Post 21- November 13th

What we did: This week we prepared for our trip to London, this included prototyping, creating a usability script, and a video script/shot list. For the prototyping we implemented all of the features we had discussed and wanted to test. This also forced us to think through each detail on how the system should work. The bot now has you follow a tutorial, has an automated checklist, has a normal checklist, and status reminders, in addition to the profile questions, which had already been implemented. For the usability script we found areas we wanted to test and built a script around it. We decided to not only get feedback at the end of the testing but throughout the process after every one or two tasks the user completed. We also had them answer some general questions at the end where they described the service in their own words and gave any general feedback. For the tasks we also created task sheets instead of just reading out loud what they needed to do, this simplified the process and was a good referral point for the users. Before going to London we tested the script with Tiana to make sure the order and process made sense. For our video we created a script of the narrative and what goes in each shot. We had a lot of discussion on what type of video we wanted, whether it followed the journey of one person or if it just used text and images that described the product. In the end we decided to follow the journey of one person, as we felt that...

Post 17- October 16th

What we did: This week we decided to travel to London during mid-November to do user testing and get video footage.  We looked at different flight options/accommodations, and got approval from Simone. We also started researching different areas the Ugandan Diaspora live in and what schools we could reach out to. We also prepared a mentee quiz and disseminated an email inviting future Portugal students to sign up for a mentor program with students that are already in Portugal.  In the end we had 12 out of 16 students sign up for the program. We worked further on defining our personal portal and verification process.  The idea behind the portal is that it will guide them through the process of choosing schools and then applying to them through timelines, checklists, etc.  For the verification we want to make sure that the person is truly interested in becoming a mentor/mentee and is trustworthy. We created a customer journey map for Jude to better understand the high and low points for him during the process of applying to school abroad.  We found that he did have a lack of access to resources and people to help guide him, especially when applying to graduate schools in the United States. Challenges: We found that we didn’t have sufficient people that we’ve interviewed regarding applying to school in the United States so we are reaching out to our network to identify more people.   Next Steps: We need to book our London Trip.  We will be matching the mentors and mentees with each other, understanding what’s most important for the match.  We will also...

Post 9 – April 11th, 2015

What we’ve done: This week and past week we’ve put a lot of effort into identifying members of the Ugandan Diaspora and contacting them to set up interviews.  We sent over 50 inquiries through several different mediums, these include couchsurfing, meetup, personal connections, referrals, and google searches that lead us to different diaspora groups and individuals.  From these inquiries we have received a 25% response rate, and have been able to schedule ten interviews, five of which we did this week.   For these interviews we prepared a variety of questions, these include asking them about their story of leaving Uganda, what they miss the most, what the Ugandan community is like in their current home country, what their dream for Uganda is, among others. The five people we interviewed currently live in diverse locations, including the Netherlands, London, Washington D.C., Kampala, and Toronto.  We also were able to get a written response to our questions from a member of the couchsurfing community. Each interview lasted between half an hour to an hour, and during them we were able to uncover interesting cultural insights. We were also able to identify different ways that the diaspora can contribute to the Ugandan community, including knowledge sharing, foreign lobbying, sharing resources, and being positive representations of Africa.   Outside of the interviews we made great strides in our literature review.  We are currently each reading one book related to Africa, radio, and development.   Obstacles: Due to pivoting two months in to the project we feel behind in our research phase and hoping that there is a way to tie in our...

Post 6- March 12, 2015

What we’ve done: This past week we focused on reading through the books of our literature review, gathering all the feedback we got from our presentation last Thursday and from our last meeting with Chris, which was crucial for the orientation of our project. We also got the chance to play with an actual RootIO radio station [in progress] but we couldn’t do much with it without being completely set. The meeting with Chris was focused on narrowing down our project’s scope. We presented to him more than 10 potential hunt statements and his feedback was that we could choose a focus we liked but also find relevant to the RootIO project. After a lot of discussion we are looking forward to a diaspora focus project now which brings many new opportunities but also some redesign of our approach. We had a meeting with Anu Sridharan to discuss her experiences in her current project being developed in India. Her project is called NextDrop and is focused on communicating water availability in four different regions in India. It currently holds between 38,000 and 40,000 active users. We got interesting insights about unexpected experiences, obstacles and an interesting approach to the “missed calls” concept as a free communication platform being used by millions of people. Obstacle/s: We are looking forward a highly possible new approach to our Capstone project and that will bring consequences to our current documentation (budget, timeline, research plan, competitive analysis, territory map, etc.). After trying to focus really closely on the Ugandan rural communities and their interaction with the RootIO platform, it seems that we’ll be taking the focus away from them to...

Post 2- February 4, 2015

What we’ve done: Over the past week, we analyzed very specific scenarios of RootIO and sent an email to Jude asking some technical questions and possibilities about the platform. We did some logo sketches for our team logo, we had our second meeting with Chris, a faculty mentor meeting (with Simone and Evan) and we established our [initial] timeline, budget and hunt statement. Our meeting with Chris and our internal meeting led us to multiple potential hunt statements. At the end we decided to combine some of them and create a broad-scoped hunt statement as a starting point for our Capstone. Our faculty mentor meeting led us to consider our passions, project usefulness, challenges, boundaries and obstacles to create our hunt statement. Chris also put us in contact with two students traveling to Uganda to do some research in a similar context so we can get information through them. Obstacle/s: Some obstacles we’re facing are the broadness of our scope, the [complete] RootIO’s business model understanding, the travel/budget final definition and some considerations for the platform [long term] sustainability. Next Steps: Our next steps are to narrow our scope, schedule a meeting with Chris in Madeira (he’s coming after the Carnival break), define relevant user research questions, give our first project presentation to faculty (and get feedback), choose our final team logo and get familiar with an actual RootIO radio station (Android App, cloud server, telephony services,...