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Open for the 99%: Designing Inclusive Products + Communities

Open for the 99%: Designing Inclusive Products + Communities

To get the full slide deck with worksheet + exercises via email, subscribe: http://eepurl.com/cbyywX

## Introduction:

* I’m Vanessa. Welcome to “Open for the 99%”
* which is a series of design principles I’ve developed through fieldwork in open communities over 10 years.
* We’re going to talk about best practices for products and platforms that rely on communities
* Especially in a global context—we’re going to look into how to design for open in underrepresented areas

This is a workshop and there’s a lot of brain power in this room and we’re going to do our best to stitch it together & harvest out experiences.
If you didn’t grab a worksheet, you should, the flow of this is we’ll go through a design principle, then apply it to our communities, then share it out.
You’ll come away with a design framework so you can build stronger products and services.

## Open’s promise and the reality

The landscape: the promise of open source
* Think if you’re in this room you were also excited about the potential of open culture,
* which really seemed to gather steam around 2005-2008, with open poised to infect almost every sector
* with the promise of increased access, decreasing cost and lowering the barrier to entry (that’s how I’d define open culture)
* Vanessa was a believer, these are all orgs that I worked with personally, from content to legal to code

The reality:
* But almost 10 years later, we’re not there yet.
* The reality has not matched the potential.
* As open matures, we’re seeing some patterns that open hasn’t had the impact we’d hoped in locations like Africa, South America and Central and W. Asia
* Examples: Wikipedia = people who are building our global knowledge base are still from privileged places, and we’re missing voices
* And the case is similar with GitHub contributions. And while GitHub is is a different kind of organization, dedicated to commercial interest, the geographical outlay of contributions is similar.
* And the GitHub data is troubling because it means the people who make the software and the people who use the software are really divided
* I’m haunted by the statistic I’ve come across that 1% of the GitHub contributions are made by the continent of Africa, full stop.

Upon reflecting on these data I’ve concluded that there’s a big gap between how open culture talks about itself and what matters to the non-western world

and inclusion has something to do with narrowing that gap

Inclusion
* I want to talk about inclusion from the point of view of business logic: designing for inclusion gets you more customers.
* Inclusion very well may be the key to sustainability for your organization.
* Think about it this way: 50 years from now, 100 years from now—
* who needs to be using your thing in order for it to continue to exist?
* It’s probably customers that aren’t served by your organization right now

## Wide-minded design-framework: a path for growth

A lot of people talk about design and they mean pixels, or they mean post its—when I talk about design I want knowledge to spread.

This is a 5-part pathway to reflect on how you think about growth so you don’t get stuck in the a rut of tunnel vision, or narrow thinking

+ your mission can live on past your contributions.

## Principle 1: Plan for hacks.

What do we mean by hacks?
* Hacks are something we’re all familiar with.
* They’re what we make with paperclips and duct tape and zero time. (a wedge under a table to keep it from wobbling, or my air conditioner teetering precariously out my window).
* In a way design—sleek stuff like apple--has always been for the privileged few—it requires premium resources.
* Hacks are making it work with what you got.
* Trademarks of hacks are that they are fast, cheap and not designed to last very long
* Here’s how that plays out in terms of design:

Hacks are a valuable design principe:
* Flexibility: Chinese characters written on background—these are menu items at a coffee shop of tea and cakes, not because they menu items change, but because the currency fluctuates so frequently
* Speed: Nigeria Danfo buses informal taxi buses without doors, which works for them because those things barely slow down for people to get on and off.

When you’re in the field, look for hacks—they show you what you should be designing for, and for that reason, they lead to incremental improvements and new products.

Example: weather and scooters.

Taking that hacks are a valid path to growth in the non-western world….how can your product create more value by being taken apart and put together again?

* Remixable templates like Bootstrap—something everyone can tangibly build on
* Scratch: color-in coloring contests, a way to increase engagement

## Principle 2: Be Urgent.

What’s something that’s urgent?
* Urgent care to fight illness
* Avoiding authoritarian regimes
* Urgency spurs a call to action from potential community members—it gives them a reason to get involved and a timeframe to get involved.

