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Ushahidi's First Design Jam

Where: Seattle (USA) and Nairobi (Kenya)

When: July 10, 2012  6 - 9pm PDT and EAT

Attending: Brandon Rosage, Heather Leson, Jepchumba Thomas, Linda Kamau and team




Collaboration notes for the day of the event

The Jam:

How can we reduce the abstraction between administrative functions (for deployers) and public user functions (like reading reports and filtering by category)?

Challenge: Create wireframe or mockup of a Ushahidi or Crowdmap deployment that provides the necessary functionality to users on large- and small-screen devices with minimal abstraction between administrative and public functions.

Many of the most popular services on the web offer powerful content management and customization tools that remain intuitive to both experienced and first-time users. 

How are they able to pack so much utility into a user interface that anyone can use?

One striking design approach in services like Facebook, Twitter and GitHub is to minimize the abstraction between the display of content and the tools for managing it. While the Ushahidi platform separates the display of public content and administrators’ tools into two different user interfaces, Facebook has almost entirely merged the two.

Facebook user interface

A Facebook user can open a publicly-viewable web page and, with the appropriate privileges, edit its contents without having to leave the page. Their mode and interface hardly changes.

Ushahidi user interface

To edit a publicly-viewable page powered by the Ushahidi platform today, users must open a new browser window, navigate to an entirely different web page and interface, and understand how the content in the “control panel” view maps to that in the public view.

To make Ushahidi accessible to more people, and more intuitive to those who use it today, it’s imperative that its community explore modern design approaches to the way people interact with it.