A friend sent me a link to this article about user research at the coal-face of survival! It describes field research on ovens in use in refugee camps in Sudan.
“Before we left for Sudan, we had little idea of what the cooking conditions were like; even some of the aid workers in Khartoum and Washington, DC, did not know things essential to the design of an appropriate stove, such as the size and shape of the pots the refugees used.” –
It is cool to see people doing user research for more than just increasing profit margins. Hurrah!
Anyway, what makes this oven even more interesting is that it was designed to reduce deforestation and the idea that it would be useful in refugee camps came second. So what we have here is an article that touches on three of my favourite topics: user testing, the environment and appropriation of tools.
Now I have to try and find some more examples to share…