Category Archives: Process

The challenge of assessing the size of an emerging market opportunity

Kagio fresh produce market, Kenya, April 2013 Untapped opportunities in the developing world bring with them their own challenges for businesses seeking to invest in them.  An interesting one is that of assessing the market size and value, particularly for the lower income demographic that operates primarily in the informal economy (often called the BoP […]

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A very different kind of human centered system design with highly efficient processes

Every profession must come face to face with the ultimate reality of the ways that their industrial training can be perfect in operational form yet perverted completely in its application. As an Industrial and Production engineer, I studied assembly lines and efficiency. As an Industrial Designer exploring the concept of human centered design, particulary from […]

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Phase zero

This post was written by niti bhan and rss originates from

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Reframing Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as a human centered design challenge

The tangible manifestation of the concept of turning government’s calls to action for public private partnerships in development was crafted by Jeroen Meijer of JAM Visualdenken and expertise on sustainable agricultural value chains provided by Bart Doorneweert of LEI, Wageningen. The design challenges, as we called them, reframed the problem statement in the form a […]

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Reflections on design thinking for government: empowering policy makers and stakeholders

Yesterday I came across a post on The World Bank’s blog, “Design Thinking for Government Services: What happens when the past limits our vision of the future?” Given that I’m in the process of writing a report on the role that human centered design can play in government, that too for a developed nation, I’d […]

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User centered design thinking: An approach to problem identification

What is user centered design thinking? Lets break this phrase down, first into two parts of two words each, user centered = being user centered means that your frame of reference for creating a system, a product or business model is always the potential or intended ‘user’. Immersion in the user’s environment, also known as […]

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Interim project report: User centered Agricultural value chain development

My colleague and project leader for the current work in The Netherlands,  Bart Doorneweert has just published an excellent analysis of our workshop on user centered design for a multi stakeholder group invited by the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Foreign Affairs. Here’s a snippet: Insights on the multi-stakeholder working processWhen the break-out groups re-convened […]

Also posted in Africa, Base of the Pyramid, Consumer Behaviour, Ecosystem, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Rural Economy, Sub Saharan Africa, UCSD, User research | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Market Segmentation in the Informal Economy

This table is from “How to profit from Africa’s different consumer groups” and the research is from NKC Independent Economists group. There is something lacking in understanding the patterns of purchasing power when segmentation methodology from the formal economy are applied ad hoc to markets which are primarily informal. As mentioned at the end of […]

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Takeaways from experiencing the human centered design process

Design adds greater value in the long term by being applied to the HOW of business (practices and process), whereas being applied to the WHAT of business (products) ends up having limited value as those products become commoditized. ~ paraphrasing Clement Mok, March 1st 2005 For an audience who will neither practise the design profession […]

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Mapping the path to prototyping an adaptable user centered design process

We’ve all seen the classic User Centered Design (UCD) process diagrams, mostly linear, that attempt to communicate the steps yet unable to capture the iterative nature of the activity simply due to the limitations on how many circular arrows one can add without losing clarity. When I first began exploring the process deeply for application […]

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