Now, successful for open platforms and tools speak to an urgent need:
* they focus on fixing what hurts, often using terms that speak to saving time, safety and security
* urgency is a way to speak to something that hurts right now

Here are a few examples of open tools that frame a discrete and urgent need:
* Lantern, which is funded by Open Tech Fund and the State Department, helps folks in blocked countries get access to the web. But see it’s not vague—it’s fast, secure, and easy.
* Ushahadi: speaks to urgency of events and real-time data for citizen journalism (nota bene: made in Kenya by Kenyan residents, which is another dimension of power)

Fixes the hurt of being in the dark and not having information
* Wikipedia: speaks to time saved (don’t actually think this is from Wikipedia)

I want to contrast this against a lot of open cultures’s messages
* which are very fuzzy, and I mean that in terms of not seeing the discrete need
* and appeals to some abstract notion of “feeling good”
* Open does not exist to feel good—it makes things cheaper and so you can have them, yourself
* Feeling good is an outcome of contributing, but it’s not the reason why it exists to an end user

Hearts and flowers are poison for your messaging:
* While I love Lisa Frank, they hearts and rainbows don’t need fixing.
* They aren’t a spur to action, it’s messaging that really does not land with time-strapped users.
* That’s the case when you look at the big open source players
* I have no idea what problem they are solving—let’s take a look

Here are two organizations I have personally built hearts and flowers mesaging for:
* Example: Mozilla and Creative Commons—what is the benefit of their benefit?
* It’s free software and free content that makes your life faster and cheaper…SAY THAT!!!
* Example: Blockchain—especially in West Africa, it’s less compelling because it needs to work yesterday.

## Principle 3: Let’s get to uptake and adoption—Sharing DNA

* What do I mean by “who shares?”
* What I’m talking about is an assumption that’s embedded in nearly every aspect of open culture:
* that sharing is a universal good, and it’s basically the fuel that makes the whole engine of the ecosystem work

Examples of that assumption in practice:
* In order to participate in the meritocracy (which lordy lord has it’s own problems) you need to share your idea with others.
* In order to beta test with users, you have to share an unfinished idea with other people
* Lastly if you an online course, you’ve got to share openly to get the credential

These are a few examples, that, to an end-user, seem like you have to share in order to participate.

In regions without a tradition of decades of intellectual property protection
sharing is not in the DNA.
Sharing is risky.

I should say I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY
* but this map is from some patent attorneys
* it shows patent enforcement world wide
* so you can see why people would be really protective of their work,
* there’s very little IP protection for them to be able to profit from their own work
* http://www.fpapatents.com/resource?id=457

Risk of stealing:
* I learned this lesson when I was giving a talk about community design in IDEA and got interrupted when I was talking about beta testing. A woman informed me that “That was not Nigerian.”
* the solution there was actually working in what I’m calling "practice rounds" —>
* But when I watched a design session with the BBC at CC-Hub,
* the design groups did a rough draft of an exercise—and the prompt was the same for everyone, so no one felt like they were sharing out original work

Another way to think about growth is to spot where and how ideas are spreading already
* In Shenzen, which is one of China’s economic growth areas
* IP takes a backseat to speed of production, speed to market
* So people share their specs, their STL files, because
* The effort and profit is in the execution of the idea, versus it’s potential

## Principle 4: Deeper thinking about scale, and strategy for scale: Nodes before networks

Next we’re going to do some deeper thinking about growth and strategies for scale
* this is important because a lot of what we build is plumbing
* networks, infrastructure, platforms with two-sided markets
* where product language and product approaches are only going to get you so far…

And this is important because, and as idealists we love network effects! We love a Ted talk that’s like
* “imagine a world where knowledge spreads like air”
* “imagine a world where we can teleport over 5 frequencies”
* “imagine a world where a car costs 50 cents a day"

But for network folks,
* (specifically financial network folks, any blockchain lubbers who might be in the room)
* a good portion of those projects need scale in order to be effective.
* But you have to have an existing network to have a network effect.
* networks are made of individual nodes, which you build one at a time
* So before you’re a whole fleet of network effects taking over universes,
* your stuff needs to work at a small scale.

Here are a few strategies from the realm of platform marketing that can help us as we think through this kind of strategy and design...

* Tools for one side of a market first. Opentable developed scheduling tools for restaurants first to get a critical mass, then opened up the other side of the market and end-users by that time had a ton of restaurants already on the platform to choose from.
* Good way of thinking about making the first unit of success smaller
* Follow the rabbit.
* In this case, we are the rabbit, and members will follow us as we build and release items that bring more activity on the platform,
* until we’re basically obsessed with the platform that they’ll never leave.
* Amazon is a pretty good example here of tools that build up trust so users adopt the platform later.

