Urban Collab Lab: Designing New Platforms for a Better Kampala

This two-day workshop invites participants to partner with students from Women in Technology Uganda (WITU) and local organizations to envision technology that addresses challenges and opportunities related directly to the lives of young women living in Kampala today.

Participants will gain training in user experience design while exploring creative concepts for technology and products that could positively impact the city. We seek to understand, in a world where there are more mobile phones than people, how technology can have a lasting and positive impact on health, safety, and media issues in a city like Kampala.

Email info@littlecloudcollective.com for more information.

June 6 & 7, 2014 @ WITU Hub

Workshop participants work in small teams to design and prototype creative solutions that address three topics - safety, health, and media - relevant to life in Kampala today.

01. Safety

Safety is paramount among issues in cities around the world, and women and girls remain most at-risk, especially in urban areas like Kampala. What kind of technology platforms might help ensure the safety of Kampala’s residents, and women and girls in particular? How can we create accessible tools that empower us to create a safer city? This topic will explore the use of digital technology to improve communication, accessibility, self-esteem, and awareness that could help make Kampala a safer place for women to live.

02. Health

Access to health care, medicine, and health information are still challenging issues for many populations in Kampala today, especially for women and girls. How can technology be utilized to create better pathways to all three? How can we create tools that support better access for girls and women to resources, knowledge, and networks, and have a lasting impact on the health of ALL city residents, and not just some? This topic will explore how digital technology can improve access to information and resources that will make the city a healthier and happier place to live.

03. Media

Access to news and information, culture and community, and means of creative expression can be limited for some sectors of society in Kampala. How can digital tools give voice to those who might not otherwise have it - such as women and other minority groups - and ensure everyone is represented? How can it support access to creative culture and foster collaboration among individuals and groups? This topic will explore how we can create tools that support social connection, civic and cultural engagement, and creative output in Kampala today.

Day 1

Welcome

9:00 — 10:00

Introduction to workshop agenda, goals, topics and people.

Lightning Talks

10:00 — 11:00

Short presentations from local leaders, organizations, and workshop mentors.

Group Mindmapping

11:00 — 12:00

Groups are assigned topics and brainstorm initial thinking through innovation exercises.

Lunch

12:00 — 1:00

Lunch is not provided. Students are requested to bring their own lunch or money to buy food from nearby shops.

Session 1: Defining the Problem

1:00 — 2:45

Presentations and team activities to define problem areas that each team will seek to address.

Session 2: Research Methods

2:45 — 5:00

Presentations and team activities to identify opportunities through user research.

Day 2

Welcome

9:00 — 9:30

Introduction to Day 2 activities.

Session 3: Synthesis & Ideation

9:30 — 11:30

Presentations and team activities to synthesize research findings and brainstorm solutions.

Session 4: Concept Development

11:30 — 1:00

Presentations and team activities to develop and refine concepts.

Lunch

1:00 — 2:00

Lunch is not provided. Students are requested to bring their own lunch or money to buy food from nearby shops.

Session 5: Prototyping

2:00 — 4:00

Presentations and team activities to develop prototypes and test with users.

Group Presentations

4:00 — 5:00

Lightning presentations and sharing of ideas by each group.

Closing Remarks

5:00 — 5:30

Closing remarks and next steps.

Workshop Social Hour

5:30 — 6:30

Workshop social hour.

Speakers, Mentors, & Instructors

Brian Ndgyaguma
Hive Colab
Dr. John B. Niwagaba
Medical Doctor
Victoria Mbabazi
Women in Technology Uganda
Atukwtse Primus Bahigi
Kabarole Research Institute
Evan Wheeler
UNICEF Innovation
Claudia Bernett
Little Cloud Collective
Priyanka Pathak
Little Cloud Collective

Organizers

Participants

Over 25 participants from organizations and schools including Women In Technology Uganda, KampaBits and Makere University.

Results

A group of wide-ranging backgrounds and expertise converged on the Women in Technology Uganda Hub for this 2-day workshop focused on designing platforms for a better Kampala.

Lead by Priyanka Pathak, Adam Little, and Claudia Bernett of the Little Cloud Collective, participants were guided through a detailed User Experience Design process that began with a broad investigation of three topics relevant to life in the city today: safety, health, and culture. Special guest speakers conveyed expert knowledge to participants, who were then lead through a series of rigorous exercises to explore the topics and home in on a mission for the products they would design.

They defined problem and mission statements, goals and target audiences. They learned about design research and synthesis, planned and conducted their own research, and synthesized it into meaningful findings. They learned about ideation, concepting, wireframing, and prototyping, and produced innovative, detailed, and thoughtful designs for mobile applications that could significantly impact life in Kampala, and Uganda, today.

Application concepts addressed issues of access to health care and human trafficking through an array of approaches that included a mobile system to support a central ID system in the country, a 'Bust a Trafficker' app that helps residents identify risks, and mobile apps that facilitate access to medical information, clinics, and essential medicines and medical care.

Check out the full set of photos here.