John Ellison

Day 67: UX Club Special—Metadesign with John Willshire

8 min read

john willshire introducing metadesign to clearleft

On Day 67 we kicked off our day with a really fun UX Club Special on Metadesign. John Willshire and Fraser Hamilton from Smithery were kind enough to join us and bring some insightful perspective to the conversation.

The idea for the UX Club Special on Metadesign sprouted when I wrote about John's 'Popular Thing for Broken Thing Workshop' on Day 43 of my 90 Day journey working at Clearleft.

John Willshire and I exchanged thoughts about Metadesign after I wrote the article, and we thought it would be valuable to set up a chat here at Clearleft to talk further and invite others into the conversation.

The Provocation

A few days before our chat, John Willshire sent a few seeds to spark the conversation around Metadesign. He suggested watching John Wood talks for a bit of context:

John also posed a question to get us thinking about Metadesign in relationship to what we're doing now:

Perhaps we do it anyway, but without thinking about it?

The Conversation

We started off with a little context to introduce the discussion to the group and I asked John Willshire if he wanted to add any additional information to set the stage of our conversation. I like the way John talks in front of groups, he always has a tone of mystery and intrigue in his voice. It's not as if he already knows the answer to the question, it's that he's truly curious and his tone conveys the curiosity more than words could do alone.

We decided to split into two different groups and employ the Lean Coffee format of discussion. If you've never done Lean Coffee discussions before, they're really easy and loads of fun.

Here's how it works:

  1. Each person grabs a stack of sticky notes and a sharpie.
  2. In clear letters they write any question, topic, or argument that comes to mind.
  3. Once everyone has finished writing, someone introduces a sticky note and explains why they wrote it.
  4. As the rest of the group introduces what they've written, the facilitator begins to organize them into categories.
  5. The facilitator may choose to label the categories if it is necessary, but otherwise the group then has a chance to vote on which topics they want to talk about most.
  6. The topics with the most votes are discussed first. Equal amounts of time are allotted to each topic.

Groups & Topics

In our group, I had the fortune of discussing Metadesign with Fraser Hamilton, Anna Allan, Rich Rutter, Chris Green and Andy Thornton.

The first topic we discussed was an obvious one: "What is Metadesign?", we ended up smashing it together with the next question of "What are examples of Metadesign & what can we learn from them?" in order to aid in our definition of the term.

What is Metadesign?

what is metadesign? what are examples of metadesign?

Most of us had seen John Willshire's talk at dConstruct 2015 and were somewhat familiar with the term metadesign, but even still, the concept seemed elusive and our understanding seemed transient.

But even with a lack of clarity, within a few minutes of starting the conversation we quickly had a few working definitions of Metadesign:

  • Metadesign is the context, environment and process by which design is performed.
  • If design is concerned with answering "what" then Metadesign is concerned with answering "how?".

Rich raised a few valid questions about whether or not designing a workshop is metadesign. Maybe we've been doing metadesign all along we just haven't been calling it anything or paying as much attention to it. This was a very relevant point and I think Rich also touched on the blurred boundaries between where design ends and metadesign begins.

When we talked more and more about the concept and tried to create logical boundaries, the more complex the discussion became.

Fraser asked "If metadesign is this difficult for us to articulate, then how can we expect to articulate its value to others? We have to keep it simple in order for it to make sense."

We carried on to talking about specific examples of Metadesign to provide clarification.

What are examples of Metadesign & what can we learn from them?

I started us off by introducing John Willshire's "Popular Thing for Broken Thing" workshop as a perfect example of Metadesign. The Metadesign problem is "How do we iteratively generate startup concepts in a collaborative design workshop?". The structure of John's workshop is the solution. The outcomes of the workshop is that every participant leaves with a strong understanding of one startup concept that they found and refined throughout the workshop's activities.

Andy T raised John Willshire's Relativity Matrix as an example of Metadesign and we talked through a few other examples and examined them from the perspective of the definitions we'd discussed in the first topic.

Musical Color

During John Willshire's talk at dConstruct, I thought of a project I worked on a few years back called Musical Color. It was a personal project aimed at creating a deeper understanding of music theory, sight reading, and the relationships between emotion and musical composition.

