Cisco approached us to develop a vision for a web service hosted on the cloud, that would facilitate remote interactions between a diverse set of stake-holders in the education sector. The focus was on developing economies where broad-band penetration is on the rise and amongst the stake-holders were a dispersed group of students, teachers, content providers, universities, vocational training institutes and school administrators.
Our role was to design a system level framework which would lay out the different interactions that the product would facilitate between these stakeholders – the eventual aim being to make education more accessible to students in remote areas who are removed from mainstream education centers. This framework would become the basis of developing top level features of the web service in order for technology development to start.
User research was carried out in a small town in central India where a pilot program supported by Cisco was being run by student entrepreneurs. Ethnographic research was the key tool to understand user realities and bring that understanding to bear on product development. The system was designed to leverage social networks and user generated content over time.
Storyboards were developed to demonstrate possible journeys of the product in use. These scenarios covered the entire spectrum of short, medium and long term manifestations of the product.
The concept presentation played a crucial role in aligning different Cisco offices globally and mobilizing internal support across for product development to start. The project is currently in the technology development phase.
TAGGED AS: cloud computing, connected learning communities, education, open web, software as a service, user experience research