Category Archives: User research

A change of perspective and a whole new set of metaphors (Czarniawska, 2008)

“…each excursion into another field of knowledge brings with it things that were embedded in a different type of soil, and it is inevitable that particles of that soil are still clinging to the roots, practically invisible to the new owner. Additionally, a re-embedding into the new soil could produce deviations and hybrids that are […]

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Time to update the 5D’s framework for inclusive business design after 12 years

Two things have happened since I first published The 5D’s of BoP Marketing: Touchpoints for a holistic, human-centered strategy in Core77 back in January 2009. One, Core77 overhauled their site design and broke my article rather badly. Its layout and formatting makes it virtually incomprehensible. On the other hand, the 5Ds framework has apparently held […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Perspective, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Situating sensemaking in the process of innovation

“the bottom-line goal of Sense-Making from its inception has been to find out what users – audiences, customers, patrons, employees – ‘really’ think, feel, want, dream” (Dervin, 1998) Morente & Ferràs (2018) paper, based on the practical and theoretical contributions of Brenda Dervin’s Sense-Making Theory (2015), provided me with this quoted reference that set me […]

Also posted in Design, Design Methodology, Innovation Planning, Literature review, Perspective, Research, waymarkers, Work in Progress | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Response

Exploratory User Research to Inform and Inspire Innovation Frontiers: Nokia’s legacy

Swedberg (2020) offers a glimpse of the legacy of an exploratory approach to research. The reasons for using such an approach, based on his analysis, are: The empirical situation makes it necessary to use an exploratory approach. Swedberg (2020) gives the example of a study conducted in 1937 by Lazarsfeld & Stouffer on the effects […]

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Is a business inclusive if its doing business in rural Africa? Why modeling economic capacity matters

Whether a business thinks of itself as inclusive or not, it must consider the sustainability of revenue streams and their expected duration, prior to committing themselves to infrastructural investments in rural locations of the global South. Those that position themselves as inclusive businesses – regardless of size, must consider the value being created for their […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Distribution, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Income, Informal & Flexible, Literature review, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, rural, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, Work in Progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Theoretical background for contextualizing User Agency in Participatory Processes

Scandinavian participatory design practices are not distinguished by particular methods but rather by political commitments to societal concerns and relationships with participating users and communities. Pelle Ehn writes:`In the interest of emancipation, we deliberately made the choice of siding with workers and their organisations, supporting the development of their resources for a change towards democracy […]

Also posted in Africa, Analysis, Assumption filter, Design, Design Methodology, Frameworks, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Literature review, Mobile platform, Perspective, Research, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking back at 2020 from Mama Mboga’s eyes: The Pandemic as Natural Disaster

I am moved today by my work to look back at this agonizingly long year of separations and losses and delays for peoples around the world. Uncertainty and complexity have both increased, and economic volatility has become the order of the day, regardless of the development status of the region or location. More people in […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Consumer Behaviour, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Frugality, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Retail in Africa, Risk, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, urban | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Closing the Circle: Can integration of the flows in the post consumption ecosystem of Global North & South aid resilient recovery for all?

It was in July 2009 that I first attempted to visualize the significantly large subsector of informal recycling that fed the informal industrial ecosystem with re-processed ‘raw’ materials for their manufacturing output. The first draft was based on what I’d seen and documented in The Philippines, and in India, during the fieldwork for the ‘prepaid […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, China, Consumer Behaviour, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Frugality, Ghana, global, India, Informal & Flexible, jua kali, Kenya, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, Senegal, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Tanzania, Technology, Uganda | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Half a year, 2020 : The Remote Resilience and Recovery Project

I have umpteen drafts saved, of posts I began writing since the last published one on 29th February this year, and never finished. 2020 has outdone itself in its impact on all of human society, across our entire planet. I have been active on Twitter, where my literature reviews, in service of the pivot I […]

Also posted in Africa, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Design, Ecosystem, Flexibility, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, rural, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, urban, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Research – Practice Gap for African Startups

There is very little literature on business operations management, and product development methodology  that actually helps African SMEs and startups to navigate their own operating environment with its local characteristics. Analysts struggle with frameworks and processes developed in highly industrialized contexts as a means to evaluate the strategies of businesses and solutions with local or […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Biashara Economics, Business, Business Models, Design, Frameworks, Innovation Planning, Mobile platform, Perspective, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Leave a comment

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