Thursday, 9 April 2009

Connected communities week 7

Team working, can be a lot of fun and a good way to generate and move on ideas quickly, it can also cause the opposite to happen, a thick fog descends and you wander around trying to grab onto one coherent thread that will hopefully be spun and woven into something a bit more tangible. This can be a problem when there are a few team members as even though you are all working with the same brief in mind and have a similar endpoint or outcome ingrained into your thoughts, everyone thinks about things and tackles problems in different ways, we all have our own unique sets of 'methods' to get the job done, this can mean a lot of confusion and pushing and pulling to find a common ground or 'thinking space' between everyone. It is very difficult to work as one harmonious team, we each engage and become disenchanted by different points along the way so the challenge is to help each other through and each of us working to our strengths.
This connected communities project has been a real challenge, I think for the most part for me because it is not a real pitch we are making. While the call for projects under this umbrella title of connected communities exists, what we are creating does not so I have found it difficult to keep focused and to foresee exact expenditure over the three year project. Probably in the most part due to the subject matter, while I find it to be a very engaging and worthwhile piece of research I have found it hard to see where I might position myself within the team of researchers. While this (for the purpose of the assignment) doesn't seem to be a big issue, to me it is. I have no real expertise within the medical or psychological fields, I wouldn't even say I have particularly strong ethnographic skills, so what can I bring? I have learned that it is my design thinking and my process that are important and useful to projects not the little shiny,polished pieces of perfection I might produce. In this sense I feel that I have the potential to be very useful in this type of research as it might not be the first place you would expect to find a designer. Still the dilemma continues of costing... what do things cost? On researching costings of simple websites it seems are not so simple, you have to pay a web designer to actually design it, costs depends on the number of pages and features, you need to register and pay for a domain name, then pay the hosting fees, considerations of how it will be updated, who will update it are all thrown into the mix... perhaps having a blog integrated into it is the easiest and most accessible way of doing this...? Over all costs of a seemingly simple website... around £1000.

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