In April 2012, Groupshot delivered two open research and design workshops for members of Nairobi’s iHub community in partnership with Kiva, the online micro-lending portal. Participants in the workshops included coders, entrepreneurs and business owners, and team members from iHub and iHub research. In both sessions the goal was to talk about projects, ideas, and technology at the conceptual level.
Participants explored how context and research lead to innovation and more useful platforms and tools. They were introduced to context-oriented research and design methods through the real challenges Kiva is looking to overcome. Many of the ideas developed were based on interviews with people in the marketplace and past Kiva users.
Participants could see the value in doing research and in asking surprising questions to get new ideas. Their biggest takeaway was understanding the need to get outside of the lab and talk to people, and to start with context, rather than technology.