Post 18 – October 23rd

What we did: We had a very productive meeting with Chris. He agreed with our London trip and he was specially interested in the WhatsApp Bot feature we presented for our mentor matching process. He was even in favor of trying to design a system around this Bot and, if possible, nothing else (as User touch point). We think we’re still on time to make these changes in our design although we’re skeptical of leaving the web portal out of the project. We created a customer journey map for Analu, Juan’s Guatemalan friend that studied (and currently lives) in London. We got very interesting insights from her. Even though she’s very determined and organized, there are still many issues within the whole “studying abroad” process and this helped us validating our approach. We made a lot of progress in our WhatsApp Bot but WhatsApp blocked our Bot lines (3 different Portuguese telephone lines in total). We got our Bot to echo every message it received, apply some logic to certain specific messages, send pictures, change profile information, etc. We also tried to have multiple conversations at the same time, with different users, and it worked perfectly. We kept working on defining our system architecture and answering some crucial questions about our product. We defined that our project will be based on a shared wiki database, combining the MediaWiki API (polling live info from Wikipedia) and our own Wiki API. The mentors will be collaborating with the Wiki and the Bot will have access to the info (as well as the mentors/mentees). Some mentors will be assigned as moderators to keep...

Post 15 – October 1

What we’ve done Based on our current three concepts (A, B and C) and Chris’ feedback, we came up with many new concepts after a lot of brainstorming. We made different storyboards of these approaches and we ended up voting for our top 5. We made storyboards of these five concepts and showed them to Chris and Jude. Yes, Jude is here in Madeira. He came to visit the island and to keep up with his work in RootIO and other projects. He presented RootIO in conferences in Paris and Lisbon before coming here. Jude and Chris commented about our new concepts and they found a potential direction combining our Concept C (mentor matching) with one of the new concepts (Concept 4, which was a Diaspora Network Storytelling website). We are really excited to finally have a direction and start iterating (quickly) around it.   Obstacles/What’s Next We still need to define a concept although having a direction is very encouraging. We are going to iterate in the next few days to define our merged concept and start working on the short term deliverables (Lo-fi prototype, presentation, etc.). We are also planning on sending some questions to selected Ugandan diaspora members that will be related to these concepts. Things are looking...

Post 13 – May 8th

What we’ve done This past week was all about the affinity diagram and some early concept building. We were able to finish our affinity diagram, composed of 840 white sticky notes (approx.), 152 lower level pink sticky notes, 40 second level orange sticky notes and 13 top level yellow ones. All this came out directly from 25 interviews and also considering our 44 survey responses from both Ugandans and diaspora members. We had a very productive meeting with Chris where we decided to keep going in the path we took (concept building using our affinity as the main reference) and he seemed satisfied with our first concept approaches. We also gave a dry run presentation to Simone, Evan and more M-ITI faculty members. We got very good feedback and many things to consider/fix for the final presentation. Some of these very important aspects were: – Our whole presentation narrative: One or two members presenting, not all of us. – Our presentation visual design: Changing the whole template for a more professional one. – Our presentation order: Changing the order of the slides so they make more sense altogether. – Presenting our client to the audience: We have to be more thorough in this aspect. – Visuals for our research: Fixing the circles diagram, spending less time on the affinity diagram insights (no video unless it’s used as background for something else) and showing some more about the concepts. Obstacles/What’s Next Making sure sure to have these issues fixed by the final rehearsal presentation and take our travel decisions for the fall so we can start coordinating...

Post 10 – April 16th, 2015

What we’ve done: These last days we’ve been exploring even more ways of getting in touch with Ugandan diaspora (and even with Ugandans living in Uganda) to get more insights for our research. New ways we’re trying are posting the surveys in popular forums in Facebook and Yahoo Groups, exploring the Amazon’s mTurk platform, posting in popular social news platforms like Reddit, Tumblr, Craigslist and Ugandan newspapers. We’ve been doing more interviews and so far we have completed 11 interviews with Ugandan diaspora members. Also we got two emails answering our questions from other diaspora members. All of these interviews have brought us many insights but we still want to push for more interviewees, especially from different social classes so we can get a better picture of their needs. We also did a very insightful brainstorming session to get some concepts around our research. Most of our concepts are focused around mentorship, diaspora aid, local and foreign awareness and basically, Ugandan needs. We concluded our session with some storyboard visioning exercises. We found around 9 relevant books as literature review for our diaspora research focus and we’ll decide which ones to read this weekend. We finished two digital surveys (using Typeform), one for the Ugandan diaspora community and one for the Ugandan local community. We are expecting to get many replies using this digital medium.   Obstacles: Doing the interviews is a very long process and requires time and attention. We’ve been trying to get high quality data in a short period of time but we’re still struggling with the biased diaspora Ugandans sample. We are exploring two new ways to...