I introduced an output from my project called the Musical Color Wheel. The wheel demonstrates the relationship between every scale in Western music by intervals of fifths. I began creating associations between a specific color and specific notes in order to reduce the cognitive load of reading sheet music, but in this wheel it also allows the mind to see patterns of colors instead of letters and symbols.

musical color wheel

Even for someone who does not understand music theory at all, a person can glance at this diagram and begin to make deductions and even conclusions about music theory and the relationship between scales. If you gave someone a piano with a colored keyboard and music sheet, this wheel might instigate some interesting and otherwise unexplored combinations.

musical color keyboard

musical color score 1 bar song sheet moonlight sonata

Offloading Complexity

There are some really interesting patterns that arise when you redistribute the cognitive load of a system onto a simple visual tool. It allows you to step back from the system's complexity and allow your mind to create patterns and relationships naturally.

There is something profound about creating simple visual tools to offload complexity and allow creativity to reign freely. We often force ourselves to think within our heads instead of thinking visually or thinking out loud. Maybe 'thinking visually' is an important principle for us to consider as we further explore the domain of Metadesign.

Why Metadesign? What problems does it solve?

In our next topic, we discussed how Metadesign could be applied to the problems that we experience as designers in a design agency. From culture change, upskilling, workshops to creating shared understanding—we all agreed that Metadesign has loads of different potential applications. What we weren't so sure about was how to approach these problems with Metadesign. There is no rulebook for Metadesign, and no one seems to know exactly how it works, so it was a fascinating discussion talking around a largely undefined topic.

How does this change what we currently do?

This conversation brought references to several of the projects that Clearleft had worked on recently. It seemed important to spend more conscious effort thinking about how we interact with our clients, how we communicate and execute our process. The idea of a 'Metadesign' role came into conversation. Ultimately we were wondering "Is this something that has explicit value? Can we sell this? Does it need to be called Metadesign?"

Its been great to see conversations crossing over from project to project. Patterns emerging out of seeming chaos and randomness has always been one of my favorite parts of being a creative problem solver.


Brining The Conversation Back Together

discussing metadesign at Clearleft for UX Club

At the end of our 30-minute discussion, we brought the two groups back together to discuss what we learned in our separate groups. We provided an overview of our discussion and a new organic discussion evolved from it. Ben Sauer related the topic of Metadesign to a project he recently finished and we wondered whether a full-time Metadesigner on future projects could be valuable.

John Willshire suggested that a designer could play the role of a designer on one project and the role of a metadesigner on another project. Playing two different roles and seeing two different perspectives could be an very valuable strategy. It could also spread someone's responsibilites too thinly, but the idea is interesting to explore, for sure.

We talked about the boundaries between design and metadesign, and many people referred to the metaphor of a box. Design is about creating a box. Metadesign is about creating the context in which a box is designed.

These were our definitions at least. I am looking forward to hearing other people's thoughts about the topic of Metadesign: What is it? Why do we care? and What problems does it solve?

It was great to have John Willshire and Fraser Hamilton at the office. I enjoyed hearing about Fraser's journey cycling unsupported across America to raise money for charity. You can read about his journey on his website.

I'm looking forward to exploring this domain of Metadesign further and seeing its potential. Maybe we'll see an interesting new discipline emerge in the coming years.

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John Ellison

Day 64: Brand Refresh Ideation & Purpose Workshop Synthesis

6 min read

On Day 64 of my time at Clearleft, I was fortunate to work on two really fun threads of work as a part of the Clearleft Brand Refresh Project.

James Bates had setup a two-day exercise to generate a wide range of concepts for Clearleft's visual identity. James had scheduled Jon Aizlewood and Ben White to work with him, and they also extended an invite for me to observe and participate as I liked.

James Box setup a morning session to synthesize the outputs of the Purpose Workshop in order to feed back into the work that James, Jon and Ben had started around the exploration of Clearleft's visual identity. We wanted to have our brand's purpose form the basis of the visual concepts that we explored.

Kicking Off A Two-Day Ideation

We kicked off the two-day session by talking about Clearleft's brand attributes: both present and future. James created a mind map to capture our dialogue and we bounced around a variety of different positive and negative brand attributes that we wanted to consider in this exercise.

kicking off the two-day ideation exercise

whiteboarding Clearleft's brand attributes

Clearleft Brand Attributes

If Clearleft Were a Car, What Would It Be?

Half an hour into the session James Bates suggested we use a branding exercise to stimulate our attribute generation. He asked us "If Clearleft were a car, what would it be?"

While this seemed to be a bit odd on the surface, when we explored the different options and the reasons why Clearleft would or wouldn't be that car, it allowed us to examine the brand from a variety of perspectives.

