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Designing for crisis – Research in emergency services and international disaster relief aid

Eriol Fox

Product & UX Designer at Ushahidi

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Ushahidi designers have been investigating what makes communities strong, resilient and what empowers them to feel like they are an integral and valued part of a whole.

Building on a research led hypothesis, that more communicative and integrated communities fair better and recover faster when disasters like hurricanes, floods and terrorist attacks hit, we are building upon this statement from users: “We want to help people in a crisis and be helped back from our own”

Now the Ushahidi product design team are finding a way to foster connections between people to help each other in little ways using technology and innovative processes like Machine learning, automatic systems and digital social trust, then we believe that we can create more of these resilient communities world wide.

We’ll cover our recent in-depth field study in Nairobi communities and our wider community research worldwide.

We’ll be talking about the unique and specific challenges when designing for, and conducting research in disaster affected communities around the world, how we plan and perform research and testing and how we approach building products that aim to solve deep human problems such as: How can you trust your local community to support you in your time of need and what building a product for that exchange is like.

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