Practicals of Lean Startup 3

When going lean with your ideas and venture, there are several “potholes” that you must avoid at all costs. