Spring 2012, M, W 3:15-5:15 Bldg 550-Studio 2 (                      

This course will focus on innovative uses of mobile phones to improve health, human services, and economic development in Nairobi’s informal settlements. Interdisciplinary student teams will work on projects with three partner organizations—Umande Trust, Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA), and Karura Youth Sports Association (KYSA)—and in collaboration with colleagues (faculty and students) in computer science at the University of Nairobi.

Required Texts:

IDEO Human-Centered Design Toolkit: read this all as soon as possible. It will provide a general overview of the steps in the design process. 

Other readings will either be on the course website or easily accessible through the Stanford library (e-journals).

We have concentrated the required reading in the first few weeks of the course so that you will be able give your attention to your projects for the bulk of the course.

March 25-31: Needfinding – Spring Break trip to Nairobi, Kenya 

Monday Wednesday Wed-Mon

April 2: Design thinking and the

  • Staff introductions
  • Course introduction and plans
  • Introductory design exercise
  • Introduction to the being a good d.citizen


April 4: Course introduction

  • Student introductions
  • Traveler’ reports
  • Description of University of Nairobi colleagues and their activities
  • Form teams based on interests/diversity

EVENING - First meeting with Coaches



April 9: About Nairobi/Kenya

  • Discuss readings about Kenya, Nairobi, Kibera, Mathare, etc.
  • Students from previous projects discuss their projects and the experience of moving the project forward
  • M-Maji




April 11: m4d and deepening understanding of user data

  • Discussion of assigned readings
  • Synthesis session: working with user data: teams present to other teams some of the issues they are starting to see in the materials prepared by the travelers




Saturday, April 14: All-day design workshop, with focus on needfinding

April 16: technology and development

  • Debrief of Saturday workshop
  • Ethical issues in development projects
  • Discussion of readings : teams will pick a project from the readings and explain why they find it especially interesting and relevant



April 18: synthesis, point-of-view

  • In-class work on team project materials to construct a point-of-view
  • Ideation presentation and discussion


  • Work on POV



April 23: POV presentation (stage 1 deliverables)

  • Present POV statement (see the document on deliverables) to teaching team and other students
  • Revise and develop POV


April 25: Prototyping/Testing

  • Prototyping and testing presentation/discussion
  • Team process


  • Plan first prototype



April 30: Prototype presentation 1

  • Present, discuss, iterate prototypes (which also means: clarifying POV)




Wednesday May 2: viability

  • Overview of general viability issues
  • Peer feedback: why-it-did-not-work exercise


  • Exercise/discussion on viability of projects



May 7: presentations (Stage 2 deliverables)

  • Project teams will present drafts of their five-slide powerpoints and initial prototypes in preparation for presentation to Nairobi partners at times to be arranged by the team on Tues or Wed (see document on deliverables).

May 9: testing

  • Team reports on presentations to partners
  • Team presentations of testing plans




Monday May 14: coaching/critiquing 

  • Work with teams on prototyping and testing: coaches in class
  • Other material on as-needed basis


May 16: Stage 3 presentations with external advisors

  • Present stage 3 deliverables to external advisor


  • Social with external advisors


May 21: coaching and revision

May 23: critiquing and working session on final prototype

  • Show and discuss final prototype


  • Coaching time


May 28 – no class, Memorial Day

May 30: Dry run

  • Dry run presentations
  • Arrangements for partner presentations


  • Coaching on presentations


Monday June 4: [including time other than class]: Individual team partner presentations

  • To be scheduled and arrangements made with partners and other potential reviewers

Tuesday evening June 5, 7-9pm: showcase

  • Evening presentations for class, guests, and public


Wednesday June 6: reflections and next steps

  • Reflection on the course
  • Getting started with continuation plans


After June 6

Schedule as desired individual team meetings for comments on projects