Over the summer break, the D:Lab had several students use design thinking to innovate and co-create with organizations and companies such as Vodafone, Casa Trassaco, Café Kwae, Burro Brand, GN Electronics and our very own university Ashesi. This event was organised to get a sense of progress and the way forward for each of these projects.
What? – D:Lab Mobile Summer Projects Update Session
When? – Wednesday 12th October 2016
Time? – 2:40 – 4:10pm
Where? – McNulty Foundation Design Lab, King Engineering Building 102.
Audrey S-Darko, presented on her team’s progress with the Cafe Kwae Use Experience projects and how she looks forward to ending the project with a market strategy proposal that her team will present to the manager of Cafe Kwae. Kelvin Dogbetse detailed his team’s progress on exploring and improving employee productivity of Tradeworks. His team hopes to continue research work, however, the future of this project hinges on their availability outside school work; possibility during school breaks.
Aisha Jallow and Purity Musau, who worked on the Ashesi Fundamentals of Design and Entrepreneurship (FDE) Research project which centred on developing tools (templates etc.) for helping students visualize things in cleaner, more professional and more engaging ways such as developing hieroglyphic-mnemonic devices to help students remember the design thinking process and methods. They presented a few of their findings and how these finding will influence future FDE classes. The D:Lab Coordinators also presented on the state of other projects.
Vodafone mUtilities is a design lab program supported by Ashesi University, for the purpose of helping customers with their utility concerns. The project started in the early month of June. And the main aim was to help customers manage their utility expenditure through a mobile platform. This project resulted from the customer complaints and difficulties with electricity tariffs at the time.
A meeting was arranged with Chief Information Officer of Vodafone, a leading telecom company to see what they expected from such a solution. Insights gained from the interview were included in the notes for secondary research. Secondary research was undertaken with the aim of identifying what practical solutions would be within our means to implement when solving the problem in the prototype stage.
The second part of Design thinking involved research and understanding the problem. The problem statement agreed on by the mUtilities team was; Customer difficulty in managing utility expenditure. Primary research involved a sample size of forty four. This involved domestic customers, small business owners, an electricity vendor and an ECG employee.
The methodology in question was interviewing. Customers were asked about their grievances in relation to utilities. Research showed that although both water and electricity tariffs had been increased, people only complained about electricity. Also, prepaid users were more likely to have complaints than postpaid users. This narrowed the problem to electricity and a solution was being prepared.
From the brainstorming session; a home management system was selected. The following are models from which our prototype could be designed;
- Neurio Home Management System
- Samsung home management system
- TED Pro electricity monitor
- Do It Yourself Home Energy Monitor
- Controlling Appliances over WIFI and Ethernet
The next step would have been customer validation. However due to a lack of time that has been postponed until further notice. The customers for customer validation stage will be selected from the sample size; comprising of domestic and business customers. And over a period of time comments will be recorded and the solution improved until it satisfies customers.
- Joshua Mensah
- Edwin Adatsi
- Dorcas Maku Tamartey
- Claude-Noel Tamakloe
- Kelvin Degbotse
Starting off from Impact Hub Accra, the second stop of the Ashesi D:Lab Mobile was at the McNulty Design Lab, King Engineering Building on the Ashesi University Campus. The event took place on Thursday, Jun 30th 2016 from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm.
The D:Lab in partnership with the Ashesi Venture Accelerator (AVA), featured Lysanne
Denneboom, the Managing Director of Fundraising Africa, who gave a presentation about new and innovative ways to raise money online for things people care about. Her presentation explained the essence of crowdfunding and how it can be used to make ideas reality through running successful crowdfunding campaigns.
Student teams presented 5-minute updates on the progress made and challenges they face while working on their respective design thinking projects this summer. Teams also interacted on ways they could improve their design processes for their respective projects.
Event Coordinators: Theodore Philip Asare, Carl Agbenyega
Media Production: Cybil Mupazviriwo