Tag Archives: user research

Exploratory User Research in the Rural Economy

When I first began developing the attributes by which to select representative user profiles for the original fieldwork to begin understanding the “prepaid economy”, that is, household financial management in rural India, The Philippines and Malawi, it was based on people’s ability to plan and budget. One can plan best when one is certain of […]

Posted in Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Design, Economy, Expenses, Flexibility, Frameworks, global, Income, India, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Philipines, Research, rural, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exploring the concept of user inspired policy planning

Getting up close and personal with Farmer Pedro at the Minbuza Since late September I’ve been collaborating with Bart Doorneweert on an exploratory project for the Dutch government, taking a closer look at the design process for policy and planning related to private sector development of sustainable agriculture value chains. We’ve been thinking a lot […]

Posted in Analysis, Assumption filter, Frameworks, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Process, Projects and Reports, Research, Strategy, Systems, UCSD | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Prioritizing whom you put at the center of the strategy and why

The tacit mandate for companies interested in the BoP market is that your product or service must either fill an ‘unmet’ need (of which the poor have many), or provide a way for them to enhance their livelihood or quality of life. Why else would they divert their limited and hard-earned cash for your product […]

Posted in Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Design, Frameworks, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Process, Projects and Reports, Strategy, Systems, UCSD, User research | Also tagged , | Leave a comment

Putting people first: the difference between “what” and “why”

Pondering the topic of contracts and creativity in yesterday’s post made me think about problem areas, how they’re identified and how they may be deconstructed. In simpler terms, the difference between the “what” and the “why”. Take two regions in a country, one far more fertile and having a better overall economy than the other. […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Consumer Behaviour, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Process, Projects and Reports, UCSD | Also tagged , | Leave a comment

Low Income Household consumer research in rural Kenya

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be starting a whole new set of fieldwork in rural Kenya.  This time we’re doing something closer to the better known applications of our human centered design approach for increasing our understanding of people. It will be among rural ‘BoP’ households on behalf of a consumer product that’s retailed […]

Posted in Base of the Pyramid, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frugality, Kenya, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, rural, Scarcity, User research | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

M-PESA and the service innovation framework (extract)

A former student of mine just mailed me this article “Extracting Key Lessons in Service Innovation” (pdf) by S.Wooder and S. Baker, recently published in the Journal of Product Innovation Management, January 2012 edition. Here is the abstract of the article: This paper describes how Sagentia—working with Vodafone, Safaricom, and other organizations—played a significant role […]

Posted in Analysis, Business, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Mobile platform, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Process, UCSD, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

In conclusion: Lessons from The Village Telco project in Kenya

We’ve finally reached the point in our work for Village Telco where there’s been enough time for some reflection after the intense weeks of travel and observations across Kenya.  I can cluster our learning into three broad areas: our approach, methodology and team work; Kenya’s people and the informal economy; and finally, the role of […]

Posted in Analysis, Business, Cyber cafe series, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Kenya, Mobile platform, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, rural, Strategy, Technology, urban, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Opportunity spaces vs ideas – business development for the BoP markets

Ideas or concepts are not the same as opportunity spaces or gaps in a particular market. Exploratory user research can identify opportunities for innovation, that is, either unmet needs or gaps in the existing ecosystem which could be filled by a product or service with the intent to create and provide value. On the other […]

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The White Man’s Burden by William Easterly – a user centered approach to aid programmes

Approaching William Easterly’s recent book on foreign aid and economic development challenges in the ‘third’ or ‘developing’ world from the design thinker’s point of view has been an eye opening exercise. Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen has written a mixed review evaluating Easterly’s thesis and approach, while other reviews include the London Book Review’s balanced summation. […]

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Insights from the South African low income market (BoP) opportunity

I came across this article from South Africa titled “Why companies should care about the low-income market” which has some excellent insights about this demographic and opportunity space. Also called the ‘BoP or Bottom of the Pyramid’, it is the mass majority segment in the emerging middle class in Sub Sahara today (per recent reports.) […]

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