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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The 'Design my Wish' Project- Calls for collaboration

I am reproducing here the content of a conversation that I posted on www.theworldcafecommunity.org
I am seeking collaboration to develop an idea I have for my "Design a Wish" project.
Apart from being a concept that I am excited about, I am experimenting with the use of social media in designing solutions that have mass appeal.
I'd like to see how or whether this idea can take off, simply by putting it out into the global community on the internet.
Eventually I 'd like to relate my experiences about a world where we share ideas in an atmosphere of mutual respect, understanding and tolerance for people from diverse disciplines and backgrounds.

So read on and please reply here or directly to my email address if you wish to be private:
shariali555@yahoo.ca
Thanks!

I have been mulling around an idea in my mind and want to throw it out to you for comments and feedback.

For want of a better name, let's call it the "Design my Wish" Project for now.

I want to use a design thinking approach and solicit open collaboration in developing this idea. It would be an exercise in harnessing the power of the internet to bring together minds from all over the world to design and work through an idea.
This idea centres around product design issues and impacts on everyone.

The challenge:

As consumers we have all wished at some point that somebody would invent something to solve a particular problem we have.
It could be something for the kitchen, the car, our workspace, shoes, baby or anything under the sun.
There are innumerable products and devices which have been designed to take care of our needs, but some how they either come up short, or miss some functionality that we want.

Design companies traditionally work with market research and design teams who conduct focus groups and other market research to determine what the trends are, in order to brainstorm the next new product for the market.
So traditionally they design what they think we need based on their market research, and there are many companies which specialise in market research, as you know.

The Idea:

What if there were a place where we the consumer and end user, could post up our ideas for a design we need to make life easier. Everyone and anyone could go to this one place and state what it is they want to help solve their issue (I'm talking consumer items to begin with).
It could be a concept similar to craigslist where people say what they are looking for, but in this case seek a design solution.
An example could be like a problem I described on my last blog here:
http://my2senseandcentsmaking.blogspot.com/2010/06/ive-been-thinkin...
(This is about how women need something like a tiny stocking which
only covers the tips of their toes, to prevent the nail polish from
getting rubbed off when wearing shoes).
And see:
http://my2senseandcentsmaking.blogspot.com/2010/06/how-women-shop-e...
(Where I talk about how I wished for a device that looked like an e-reader with the functionality of a pc, and then the ipad came out. It does not have the functionality I wished for but it sure looks like it, and that's a start!)

I know some companies already use their websites and blogs to tap into customer feedback on their own products and service and use this as a means to improve product design and internal efficiency etc.
However 'Design my Wish' is about us taking the initiative to tell the designers what we need before they design products for us. And our wishes would all be found in one central location. It's similar to the way that craigslist is one location that everyone knows about, where they can post what they are looking for.
It would be a growing global field where designers can go and look for seed ideas to germinate into what will eventually become a product to take to market. It would supplement current market research methods.
So it would serve both the consumer and the designer and manufacturer.

How to make it work:

I am soliciting the help of anyone who knows about website development (not just design ), business development, marketing, and any other skills and expertise that would be necessary to grow this idea.
My desire is to use social collaboration to work through issues and come up with an appropriate business model.
Eventually this would become a case study in how to harness the power of global intellect to work harmoniously on a project simply by leveraging the power of social media (or something like that!).

We could use a blog forum or something that is free and simple like google wave to capture the conversations. Or we could use any better idea that will allow us to communicate easily.

The important thing to note is that everyone can contribute and each person's contribution is of value.
Questions help us to anticipate and deal with issues we may not have thought about.

I would really appreciate feedback from everyone here. Feel free to refer to anyone who might be of help.
I will accept emails directly to my email address as well:
shariali555@yahoo.ca

Thanks for reading and I look forward to having conversations with you.

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