Guest blogger Lauren Leatherby is a first-year Master in Public Policy student at the Harvard Kennedy School who spent Winter Break…
Designing for extreme affordability
Making good design accessible to all
90% of the world’s best designs target only the most affluent 10%. We’re changing that. And we’re doing it right here in Yangon, in one of only a few onsite labs in the entire world that focuses purely on designing products for the poor. Costs are lower, innovation is quicker and products can be tested in real-life situations and receive real feedback, before they hit the market.
By design not default
A whole lot happens behind the scenes
Like people everywhere, the poor demand, and deserve, products that are high quality and durable, that deliver great results and are enjoyable to use. To make these at extremely affordable prices we use cutting edge technology, local and international expert insights, creativity and a whole lot of prototyping.
After extensive research and initial brainstorming, we work with advanced computer modeling software and robotics technology to draw up designs and build prototypes. We then rigorously test these using our own in-house innovations that mimic customer usage. These show us just how durable our products will be after a month, a season, and a year in the field. When they fail, and they often will, these tests show us exactly how, why and when.
Once we’re happy with performance and durability in the lab, we take them down the road to meet our most important critics - real farmers - who’ll give us their honest opinions on everything from user-friendliness and performance, to color and shape. Based on their feedback we’ll make more edits, tweak the details and improve the design. Then we’ll test it all again.
The same goes for our services. Everything, from our Farm Advisory Services, loans and sales techniques, to our instruction manuals, packaging and billboards, begins with extensive user research, prototyping, real-life testing, customer feedback and reiterations. The things that make it through aren't just great ideas, they've really proven their worth.