situation is when most members in the group have the better choice, and I don’t see the point to argue with that. Still first thing is to listen to the ones who have a different choice and see if it can help better, if not, it is quite easy to settle everything.

If I am the technology steward in the group, which I am in most situations, I will do what I said before. First I already have a lot of platforms in my head which are all universal luckily. And also I have knowledge about rare tools or the tools hard to operate. Then when group works coming, I would recommend the universal ones first and ask if anybody have a different choice, if they do, listen to them and see if the tool is really better. 

To look at other people’s preference and perspective does change my view as a technology steward like I mentioned earlier. I have an very good example happened on me. I used to think that to make a powerpoint the best way is to use keynote of mac because it is quick and pretty. Then I come to IDE this year, and when group works coming, somebody suggest to use indesign. I had no idea what is that and googled it online. A lot of people saying it is a good tool online and I decide to try it. It took me two hours to figure how it works out but totally deserve it. It is a such good tool which made our group ppt much more prettier, and it is easy to use. In a word I appreciate my team member tell me this, I can benefit form it forever. That is why I don’t see any challenge in this area.

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Week 1 rewrite: What do you need and want to learn about the application of online communities and networks?

As a kind of computer geek, I had used internet much earlier than other chinese. The first time I contacted internet is in 1997, that is the first year internet came to China, at that time there were only BBS websites and news websites, and I like to visit some professional website like military model BBS, music BBS and so on. 

At the beginning, people only treat online things as a new technology, and use it as a kind of toy. Like talking to strangers through online talking software. Then, after 2005, online networks and communities started to participate and wild spreading in people’s daily life because of more and more PCs had sold to normal families. Till now, online network softwares like Facebook , twitter, Renren and weibo(in China) almost exists in everyone`s laptops and cell phones. 

From then online community had already started to make some changes in our society. As a witness of the developing of online network and communication`s history, I think it is necessary to explore and study the phenomenon and trend of online networks and communities, especially when I am studying design which related to the new things and concept so closely. 

With the developing of the internet, distance is no longer a problem, and the influence from internet is getting stronger in human`s life from different sides. For example, in China, the whole society is changing very fast, people are becoming richer and more educated, they desire more information from every area. 

Because of chinese have gotten know the world and open to the world more and more, people started to doubt about the news and the information from some official ways like TV, newspaper and broadcast which are controlling by the government. Therefore, they tend to believe news online instead of TV, even though there are too many fake news online, they are obvious scam or lies but people are still accept them. For example, on WEIBO, a lot people claim some japanese and japanese companies said something insult china which had never happened.

This kind of influence from internet have been impacting the traditional social media. Also changes the advertisement industry. Ad and information should no longer play their role in the old way, for example a restaurant called “hai di lao” in china became well known over night, they didn’t do traditional advertisement at all, they just hire people to write reviews as customers on social network websites. This is a good example of the change of advertisement design, I believe this is triggering the open innovative design massively.

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WEEK 3:What is working well for you in your group? What is challenging you? What is one thing you might do differently in the coming weeks to improve your experience and the group’s work?

I had worked in many groups before I started IDE course. Some of them are school groups, some are company groups. In most situation, compare to company groups, school groups are not motivative enough and with bad management because they don`t have experiences to assign group roles and  most of group leaders don`t know how to manage their group task and group members .

After I came to IDE and joined my new group, the group looked same as other school groups I joined before—we don`t have much group work experiences, but, we work together very well. I believe all of our group members should appreciate the ‘‘DILBIN TEST’’, because we have known what roles we should performance in a group. Like Liv`s test result shows that she is a shaper in a group, therefore she took the job as recorder and time keeper;Rolf`s result shows that he is a good team leader so he worked as a leader and split works for every one and make everyone know their own task clearly. Other team members include me had also found our own suitable job.Therefore,most of us are team work freshers but we have done our tasks effective. Furthermore, the test results are not only show us our styles as shaper,worker,coordinator etc., we can also combine our own gift or passion with the test result. For example, my result shows I am a team worker, at the mean time, I know that I am good at drawing and visualizing, then, I recognized I can be the visualizer in our team as a team worker and try to work with my telent and avoid my disadvantage side gives our team bad  effects.

