Post 7 – March 20, 2015

What we’ve done: We offered to help our client find “filler” content for the radio stations while they are being set up in Uganda at the 4 test sites. As with any new technology, there is an adjustment period; for RootIO, this means they need audio files to play on the stations while the community gets used to the concept and hopefully starts creating their own content. We have continued/expanded our literature review to include research on diaspora groups, particularly community associations, blogs, and Facebook pages that might help us make contacts. In addition to Ugandans in the UK, we are looking into cross-cultural comparisons with other African groups in Portugal such as Angolans and Cape Verdeans or perhaps Latin Americans in the US. Our new hunt statement is: We aim to research the diversity of the Ugandan diaspora to determine how diaspora members can contribute to the Ugandan media in non-financial ways. While it’s possible most people want to contribute financially in terms of both remittances and/or sponsoring a station, we are eager to explore other means of participation. We listened to a talk given by Stefan Candea, an investigative journalist and co-founder of the Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism. He suggested diaspora members could be a great resource in terms of finding partner organizations in other countries interested in overcoming the censorship prevalent in many home countries. Obstacle/s: Access to our new user group is potentially easier and cheaper given Portugal’s close proximity to the UK, but we currently have fewer contacts in that community than Uganda itself, so our greatest concern is finding the right people to get in touch with. We...

Post 5- March 6, 2015

What we’ve done: This week we mostly concentrated on doing a competitive analysis.  We first defined who the competitors are and split them up into three areas, those being tier 1 (direct competitors), tier 2 (indirect competitors) and niche (user-generated platforms). After that we brainstormed and defined the dimensions we would use to compare the different competitors. Examples of these include reach, language, how content is generated, popularity indicators, methods of participation, among others. Once we completed the competitive analysis chart we started looking for interesting findings and created charts that visualized these findings.  Some of these findings were how popular facebook is as a participation platform for listeners and radio stations, that a lot of languages are represented, and that stations don’t shy away from serious topics. We received our books for our literature review, and have started going through those. Jenn also scheduled three interviews with people we can learn about how to get people to adopt new technologies, and the Ugandan diaspora.  We had a meeting with Chris to narrow our scope and to present the work we have done so far. Obstacle/s: We are struggling with client expectations and understanding how our project could fit in with what they are doing.  Some of this problems arises with the client feeling we are redoing research that was already conducted early on in the process. Next Steps: This coming week we will be interviewing two people, one who introduced a new technology in India and the other who is a member of the Ugandan diaspora.  We will also continue our literature review and start synthesizing findings. Additionally,...

Post 3 – February 20, 2015

What we’ve done: Over the past two weeks, we had another meeting with Chris during his time in Kampala, continued our secondary research (including a report by Farm Radio Internal and IDEO’s HCD Toolkit), and finalized a team logo. We’ve also been in touch with an ex-Peace Corps member who had a call-in radio show during her service in Uganda as well as two other design students working on mobile recording studios in Africa. We are focusing our current research efforts on how we could address journalistic integrity, participation equality, and censorship concerns through the platform’s design itself, shifting away from content research. Obstacle/s: Without a more specific hunt statement, we cannot schedule any travel yet. We have not been able to download the current RootIO app due to country restrictions. The books our client recommended for us were ordered 3-4 weeks ago and have still not arrived. Next Steps: We hope to have an in-person client meeting next week in which we will present our key research findings and a few narrower hunt statements to discuss/choose from. We are also putting together some visual models to aid in client communication. Finally, we have confirmed that a microstation will be made available to us here and we will brainstorm ways in which we could use Madeira as a test environment. We also plan to continue competitive analysis of existing...