Any design process that is effective and uniquely mine would have influence from my life experiences, skills, and interests. Personally, I am both a kinesthetic and a social learner. This means that I learn most effectively by physically doing things and also working in a group setting. This means that an effective design process would incorporate going and physically doing things as well as collaboration with any team members. I personally enjoy working and brainstorming using white boards, and that is a good way to stand up and write or draw that can be done as an individual or collaboratively with a group. Any design process of mine would also be continual, in the sense that I would always be thinking about it to some extent. I have a hyperactive mind and often jump from topic to topic, so it would be useful to be ready to jot down any ideas or questions whenever they come into my mind. An effective design process for myself should also have built in checks for accountability. It is easy to say you want to get something done, but it much more likely to actually happen if you set a time and place to do it. It is also more likely to get done if there is some way built into the design process to ensure that tasks are completed, or at least attempted. Although in a perfect world everyone would just do what they are supposed to, it is sometimes necessary (particularly for myself) for there to be deadlines or other methods to ensure accountability.
I will validate my project concept throughout this semester by presenting it to others. Not only will I be able to show what my team and I have completed, but I will validate the project concept through fielding questions. The project concept is validated as well to some extent due to the 2014-2016 ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. During the outbreak, there was a large attempt to gather information. However, this system was significantly flawed as it was not centralized and not fully fledged until the end of 2015. The fact that there is a database of information on ebola virus because of data collected during the old outbreak is proof of the validity of my project concept, although the means and methods of my team’s are slightly different. The project will probably not use technology as technology is not common throughout Sierra Leone, and for my project to be successful the survey should be widely distributed. The usability of my project will be validated during the fieldwork in Sierra Leone and beyond that. The goal is to collect data for a year beginning at the start of the fieldwork. Lastly, the operational model will also be validated when we are in Sierra Leone and into next Fall, but the model will be tested throughout the semester while the project is presented and subsequently critiqued.
My philosophy on engagement with communities, partners, and markets is fairly straightforward. I think engaging with different communities Sierra Leone is going to be critical for this project. Not only are we going to need to interact with communities to administer and distribute the survey, but we will be interacting with communities and partners to get feedback on the survey itself and the administration process. Interactions with communities and partners will be mutually beneficial as almost every single person in Sierra Leone was affected by the ebola virus outbreak in 2014, and one goal of our project is to shape preventative policies in terms of disease spreading. It is also may prove to be important to interact with markets in order to distribute this survey as widely as possible, depending on if there is an opportunity there. Overall, engaging with communities, partners, and markets is beneficial for projects, particularly when the community is more knowledgeable about the topic or location which is certainly true with my project. However, it is important to maintain some minimal amount of control over the project as to maintain ownership of your work.