Post 4 – February 26, 2015

What we’ve done: This Monday, the team met Chris in person for the first time, and he gave us a lengthy debrief about his two weeks in Uganda. We saw photos and heard stories about his visits to the four sites. He remarked that Jude has a full month of work left on the technical front. The team held two Skype interviews on Monday, one with a current Community Economic Development Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda, and the other with a media designer and former employee of JPAL.  Both interviews gave us greater insights into the radio culture of the country and a better understanding of the Ugandan culture in general. We’ve also come a long way in terms of developing a research plan and field guide: we’ve put together questions for interviewees and identified specific methods we’d like to utilize in the field, including two variations on a visual survey and a cultural probe. We’ve tightened the focus of our hunt statement to concentrate on radio listening behavior and potential for listener engagement, with the end goal of social inclusion and empowerment. In addition, we’ve described the RootIO world as is through a technical diagram and territory map.   Obstacle/s: Team is gunning for a field trip to Uganda to conduct design research with end listeners. We will have to build as strong a case as we can have in order to win travel approval from our client. Chris is not fully onboard. If we do not win approval, we may have to rethink our entire plan, as team is less comfortable designing for an environment without any...

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...

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,...