Design and Innovation Daily

Design research at Nokia Open Studios

Posted in user research by Dan on December 22, 2009

Jan Chipchase, if you haven’t heard of him, is a researcher working for Nokia who travels around the world to learn how cell phones have changed the lifestyles and social patterns of people in different cultures. For an introduction to his surprising findings, watch his TED talk, and if that holds your interest, read the New York Times article about him, “Can the Cellphone Help End Global Poverty?”

While catching up on Chipchase’ blog, I found a slideshow and a paper about Nokia Open Studios, a project his team ran in 2007. As an alternative method for design research, Nokia conducted public design contests in three “shantytown” communities in Ghana, India, and Brazil. The project was an innovative way for Nokia to engage these communities as well as a fascinating strategy for discovering the wants and needs of such distant (both geographically and culturally distant) communities. This slideshow summarizes the project and also contains interesting lessons about design research. For more detail, see the paper.


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