Visual Ideation

When James and the guys thought they'd sufficiently listed out the brand attributes, they started ideating through different visual identities. Starting with the current cube logo and diverging away from the original concept, James, Ben and Jon filled pages with their ideas.

Given these guys have much stronger visual skills, I let them run with the visuals while I went over and worked with James Box to synthesize the outputs of the Purpose Workshop we held on Day 57.


Purpose Workshop Synthesis

james-setting-the-table-with-cards

By the time I made it over to where James was working, he had already begun laying out all the note cards that were the outputs of the purpose workshop. We worked together to find a suitable layout and structure for us to step back and inspect in detail and in general.

We went through each of the cards and read them one by one. I started extracting relevant phrases onto post-it notes. On the right side of the table we had cards that expressed attributes of our professional heros. On the left side of the table we had cards that expressed 'what we are fighting against'.

our final layout

All throughout our synthesis, we kept in mind the definition of purpose that arose in our workshop: What you are fighting against; the change you want to make in the world.

James and I discussed the different connections and themes that arose throughout our investigation.

synthesis of outputs

One strong emergent insight was that most of what we were fighting against could be seen as that which manifests from fear of the unknown.

A theme amongst the 'what are we fighting for' side of the spectrum was about inspiring, challenging, enabling and empowering others.

We discussed what we thought this meant and explored how this pertained to our purpose. We kept one eye on the past and thought about what Clearleft's purpose has been in the past, and kept one eye on the future and wondered what Clearleft's purpose will be.

We wondered whether or not Clearleft's purpose has always been the same and whether the way we approach our purpose has changed.

In talking along this thread of a timeline, I drew a little diagram that broke Clearleft's journey into three eras. The first two eras were clear to me, and I left the third era blank. (James added the third era over lunch, and I really resonate with metadesign as the theme of this upcoming era).

Clearleft three eras

James and I concluded that we had enough insights to share with the visual team and decided to head out to lunch.


Checking In With The Visual Exploration

Before heading out for lunch, I checked in on James Bates, Ben and Jon and snapped a few photos.

reflecting on visual identity ideation

a closer look at the ideas 1

a closer look at the ideas 2

Playing Back The Purpose Workshop Insights

over james shoulder

After lunch James and I sat down with the visual team and played back our process and our discoveries. We had a few conversations about the themes that emerged and how those could be applied visually. The topic of generative logos came up a few times.

As James spoke the rest of us sketched ideas. It was a nice atmospheric tone to the playback and allowed the visual guys to keep working while receiving additional input from the purpose thread of the brand refresh. After sketching down a few ideas I decided to make a physical model of Clearleft's logo with a few note cards. This allowed me to feel the logo in space and inspect it from several different perspectives. This was something that James Bates, Jon and Ben had been exploring on paper, but I felt that a more tactile approach suited my exploration.

exploring-the-cube-1

exploring-the-cube-2

Analogies

During the conversation I saw a simple analogy come into my head: If the cube logo symbolized Clearleft as an agency that designed things, what would symbolize Clearleft as an agency that designed how others design things?

We talked about scaffolding and how scaffolding is used to take the builders of a building to new heights and allow them to reach places they wouldn't be able to reach on their own. Scaffolding is also removed from the structure once work is finished. It isn't structural in any way, but it is about creating a supra-structure from which the building is constructed.

This idea was definitely an interesting one to pursue, and the concept of deconstruction came to mind, as did the dConstruct logo.

dConstruct Logo

Designing a Logo that Designs a Logo

We talked about the algorithmic approach to creating a logo: One whereby an algorithm is designed with the purpose of dynamically generating a logo or a set of logos as opposed to designing the logos itself. These conversations definitely played along the higher planes of abstract thought and gave James Box and I a few things to mull over, but I'm not sure how much the visual guys gained from it.

Nonetheless it was a fun exercise and a really fun day bouncing between two threads of the Clearleft Brand Refresh.


The Rest of The Day

I spend the rest of my day writing content for the Training Playback on Thursday.

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John Ellison

Day 51: Designing A Design That Designs Itself

5 min read

One of Those Rare Days

Day 51 seemed to be one of those rare days: Uprooted from time yet filled with energy from a thousand years. Everything started making sense...

The vast range of ideas that I had generated during the past few days in designing a value proposition for the Training Project seemed to open up a door. All of these disparate concepts began to fit into one another with great resonance.

