02/14 Spencer Moros

Blog #4


  1. *Based on your life experience, skills and interests, what would a design process that is both uniquely yours and effective look like? 

My design process is heavy in the area of empathy. By nature I care deeply about others and I find the most important step in the process is empathizing and truly understanding the struggle of those who I want to help. Too often a problem is said to be a problem for someone who really doesn’t see it as such. This leads to ineffective, unnecessary “solutions”. Additionally, approaching the process as such insights that make the remainder of the process much easier. Such an example of this is prototyping. In many cases, the prototype is made then brought to the end user and problems are identified and then the prototype is altered. By incorporating the stakeholder from the start much of these issues are mitigated.

  1. *Identify your three most important stakeholders and list five UNIQUE attributes for each one of them. 

Mothers→ low income, located in rural areas of Sierra Leone, price sensitivity goes up during the wet season, Religions: Islam and Christianity, low education level 

World Hope International→ Organization, Core Values: Transformation, Sustainability, Empowerment, and Collaboration, Christian, Motive: “To empower the poorest of the poor around the world so they can become agents of change within their communities.” (https://www.worldhope.org/about-us/), some staff members located in the U.S. and Makeni, Sierra Leone

The ordinary citizen of Sierra Leone: this is a key stakeholder because of the importance of mothers in the Sierra Leone household. Attributes include: dependence on the mother’s contribution to the household, personal interest/stake in the life of each mother, ability to encourage/support the mother throughout their pregnancy, influence on the mother’s mental well-being, and the motivation they may provide the mothers to seek better health when they think about how their health (the mother’s health) affects the whole family unit.


  1. *Identify three ways in which you will validate your project concept, technology, usability, and business model.

Validate Business Model→ Does it solve a real burning problem? Yes, Sierra Leone has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world.  A lot of women go untested for UTI and preeclampsia which can lead to birth complications. Competitive advantages over other ventures? Strong community connections on the ground, incredibly important for distributing and gaining trust from CHWs. How do they solve the problem now? Currently people in rural areas of Sierra Leone visit Community Health Posts (CHPs) to receive basic medical care, however they are normally not screened by any diagnostic test due to lack of resources.  

Validate Usability→ How does it compare to the user experience of alternative

Approaches? 9 parameter UTI test strip→ much more expensive, more complicated with 9 vs the 3 our strip has (color scheme harder to analyze). How easy/difficult is it for each stakeholder to interact with the product? CHWs are shown how to use it and read the results during training. Will people use your product? Already have UHWs purchasing and using the test strips.


4. Give three examples of something very interesting you learned from a friend that was a completely alien concept to          you.

1: Fraternities

  • Call people you barely know “brothers”
  • Unique power dynamic
  • Only common factor between all is that you are the part of the same organization
  • Pseudo-religious rituals


2: Halal Foods

  • Inability to eat certain foods due to the method of slaughter
  • Concept that restaurants designate themselves as Halal and consumers can only trust that it is true
  • Massive impact on day to day diet of many people


3: Video Games

  • Interact with people through voice and virtual characters without seeing them face to face
  • Relationships are more about the interactions of two characters with personalities than anything else
  • Sitting in front of computer for hours inside
  • Create new persona totally independent of any other aspect of life

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