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As Myanmar Opens Up, Will Mobile Money Emerge?

Blog  frogs on the road

Who Knew a Meatball Could Determine Your Destiny?

Prio is a meatball seller in Ciherang, and this morning he invited us in to sit down and chat. His day typically starts at 3:30am when he wakes up. From 4:00am to 6:00am, Prio goes to the market to buy ingredients, returns home, and makes meatballs until 9:30am. From 9:30am to 10:00am he takes a rest. The the real work begins from 10:00am to 10:00pm when Prio sells his product. All of this hard work nets him about 100,000 rupiah a day - or roughly $10. He knows which days he makes more money (Saturdays and Mondays), but he has no idea why.

Blog  frogs on the road

frog in Indonesia: Looking for the Financial Equivalent of a Motorbike

Our first experience in Jakarta consisted of walking through mud and over broken stones to get to a client meeting. The streets, congested because of severe traffic, meant taking a taxi the 3.6 km would have taken too much time. So, off we went, negotiating the heat in our business attire.

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Connecting With Users: A Design Research Primer for Healthcare

The more I work with early state healthcare companies, the more I hear that user experience is a big concern for CEOs. Patients and providers are now, more than ever, driving the decision for which products get purchased and how they get used. Much of this choice is based on whether or not the product is usable and fits within their workflow and needs. Reaching out to users and gaining insights on how they work and what they respond to is the underpinning of good user experience and key in shaping product decisions.

In this post, I provide an overview of design research and focus on some areas to help early stage healthcare technology companies plan and execute research to  gain insights from connecting with users.

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Facebook in Cairo: Not What You Thought


Social media amulets in Cairo

Aboard this Air Egypt flight from Cairo to Munich, I am grateful for five hours in limbo before being deposited back into Western life. After a week on the ground in Cairo with Jan Chipchase and other colleagues from frog design, I have a sharpened understanding of how little I know about this region. Anyone who has spent time talking to people on both sides of "the line" in Egypt is struck by the monumental gap between those found in the poor, illiterate corners of the city and the fountain-ringed office parks filled with the savvy Egyptian businessmen educated in the best schools the West has to offer. Our research traversed much of this continuum. While we were not in the poorest of poor areas (meaning, communities living in and mining garbage dumps), our interviewees ranged from the latte-sipping, shisha-smoking students wearing designer clothing to the tea peddlers in dusty, goat-filled alleys. When I asked, with the assistance of my translator, if they used Facebook, faces lit with a smile and a nod—even in the goat-inhabited corners.

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Notes from the Field: Mobile Money in Afghanistan

In the summer of 2010, frog's Executive Creative Director for Global Insights Jan Chipchase conducted field research in Afghanistan with generous support from the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion. He worked with his research partner Panthea Lee and a nimble local team to investigate how people use cell phones to do their banking—known in the industry as mobile money.

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TEDx Kumaun: A Design Researcher's Point of View

On December 12 & 13 I joined a group of 10 speakers and 40 participants for the TEDx Kumaun conference. We met in a remote Himalayan village to discuss and share knowledge on the major social issues facing India today. The event was organized by CHIRAG (Central Himalayan Rural Action Group) and hosted at the Himalayan Village Sonapani. For a foreigner trying to absorb as much as I can about India, it was a crash course in politics and social programs. The conference focused on the tension between India's economic growth and the enormity of its problems relating to poverty, poor healthcare, low quality education, lack of food, pollution and rampant corruption.

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Mobile Mandate: Tribute to Cultural Connectors

Our team of designers on the ground in Zambia discover that meaningful connections and conversations can be as valuable as days of field work.

Given all the broken-down infrastructure, dirt roads, unmarked streets, potholes the size of small swimming pools and other hindrances to getting around in Zambia, our trip was pretty cushy when it comes to transportation. There are three ways to get around in rural Zambia, and 99.9% of people are on foot or on a bike. For longer distances, a handful of people brave a rather hodgepodge bus system. A few people - very few - have a car. 

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Mobile Mandate: UNICEF and frog, Together at Last

Today we’re excited to announce our collaboration with UNICEF as the organization’s lead design and innovation partner on Project Mwana, a major mHealth initiative to improve maternal and infant health and welfare in peri-urban Malawi and rural Zambia.

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Design Angels

The château in the wooded, castle-dotted countryside north of Paris is owned by Cap Gemini. The event is the i7 Summit, calling together experts and influencers in technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, and society ‘on the dawn of open innovation and in the aftermath of the greatest economic rethink since the Great Depression’.

With a 40 year history embedded in innovation, frog attended. Not just to inspire and be inspired, but also as the facilitators of business ideation sessions leveraging our frogTHINK method. The breadth of the topics and diversity of participants meant that these sessions served as a sort of mental yoga, stretching us in unaccustomed ways. Instead of our usual one to two day frogTHINK sessions, these were power burst one-hour sessions - meaning the results were high-level and in need of deep refinement. Yet the discussions were lively and bright minds bounced ideas.