User Feedback

I presented my design ideas to the user community during the Mifos User Meet-up call.  These folks are from around the world – India, Kenya, Uganda, Philippines, and others.  They reiterated a concern that had been voiced to me before (see Design and Workflow and Cross-pollination) – our loan officers and not well-educated or tech-savvy, please don’t make them relearn too much.

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Cross-pollination between the first and third world of design

Screen shot 2013-05-30 at 10.35.18 AMLast week I had the opportunity to speak about my Take 3 experience at the vUE conference (VMware User Experience).  I thought about how my Take 3 project has impacted my design thinking and vice versa.  I talked about what I called “reminders” because we all learn these things as designers, but it’s easy to forget as we get caught up in the day-to-day activities of getting a product shipped. Continue reading

Two Months of Take 3 Over!

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 5.56.56 PMWow – two of my three months of community service “sabbatical” is over!  I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I left for India and Kenya.  The two weeks of travel flew by, but I feel like I just got back and two more weeks have gone by.  Now I’m feeling a bit crunched that I only have one month left to do all the design work!

I was reminded this week of an Einstein quote.  When asked what he would do given one hour to save the world, Einstein replied: “I would spend 55 minutes to understand and formulate the problem, and 5 minutes to come up with ideas/execute the solution.”  Continue reading

Mobile Money in Kenya

M-PESA shop

M-PESA (m for “mobile”, pesa is Swahili for “money”) is a mobile-phone based money and microfinance service offered by Safaricom in Kenya.  According to Wikipedia, it is “the most developed mobile payment system in the world.  M-Pesa allows users with a national ID card or passport to deposit, withdraw, and transfer money easily with a mobile device.”

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Out in the field with Grameen

Me with Kendra 1

Center meeting to collect repayments on loans

First day in Bangalore I visited the Grameen-Koota head office, where I got a feel for the issues that they are facing with respect to upgrading and keeping financial records.  Second day was a visit to the field.  Grameen mostly deals with group loans, so their model is that each day a loan officer goes out to a center (kendra) to meet with 2 or 3 groups.  In urban areas, such as Bangalore, most center Continue reading