The message here is to think about how you want to assemble your nodes, build up your fleet of individuals before you can weave them into a network.

## Principle 5 which leads us to our last principle, which will help us be forward-thinking in the design of our communities: remove one premise or assumption

What do I mean by assumption?
* I’d say for several community iniatives—clearing government regulation might be an assumption,
* or key partnerships
* Or that your offering has appeal, which it might not

Why remove one premise or assumption?
* Because reflecting on what’s assumed in your future
* will help you be flexibile and consider alternative options

A great example is a pretty famous on in the US:
* In the 40s during WWII planes kept crashing, like 17 a day
* In 1926 when the cockpits of the planes were designed they were for the average piloit—measurements of hundreds of pilots, average height, arm reach etc
* And when the airforce re-measured pilots in the 50s, zero of them were average.

1 single assumption, really crappy outcomes.
You question your assumptions to prevent catastrophe.

Now as a way to stitch together the nodes of our network,
I’m going to ask people to turn to their neighbors, say hi, share what your community or product is,
and one insight from the framework

5 minutes:
* all right, let’s share out
* let’s do 5-6 who is your community or product and what design principle did you think about?

To conclude:
* This approach ties directly to the future of your organization—inclusion and wide-mindedness as a way to keep the lights on
* Also because we want to build things that outlast us, that continue the mission to build the world we want—and band-aids and narrow-mindedness don’t work towards sustained change
* In closing I encourage you to be wide-minded, and to contact me with any follow up ideas or questions

@mozzadrella

May 08, 2017
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Transcript

  1. OPEN FOR
    THE 99%
    Vanessa Gennarelli

    @mozzadrella

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  2. OPEN ALL THE
    SECTORS!
    - circa 2005

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  3. CODE / KNOWLEDGE /
    SCIENCE / EDUCATION /
    MONEY / LAW

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  4. http://
    www.markgraham.sp
    ace/blog/where-do-
    wikipedia-edits-
    come-from

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  5. * Oxford Internet
    Institute

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  6. HOW OPEN
    CULTURE TALKS
    ABOUT ITSELF
    WHAT
    STICKS
    RELEVANCE
    GAP

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  7. HOW OPEN
    CULTURE TALKS
    ABOUT ITSELF
    WHAT
    STICKS
    INCLUSION

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  8. PLAN
    FOR
    HACKS
    BE
    URGENT
    DNA OF
    SHARING
    NODES
    BEFORE
    NETWORKS
    REMOVE
    ONE
    PREMISE
    THE
    WIDE-MINDED
    DESIGN
    FRAMEWORK

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  9. PLAN
    FOR
    HACKS

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  10. DESIGN IS A
    PRIVILEGE
    HACKS ARE
    THE REALITY

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  11. FLEXIBILITY

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  12. SPEED

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  13. WORKAROUNDS >
    IMPROVEMENTS >
    NEW PRODUCTS

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  14. WORKAROUNDS

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  15. NEW PRODUCTS

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  16. HOW CAN
    YOUR PRODUCT
    CREATE MORE VALUE

    WHEN IT’S TAKEN
    APART?

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  19. PLAN
    FOR
    HACKS
    PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
    • HACKS DRIVE GROWTH
    • DELIVER SHORT-TERM
    FIXES
    • CREATE MORE VALUE IN
    PIECES
    EXERCISE 1:
    HOW CAN YOUR PRODUCT
    CREATE MORE VALUE
    WHEN IT’S TAKEN APART?

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  20. H
    BE
    URGENT
    S

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  21. URGENCY
    SPURS
    ACTION

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  22. USE WORDS
    THAT FIX
    WHAT HURTS

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  23. FASTER
    CHEAPER
    MORE SECURE

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  24. View Slide

  25. View Slide

  26. View Slide

  27. OPEN DOES
    NOT EXIST TO
    *FEEL GOOD*

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  28. I CALL THESE
    MESSAGES
    HEARTS &
    FLOWERS.

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  29. THEY ARE
    POISON.

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  30. View Slide

  31. View Slide

  32. H
    BE
    URGENT
    S
    EXERCISE 2:
    WHAT IS THE URGENT
    PROBLEM YOUR
    ORGANIZATION FIXES
    (RIGHT NOW, TODAY?)
    MESSAGING
    • USE WORDS THAT FIX
    WHAT HURTS.
    • IF YOU’RE STUCK, TRY
    FASTER, CHEAPER, MORE
    SECURE TO START.