Meeting With James and Clare

The day started off early with a meeting between James Box, Clare and I. I brought James up to speed with the current state of the Training Project and showed him my process.

He read through the propositions I'd generated the day before and asked a few questions. It looked as if James saw some potential and wanted to make sure he fully understood the concept I was trying to communicate.

Between the three of us we bounced back and forth between question and clarification. We each sketched ideas to communicate visually what we were describing in words.

 

sketching back and forth 2

 

 

 

Within five or ten minutes it seemed like we had a pretty solid level of shared understanding.

One Last Thought

We started talking about next steps for the project when I felt I needed to introduce the ideas that emerged from my late night thinking on Day 50. I had created a quick concept template in in the ten minutes before our meeting started and used that to introduce this additional layer of ideas ontop of the concepts we'd already discussed.

When I finished introducing the concept, I felt like James and Clare were slowly moving their seats backwards. They weren't saying anything.

I wondered if it was too vague and complex and told them not to worry about it if they didn't think it could work.

But James said something very interesting. He said that it was novel. I'd never heard him use that word before. He also said it was unique. So aware of his own internal thought process and emotions, James expressed what was happening. He said that they were feeling resistance—not because the idea was bad but because it was novel and unique.

We talked through the concept a bit more and the energy slowly escalated with each exchange. It was like the energy was a bouncy ball being tossed between walls in a corridor—gaining momentum with each bounce.

The Glue for It All

James made an incredibly valuable insight about a product which could become the cohesion between the service that I was describing. He obviously understood what I'd described—maybe even better than I did as I was describing it—and suggested a product concept.

sketching back and forth 3We had another series back and forth. Then we all seemed to sit back in our chairs. With our chins in our hands we smiled.

This was exciting.

This was new. This was innovative.

After four or five weeks of exploring a user-centered process around the whole landscape of training and design education we'd finally arrived on something novel and unique.

sketching back and forth 1The Next Task

James told me not to worry about communicating this idea to other people but to spend time making sense of the concept myself. He told me to go back to a user-centered level and think about each of the users that represented each of our audience segments. He told me to look at each of their individual stories and then see how they all came together.

I jotted down the instructions and both Clare and James headed off to other meetings.

I rolled back in my chair and put my arms behind my head and laughed. I did my best to breathe and re-center myself.

I took a little break and then came back to my desk and took photos of everything. I pulled off all the sticky notes and prepared myself for the next task...

While I wont' go into detail at this point, here are the sketches that I came up with:

sketch 1

sketch 2

sketch 3

I am definitely looking forward to working on refining this concept tomorrow with James.

Creating A Problem-Solution Map

James suggested that we break down the concept into its core actors (or users) and look at each of their problems individually and analyze how their problems are being solved by the other actors in the system. We would start small and focus on well-known problem-solution transactions (like a student and a teacher, for example) and then build out in complexity through that same model of problem and solution...

Breaking a complex concept into a simple diagram of problems and solutions between actors seems to be a really simple and elegant way to reduce complexity. I am looking forward to giving it a try tomorrow...

On The Way Home

On my busride home on Day 51 I started coming up with loads of ideas and descriptions for the product that was brought to life in the discussions that day. I usually carry around a small sketchbook with me at all times but somehow I'd forgotten it at work so I was scribbling down words to express the thoughts in my mind, but the medium of a phone is such a poor medium to try and capture ideas at the moment of inspiration. I don't think anyhting can beat a sketchbook for that purpose.

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John Ellison

Day 50: The Emergence of A Parti

2 min read

A Little Background

By the end of Day 50, I felt as though I had gotten the Training product/service concept to a pretty good stage of clarity, but on the night of Day 50, I had an idea that took the product concept to another level.

I met a guy named Adam at the SYS event. Adam had this idea for a startup. He pitched me his idea and told me that he had met Dave, the founder of SYS, at a Lean Coffee meetup earlier this month.

Lean Coffee is an event that is put on by Lawrence and Carlos—two awesome guys who run the Happy Startup Camp. It's a really interesting event that puts a diverse group of people into a room and gets them talking about a range of topics. The Lean Coffee I went to was an amazing experience and I couldn't recommend it more highly to anyone interested in purpose-driven entrepreneurship.

The Happy Startup Camp was one of the places besides Clearleft that I visited when I first came to Brighton. I am really inspired by the work that they are doing and wish I could get involved more...


As I was listening to Adam talk about his startup and his journey as a sports journalist to create a digital product, something clicked.

