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.

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Design Principles

Having worked on a design challenge during this module, I have learnt quite a lot about designing in groups. I had done group work before, I had done design work before but not combined both yet. Although designing in a team means you can share out the work, there is a lot more work to be done in general and working together can be difficult. From this, I have gained some design principles;

Firstly, communication with the team is very important! We need to know exactly what needs to be done and who is doing what. This means setting clear goals and communicating these clearly to ensure there is no miscommunication. Miscommunication can lead to disagreements, unbalanced workloads and most importantly, stressed team members. Something that could help communication is doing some team building exercises. This way the team knows each other a bit better and knows what to expect from each other. I have learnt this from the mistakes we made at the start. Our group wasn’t communicating effectively and this led to some major problems. These were resolved once we discussed what was on our minds properly.

Secondly, hierarchy isn’t very important when in a design team. Although there is a team leader, when everyone pulls their weight, there should be no need for one person to have to command others on what to do. We choose what work is best suited for us and what we believe is a fair share of the work and get back to the group with the information we found. We had a clear team leader and this wasn’t that effective as I find it more pleasant to work freely.

Furthermore, good research is key for a design project. We need to know if there is a target market for our product, what their exact needs are, how to make, produce, and deliver the products and much more! Research ensure there is a knowledge base so market needs can be fulfilled most effectively. I learnt this from our camera project as it probably isn’t what poor children need most; it isn’t the greatest cause to go for.

Lastly, contact with clients is another highly important design principle as they are the people that will need to work with the design outcomes. We are lucky to have had a reply from UNICEF, unlike most other groups. However, I do not believe we used this to its full potential as we only mailed them once for information.

Overall, I believe I have learnt about working in groups this module that will be very useful for future projects. I’ve learnt from my own mistakes; I thought I was often clear in what I said but wasn’t really as outspoken as I thought I was. I have learnt I shouldn’t assume things as assuming makes an ass out of u and me ;)

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This was originally published at Saskia Smits

Week 7 – Design Challenges

If I had a design challenge I probably would use some of the online communities we have been researching. As we have researched Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for marketing and these are some of the main currently used social medias, not using them would be daft. However, this will depend on the product to be marketed.

It is easy to post and advertise videos on YouTube. Just upload unto your channel and go. Facebook and Twitter are the easiest way to share information instantly with a large body of people, friends, and contacts. This is important as mouth-to-mouth advertising is currently the most effective. You just need to make some people enthusiastic enough to share your ideas or design challenges with more and more people to end up with a wide fan-base. This is key to success and therefore using them is ideal.

En example of a Design Challenge I have had in the past was ‘Design Anything for Primary’. In this case I didn’t use on-line communities as I had far better access to my communities offline. In the end, I came up with a table for them to use on the carpet. 

 

This is an example that shows that marketing is completely dependant on the target market. This wouldn’t be marketed on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube as the target market is not found on those social medias. 

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Week 6 Reflections

My learning so far? I have learnt to work in a team, through better and worse, I have learnt that having a ‘team leader’ doesn’t make that person the boss, I have learnt that communicating between team members is very important. Also that the Belbin test wasn’t very accurate nor very useful as for our team, the roles don’t matter so much and everyone needs to do as much work in researching and evaluating. Thankfully, we are all working well together now. 

My learnings so far are going all right as far as I know. I can work well in teams, I can use different platforms successfully. If there is any advice on what to do or how to change or improve, I would willingly hear it so that I can work better for the rest. Constructive criticism is always helpful.

As a team, I believe we have learnt a lot, especially about team work and trust. We can work together, we can work as a team and we have gotten through some challenges. We have learnt to cater for others needs when necessary, supporting each other with work when they need it.

As a class, I believe everyone has had similar challenges and therefore have learnt similarly. Our work is monitored by what we write and how we work in groups. Our personal groups ensure we do our work. All groups are at the same stage and if another group has managed doing work, clearly it was possible and therefore this shows how hard our group has worked, staying up to date.

 

 

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This was originally published at Saskia Smits

Peer facilitation

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? For your commenting on others’ blogs this week, maybe you notice where another colleague has contributed to your learning through their facilitation and let them know when/where it happened and how it was of value to you. Are you game for that?

Learning is something tat works best when everyone has the same goals. Here at the university, all students and teachers have the same interests and therefore helping each others learning a lot better than I used to have in high school. Everyone actively commits to facilitating each others learning by joining in in class, asking and answering questions, doing their blog posts and posing interesting videos and pages in the facebook group. This is useful as this way we learn more and in a happier, more interesting manner.

Before coming to university, I expected a lot of lectures and little interaction between students and teachers. It seems to be completely different from what I expected. The interaction between students and teachers is pretty constant and not very formal. We use the internet a lot, on many different platforms. We seem to have very few lectures, allowing for a lot of discussion time. This facilitates teamwork very well.

