Working at Ushahidi as a product designer and then lead designer, I worked on Ushahidi’s flagship tool ‘Ushahidi:Platform’ an open source data collection platform used in crisis scenarios and for human rights cases.
Ushahidi was founded in 2010 after election violence in Kenya during the country’s first democratic elections and has since grown through 3 iterations of the tool.
Working on the data collection tool meant within a small, remote and dispersed team mean’t juggling a lot of responsibility and roles during my time there. Everything from core design tasks to product management, community building and supporting grant applications.
Designing for an open source tool where the majority of the work was tied to grant specific development as well as being inclusive of our users and open source community was a new and exciting endeavour for me in terms of multiple stakeholder management within the design process. As with many small teams, design had yet to be fully embedded as an invaluable part of the product development process and my role included plenty of internal advocacy and training to help my team value a human-centred design approach.
As part of the team I worked on issues related to the core product across web and mobile, SMS/USSD functionality, branding, business development and marketing. We had a product and presence which needed to serve some of the most marginalised people across the globe in some of the toughest, survival situations humans face. Intensive usertesting, research and insight into deeply complex situations.
You can take a look at some of the usertesting processes implemented at Ushahidi by viewing the design documentation written by Eriol.