Our team, however, works very effective, but we still have some problem. Like everyone works individually and has less communication with other team members. This situation makes our tasks get harder while everyone has finished their own job and needs to combine their works with others`. It is a challenge to our team. But, when I had watched Mr. Chris Corrigan`s video I found that probably we can use the way he  told us:separate our team to 3 small groups, and each group will have 2 people — the most effective working form instead of work alone. We shall work with more connection and I believe our team work will finish faster with higher quality if we use the new group style. I will suggest our leader to use the style in the coming week and explore how it works. 

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Do you use online spaces primarily as an individual, which implies you find and harvest information, but perhaps don’t interact much with others online? Are you a member of defined and bounded groups? Or do you interact along the way as you intersect with others in the wider network? Which is most valuable to you? Which is most comfortable?


Nowadays, online spaces become to a very fashionable way to connect each other and gether information. For example, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube in western country which are all blocked in China. Fortunately we have the similar websites Renren, Weibo and Youku which is funny they originally adapt the concept even the name from the western websites. But now, they play an essential role in Chinese daily life. In this essay, I am going to explain for kinds of websites I personal mainly experienced, gathering information, interactive with close friends and contact with families. They are: QQ, Renren, BBS and Tieba.




To begin with QQ is because QQ is the most common way to contact each other online in China.

QQ adapted from ICQ at the beginning, like an online beeper. In 90`s, QQ was a trendy thing and only used in young people group, however, as the online society developed fast in this 15 years in China, QQ has combined most of useful functions in MSN and Skype, and turned to a daily communication tool in China—-its users are almost included all ages and classes.


In general, I basically use QQ as a telephone, that means I only save my close friends and my families in my QQ friend list. I can talk with my friends or families by typing in a dialog box or just have a video call. I gather the main information here or at least it means a lot to me which are : is every one ok?  Is somebody ill? Or to say happy birthday to a friend.  QQ is a close group to me, or a “we” so to speak.




Renren is a Chinese social networking service that exists as the Chinese remake of Facebook.It has been called the Facebook of China, popular amongst college students (from Wikipedia). It has all the functions like a normal SNS, therefore, basically, users have to use their real name and personal information in this online network. But, regarding to reasons of Facebook`s blocking in China, we cannot talk more about policy and the government and some “sensitive topics”, therefore, Renren is too boring as a SNS, full of jabberwocky.


I only use Renren as a class book. I can get some news about my classmates even I already graduated from my high school and my college in China. As my expect, most of these news are “ I have got a new job”, “ I am married” or “I broke up with my girlfriend” and so on. I will send a congratulated message or some words of consolation.



 (a Chinese military model BBS)

Like most BBS in this world, Chinese BBS are also built by some hobbyist which are enthusiastic in their own field, such as military model, comic, IT, or Digital equipment.

They usually do not know each other, but they talk to each other like very close friends because they have same taste. Most users in a BBS like to share their own experience, for example, in a geek BBS, members often share their experience about how to modify a computer and make it more powerful.


Topics in BBS mostly are very professional in a field, more technical, that means I can talk in a BBS more free because the topics are rarely related to political things.  I can harvest most professional information and knowledge what I like with high quality. For example, when I want to spray paint a battleship model, I can ask for help from a military model BBS, then, some people with experience will give me a lot of useful advises like what kind of paint should I use or how to use a spray gun, etc. Also, I can help starters as well, like teach them how to use Cool Edit to remix a song in a music BBS.




(the logo of Tieba)

Tieba is a network community like BBS, but no so professional. People just chatter in it but without a same interest. People always fight to each other because they have different point of view and never ends. We only use Tieba to post some senseless words to vent or complain and rarely have real communication. I personally visit Tieba because I am interested to know what other people are thinking without let them knowing who I am. Like when iphone5 comes to the market I want to know what people react to it, I visit a Tieba about it and saw a lot of different views, I believe it will also help me with my design concept since I am a designer.


From above it is clearly I cannot live without internet, it is a place where all my information comes, and to others too I believe, internet had short the distance between me and the world, and will help me to achieve my dream in the future.




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Individual assignment

Individual assignment

Related to our group theme, I am quite curious about some basic knowledge of marketing. Such as how to do marketing research,how to make a marketing strategy, how the marketing scheme influence people, and so on.

Furthermore, as a designer, I want to know the way to get feedback from the market.

At last, the developing of online community brings challenges and opportunities to all kinds of industries. It is a chance to make designers to reach the real market,to know the customers` desire. For instance, consumers like to complain some products on twitter or facebook—it could be an very effective way to inspire designer`s innovation. 

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