It took my conscious mind a while to catch up, but I nodded my head and saw a convergence of thought as he spoke. I hope I didn't look like I was gazing off into the distance thinking about something totally different while he talked... Well, I guess that's probably what happened.

An Ecosystem of Thought

I saw the world of design education in my mind. I saw the world of purpose-drive entrepreneurship . I saw a community of people trying to figure out how to launch products that solve real problems for real people. I saw a community of people needing to work on real projects in order to learn their craft. Why hadn't these two worlds come together before?

I thought about these ideas as my wife and I drove home from the event. I got home and lay myself down to sleep. I felt the current of ideas swimming beneath my pillow.

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John Ellison

Day 46: Public Value Proposition Research & Design

5 min read

On the morning of Day 46 I arrived to the office expecting to have a full workday ahead with Andy Parker where we could finish off our value proposition and finalize it before the end of the week.

Unfortunately Andy P had an unforeseen workload change and so we had to recalibrate.

Andy P tasked me with researching our public value proposition. He wanted me to find as many examples of training, courses, workshops, seminars, conferences and schools that had similar propositions.

We had shifted our theme from UX Design culture to Design Thinking in general because it seemed to provide more value to a wider audience and would allow us to have a more diverse audience for the proposition.

Andy wanted me to have 100 examples that we could compare at 2pm and then use them as evidence to boil down our proposition into something final.

Researching Like A Mad Man

I hadn't been given a small definitive task like this with a definitive deadline in my whole time at Clearleft so I jumped straight in and started researching and reading about everything I could find. I filled my Evernote 'Training' notebook with over 139 notes and highlighted over 28 articles.

While it seemed odd to have such a drastic shift in our project focus, it actually proved to be the perfect task for me to do loads of research before re-approaching the value proposition.

Making Sense of The Research

As I perfomed my research and read through loads of content, I started working back towards the Project Canvas that we started at the beginning of the project. I needed a place to pigeonhole my ideas and notecards proved to be the perfect medium.

project canvas on the fly

Everything started coming together and making sense. I felt like I was seeing validation, contrast, and hierarchy in all of my reserach. My gut was telling me things like "This isn't quite right." and "This isn't our same audience, but it is similar. The diference is...". It was as if my subconscious was acting as a guide for my conscious mind to digest information and make quick decisions about the importance and relevance of my findings.

Metadesign

This concept of metadesign kept popping into my head during the research so I decided to take a moment and think about "What are the elements of metadesign?". It helped me stash away a train of thought that my subconscious seemed to think important. So I decided to snap a picture of it and share it and leave it for now. We'll see what role metadesign plays in this proposition if any at all...

elements of metadesign

Meeting With Ben

Something came up with a client project and Andy P wasn't able to meet with me at 2pm, so Ben Sauer kindly offered to help me think through the value proposition more clearly.

I debriefed Ben on what had happened since the workshop and told him the concept that Andy P and I had been working on. He quickly moved towards a template that would allow us to flesh out the value proposition. It was different from the template James Box had made for Hack Farm one year, and actually I think for this specific instance it worked better to help me convey the value proposition in the manner I needed to.

Ben's proposition template

At first it was a bit difficult for me to articulate, but Ben helped facilitate movement. He must have loads of experience working with people to define value propositions because it seemed second nature to him. He had an sense about what worked and what didn't and he was guiding me along the journey the whole time.

By the end of it we had the beginnings of a decent proposition and Ben finally understood my idea. We had a shared 'Aha!' moment and the energy in the room lifted greatly. It felt really good to be understood and I think Ben appreciated the role that he played as well. He was kind enough to say "It is so hard to work this stuff out on your own man, trust me. If you were to ask me half of the things that I do it would be so difficult for me to put into words like this."

I guess that's the power of collaboration, isn't it?

our initial proposition


UX Club

Soon after we had an initial proposition up on the wall, we had UX Club in the same room. I did my best to jot down my ideas and give myself anchors to move forward after UX Club.

At UX Club, we discussed Leah Buley's talk on The Modern Design Organization from UX Week 2015. I've embedded it below in case any of you are interested in watching:

Working on The Value Proposition

After UX Club I decided to break the value proposition into components so that I could pick and choose combinations of components and decide what would be the best outcome.

value proposition components

But soon the note structure of my computer reminded me of John Willshire's Popular Thing for Broken Thing workshop that we did on Day 43. So I decided to break the components into sticky notes on my desk:

sticky noting the value proposition components


I was so close to finishing the value proposition before the end of the week, but I don't have a key yet to Clearleft offices so I had to leave with the last employee. Bummer. Monday will hopefully be the last day!