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This was originally published at Saskia Smits

Personal Tool Preferences

Personal preference greatly affects choosing which tools to work on. Working on a preferred tool makes work easier and faster as you do not need to spend time on discovering how the tool or platform works.

If everyone in a group had different preferences, we would discuss and decide on the tool most suitable for the project work. Thankfully, many people in our group decided that Facebook would be a good platform to collaborate. However, as this is not great for sharing work, I decided to start a Google Docs so that we could all work together on one shared file. This makes it easier as everyone always has access to the most up to date version. We stewarded the technology and changed course when it didn’t work. If the group goes at the wrong course, it must be stewarded to a different direction.

Looking at other people’s preferences has helped me in the past. In my old school, everyone preferred using Google Documents whereas I was used to mailing documents around. This changed my perspective on how to steward technology. My preference changed because this was much more useful to work together. Others preferences and perspectives are interesting to look at and listen to because they may have a point and their tools may be better or more suitable for the project than the tools I would otherwise use.

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This was originally published at Saskia Smits

Week 3 – reflecting on group work

Working in groups can be challenging at the best of times. Team work means communicating, working together, sharing out work and ensuring all work is done. You are dependent on group members to get work done which can be very frustrating if it doesn’t all go as you want it to.

When told we were going to work in random groups, I was afraid that the group work would be as challenging as previously stated.

In all honesty, our group is getting the work done as necessary and on time. However, at times it feels like work is not quite equally shared and some people aren’t doing as much of the group work. Additionally, some seem to have their mind otherwise when we are trying to work together. Currently we seem to have a bit of trouble coordinating work at times and shaping the work into a useful document.

In the coming weeks I believe we should try to become more of a team. We need to work together better, with everyone working usefully for group benefit. Although we have ‘roles’ from the Belbin test, I do not believe that these clearly represent what people need to be doing. Leaders, shapers, coordinators, visualisers, resource investigators and team workers all need to do work together.

What seems to have worked in some of the other groups is that they have named their group as well. These groups seem to have a lot more team spirit. Whether this why they have a name or if the name helps team spirit, it may be good to increase team motivation and team spirit. If we know each other better, we may be able to work better together.

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This was originally published at Saskia Smits

Week 2 – my social networks

Using many online networks for different purposes I can have many different roles in different groups, networks and communities.

On Facebook for example there are many different groups for both friends and communities. There are groups and group conversations that I interact with on a daily or weekly basis, ensuring I know what is happening and what is going on. These are generally groups with close friends or work groups. Next to these, there are groups I interact with when I have time left or if I need information. These are not so much close friends but more contacts in my larger network. I can also use contacts to make use of their ‘we’ network if I need it. This is very useful when doing research.

Another useful platform to communicate with friends is skype (and MSN) which can be used to chat directly with friends. This way I can interact directly with people in real time and get answers directly if I need them, as long as the people I need to communicate with are online.

Lastly, I spend some time on an online chat room from a game site. This is another interesting experience as on these, people do not know who you are and you cannot know for sure who they are but you interact and can discuss anything. This is valuable because you can feel free to discuss without anyone being able to judge you as a person because they don’t know you. However, on this it is very hard to control what information is received as you don’t know the sender of the information. This isn’t a bound or defined group of people but many different people at once. Although often it is the same group of people discussing, many other people in the wider network can join in. Additionally, this is a group where I interact along the way I do not need to join in all discussions and therefore only need to reply when I know I can add useful input.

Overall, facebook is currently most valuable as I have many friends, groups and networks that I keep up. This is important because without it, communicating with a vast amount of people would be a lot more difficult. However, although it is a platform to interact with people, I do not believe it is a platform to document my life, more to share ideas. I am however most comfortable replying to the online chat site with ideas and discussions. However, if giving people personal details comes into account, facebook is where I have most information about me.

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This was originally published at Saskia Smits

What do you want to learn about applying online communities to open innovation design?

Asking friends and family on skype:

Wietske Lievense: To start with an open mind for all kinds of innovation and be critical at the same time. And most of al be creative

Friend who doesn’t want to be named: You need to know peoples interest, lifestyles, how they communicate/contact friends, what types of communication they they use, if they use different communication for different groups of people and which 

Asking friends on facebook:

Eric Rossi: Finding a recent technological discovery from an online platform and applying it to a different product which is not yet on the market

What happened when I asked…

People were confused and asked for clarification on the question. They wanted more information and didn’t understand what was being asked.

I started by posting what was online ; What do we need and want to learn as we explore the application of online communities and networks to open innovation design? Go online to your networks and take 24 hours to get their ideas and advice about what we should learn together.

This was too confusing and complicated for most people so I changed to asking what they would like to learn about using on-line networks to innovate as they are following my blog and therefore learning from it as well.

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Posted in All Students, Group 4, Marketing Products
This was originally published at Saskia Smits