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.

Archives For Group 4

About Marketing Products

Marketing products (one of five themes – learn more here)

You had the idea, the support, you designed the product successfully with your team. Now is the time to get it to market. How will you reach your end users? Directly? Through intermediaries? How will you reach far and wide enough and how can online communities and networks help you? Find some examples of successful marketing communities and networks and post them in the comments.

What online architecture, tools and processes successfully help designers connect their products to markets? What differentiates these from other types of open innovation online groups and environments? 

(You might want to look at the book: Finding the Sweet Spot by Dave Pollard. If you are interested in talking to Dave, let Nancy know — Dave is in HER network!)

Posted in Group 4, Group 9, Marketing Products, Themes

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

Week 8 – Design online communities

This is an interesting topic. If I had to create/coordinate a new platform, my key principles would be simplicity and looks. No one wants a tool that is difficult to use these days. People want to save their time and that’s why they choose the most user-friendly online platforms. My online community tool would be very intuitive and would probably concentrate in only a few main functions. I think that developing a program with just few functions would let me concentrate more on them, to make sure everything is simple and smooth. I would’t like to develop a very difficult multifunctional tool, because then is a risk that it becomes laggy, too difficult and not intuitive. Also there would be far more bugs to fix.

I am not saying i don’t like difficult platforms. I like facebook, because despite being very functional, it is quite simple to use as well. But I also like programs like skype, which functions are quite narrow in comparison, only chat, calls, and video calls. The point is, these functions are developed very well on Skype. That is because the company has to concentrate on less aspects, thus giving better and faster results.

Thanks for reading!

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

Week 7

 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?

That depends a lot on how much free time would I have at that moment, and what kind of design is needed. If it is related to things that interest me, I think I would take the challenge, to see what can I create. And of course, I would improve myself not only by taking part to the challenge, but also seeing others’ design expressions.

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

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

This is the last personal assignment of project communities. It is time to summaries the things we learned so far from the views of design principles. The principles I learned personally are: good team building, doing research, keep in touch with your client and proper interviews, find the exact problem and find a way to solve it. 

Good team building:

This is what we learned in the first week and it proved to be the most important thing. Every one in the team must function as part of the team or they cannot function at all, and the team works cannot be finished. Individuels should play a role in the team and finish their own part of work in time. Also a good team management is important, how to coordinating among team mates is a science. 

Doing research:

Before design process starts, doing research is essential. Search everything, every detail is the spirit. The company or NGO, in which areas they are doing business, what are those area’s conditions, what are the companies strategies, and what are their online branding. 

Before we start to give suggestions to unicef, we did research of them: english page, chinese page, which areas they are helping and what are theirs’ missing parts. After this, we come out with the idea “camera plan”.

Contact the client:

During this term we have been contacting unicef, although this is not my job so I cannot describe this properly but I do know we have been making efforts. And in the end we will upload the video we made on youtube so they can see it. 

Find the exact problem and find a way to solve it:

I believe I don’t need to describe our camera plan anymore, this is a perfect example of “find the exact problem and find a way to solve it”. The african kid’s problems we know are come form social medias but not form the kids. So we found a way to be aware of it from the kids.

Posted in All Students, Group 4, Marketing Products
This was originally published at wang lang

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.

Posted in All Students, Group 4, Marketing Products
This was originally published at Chao JING

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

Design processing

Upon getting a design brief, I would always start working on it on my own and not consult online communities on what or how to design the desired the product. I would start experimenting with the design, start developing from there. This is because I firmly believe that one man’s vision of a product is always going to be better than an input of a lot of board members. By working on something alone, you can put your passion into it, shape it the way you think it should be. This instead of having a lot of people wanting the change it a little bit at the time, making it worse with every move.

Only after I’m happy with the design, I would start to look at the options to push my design. Making sure that I wouldn’t post my design on a public online space, where it could be stolen. I would definitely consider a site such as kickstarter to push the product. Not the full product, just a preview. 

I’d choose kickstarter, because of the connection it gives between designers, engineers and entrepreneurs. And not the greater public, which gives it a professional environment. In such an environment, it’s easier to find the right partners to start developing my product. 

In conlusion, I am convinced that online communities such as kickstarter are a break through in the business world. It is now much easier to find ways to develop a design into an actual product and bringing to that product to the market.

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

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. 

Posted in All Students, Group 4, Marketing Products
This was originally published at Chao JING

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