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John Ellison

Day 43: Popular Thing for Broken Thing Workshop

5 min read

At dConstruct, John Willshire spoke about Metadesign and introduced his workshop called "Popular Thing For Broken Thing".

Ben Sauer suggested that we try this workshop with Chloe, Monika and Chris (the Clearleft Interns). I was fascinated by John's talk on Metadesign as well as the workshop he presented. While other Lefties had participated in the workshop at UX London already, it was new to me.

So we spent the rest of the afternoon on the "Popular Thing For Broken Thing" workshop.

I couldn't find a description of the workshop anywhere, so I'll just describe an outline of the workshop as we performed it. If John Willshire provides me with his outline, I'll update it.

John's dConstruct 2015 Metadesign Talk

While I'm going to provide my own breakdown of the workshop, I'd also like to include John's talk at dConstruct so you can get a bit of context for the workshop through John's words rather than my own.

Popular Thing For Broken Thing Workshop Outline

Part I: Find A Startup

1. Write down two examples of broken things (product, service, public service, etc.)

2. Write down two examples of popular things (apps, startups, etc.)

ben writing down an idea

3. Present them to the group

4. Create two columns: popular things on the left, broken things on the right

5. Discuss the pairings of popular things for broken things with the group

discuss pairings in group

6. Re-order pairings to 8 startups from the popular / broken combinations

7. Choose a single startup as your own

slack for the refugee crisis

Part II: Iterate Your Startup Pitch

8. You have 60 seconds to pitch your startup to a partner

9. After both partners have pitched to one another, STIR up your startup (Steal an idea, Turn your concept (pivot), Improve upon it, Reorder your pitch)

10. Move onto your next partner and pratice your 60 second pitch again

11. Repeat until you've pitched to everyone in the room

Part III: Give Your Final Startup Pitch

12. Each person has 60 seconds to give their final pitch to the entire group

monika pitching her startup

Reflecting On The Workshop

I had loads of fun at this workshop. It seemed to be a really simple and easy way to generate startup ideas that had legitimate value. Some of the pairings between popular and broken things were a lot more difficult to work with than others but some of them seemed to be perfectly natural and sensible—"Why didn't I think of that?" type ideas...

It also appeared to be immensely valuable for the Clearleft Interns in helping them deal with the complexity of their breif.

Reflecting On Metadesign

I guess that's the value of Metadesign as John spoke about. His talk didn't explicitly say this, but I think this is what he was getting at:

Design isn't hard. People make it hard by making it overly complex. Why not use design to design the framework in which we solve problems? Why not design the environment to facilitate an incredibly simple experience of solving otherwise complex problems?

Metadesign is about designing the design process, or designing how we solve problems. Good design is elegant and simple. So good Metadesign would presumably create an elegantly simple way for us to design.


My Startup

As an outcome of the workshop, I had a startup that I legitimately want to pursue. Here's a version of my pitch that I arrived upon at the end of the workshop:

My startup is called 'Refuge'. It is a slack community for the refugee crisis. Right now, there are millions of refugees from all over the world trying to find new homes. There are citizens who are trying to welcome refugees into their spare bedrooms and there are governments and charities who are trying to solve this problem on a national and international scale.

Currently there is no central communication platform for all of these people to communicate.

I want to use Slack as a free and open central communication platform for the refugee crisis. I am going to create a simple landing page that describes the idea and calls people to action by submitting their names and email addresses.

I will create a Slack community with various topics and regions so that:

  • Refugees can share their stories and reconnect with family members
  • Citizens can open their rooms and homes to refugees and refugee families
  • Governments and charities can communicate with the international refugee crisis and use all of the information in the Slack community to make well-informed decisions

What Do You Think?

After the workshop I left determined to bring this 'startup' idea to life. It's not a startup in the traditional sense where a company is testing out a profit model, but it's a startup in the community sense where an individual has a problem and is trying to build a community around that problem so that we can work together to find a solution.

I'd love to get your thoughts about this concept. I've been talking to Jake Rogelberg, the founder of Designer Hangout about how he started the UX Community on Slack with over 5000 UXers from around the world.

Are you interested in helping refugees? Are you a government official who is compelled to help solve this crisis? Are you a refugee looking for a platform to communicate to the rest of the world?

Drop me a line or add your voice to the comments below.