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  33. DNA OF
    SHARING

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  34. IN OPEN,
    SHARING IS FUEL

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  35. MERITOCRACY:
    SHARE TO WIN

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  36. BETA TEST:
    SHARE TO
    ITERATE

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  37. LEARNING:
    SHARE TO GET
    CREDENTIALS

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  38. BUT
    SHARING
    IS RISKY

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  40. View Slide

  41. PRACTICE
    IS LOW-RISK

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  42. SPOT SHARING
    PATTERNS

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  43. View Slide

  44. SHARING
    DNA
    EXERCISE 3:
    HOW CAN A USER
    “PRACTICE” IN A PRIVATE
    SPACE IN YOUR
    COMMUNITY BEFORE THEY
    PARTICIPATE FULLY?
    WHERE ARE PEOPLE
    ALREADY SHARING?
    GROWTH
    * FOR REGIONS WITHOUT A
    STRONG INTELLECTUAL
    PROPERTY TRADITION,
    CONSIDER LOW-RISK
    PRACTICES
    * LOOK FOR PLACES AND
    PATTERNS WHERE
    PEOPLE ALREADY SHARE

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  45. NODES
    BEFORE
    NETWORKS

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  46. DREAMERS
    LOVE NETWORK
    EFFECTS

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  47. BUT YOU NEED
    A NETWORK
    IN ORDER TO HAVE
    A NETWORK EFFECT

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  48. HOW WILL
    YOU BUILD
    EACH NODE?

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  49. TOOLS FOR ONE
    SIDE OF A MARKET

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  50. FOLLOW THE
    RABBIT STRATEGY
    SMALL FIRST
    PRODUCT
    LARGER
    PLATFORM
    OFFERING
    USER TRUST
    Platform Revolution: How
    Networked Markets Are
    Transforming the Economy--
    And How to Make Them Work
    for You

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  51. NODES
    BEFORE
    NETWORKS
    EXERCISE 4:
    • WHAT IS THE SMALLEST
    DISCRETE UNIT OF
    SUCCESS YOUR PRODUCT
    CAN EXPERIENCE?
    • HOW CAN THAT BE
    REPLICATED TO UNLOCK
    FUTURE SUCCESS?
    STRATEGIES FOR SCALE
    * ASSEMBLE YOUR NODES
    & BUILD UP YOUR FLEET
    BEFORE WEAVING YOUR
    NETWORK.
    * THINK ABOUT BUILDING
    SMALLER TOOLS OR
    PRODUCTS FOR
    SMALLER FIRST WINS.

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  52. REMOVE
    ONE
    PREMISE

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  53. UNCOVER
    YOUR
    ASSUMPTIONS

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  54. View Slide

  55. PREMISE:
    DESIGN
    FOR THE
    AVERAGE
    PILOT

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  56. OF 4,000 PILOTS
    ZERO WERE
    AVERGAGE

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  57. REMOVE
    ONE
    PREMISE EXERCISE 5:
    • WHAT IS ONE
    ASSUMPTION YOUR
    COMMUNITY WOULD
    RELY UPON TO
    SUCCEED?
    • HOW WOULD YOU ACT IF
    THAT ASSUMPTION WAS
    NO LONGER A
    POSSIBILITY?
    REFLECT FOR THE FUTURE
    * REFLECTING ON
    ASSUMPTIONS HELPS
    YOU FUTURE-PROOF
    YOUR DESIGN.
    * IT’S WORTH IDENTIFYING
    YOUR ASSUMPTIONS TO
    PREVENT BADNESS.

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  58. PLAN
    FOR
    HACKS
    BE
    URGENT
    WHO
    SHARES
    NODES
    BEFORE
    NETWORKS
    REMOVE
    ONE
    PREMISE
    LET’S PRACTICE

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  59. WIDE-MINDED
    DESIGN:
    FOR SUSTAINABILITY

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  60. LET’S BUILD
    CATHEDRALS,
    NOT BAND-AIDS

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  61. BE WIDE-
    MINDED.
    Vanessa Gennarelli

    Instructional Designer

    [email protected]

    @mozzadrella

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  62. BE WIDE MINDED

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