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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
One comment on “What are your design principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks based on your experience in this course and your project?
  1. Nancy White says:

    GREAT principles… so much insight in this post, I’m nodding in deep appreciation. And by telling us a story as a way to share your design principles, you also made it very clear and interesting. Nice job!

    I really appreciate the last one – reverse thinking. I too, find this an incredibly useful tool. I use a number of reverse thinking exercises when I’m facilitating groups and they start getting stuck. I LOVE this! Thanks

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