Potential projects

March 5, 2010
By Kelly_Nichols

Here’s what I’m thinking for project ideas:

1) Re-interfacing Seibel to be more user-friendly and specific to the tasks of responders.

In some ways, this project idea feels like low hanging fruit – it seems so obvious. However, depending on the results of some more technical research, this could actually be a great opportunity. Their app suffers from what many apps suffer from – resources spent getting bare bones functionality and none left for the user experience. From a design point of view this could be a great opportunity to explore screen based user interfaces where a great deal of the heavy programmatic lifting has already been done. Really making the front end sing by refining it through rounds of prototype testing could be a significant design experience. Brainstorming: Would it be a benefit to incorporate a photo of the client’s ID (driver license, passport, etc) in the file? What if the barcode on the driver license could be scanned and processed? Suggestions like these might end up being implausible or undesirable, but they are interesting questions to ask.

2) Developing a system for retaining all the aggregated knowledge generated by the volunteer base.

I believe this is a fecund topic for a project. This issue is faced by all organizations. When and how is it appropriate/useful/beneficial to centralize the knowledge base of a the members of an organization? In some ways we could be talking about a glorified suggestion box. But every suggestion box I’ve ever seen has suffered from neglect. It’s like sending an email to the “info@” email address on a web site. You kind of feel like you’re yelling into a black hole. How do we reinvent and revitalize that experience? This exchange and surfacing of knowledge can be considered a mediation between top-down and bottom-up structures. What is the role of both the top-down (management) and the bottom-up (employees & volunteers) in a functionally and socially successful system of exchange? This could include both digital and non-digital solutions used in tandem. That’s kind of sexy.

3) Redesigning stickers and other mediating materials for clients

The design issues here are appealing for their potential simplicity. Small considerations like including a tab for easy removal of the sticker are what could really humanize the design. This could start with an audit of all the material goods that clients are presented. These goods could be considered as a suite of goods and then redesigned according to the same value set. Bringing truly new considerations to something as basic as sticker design would be fascinating.

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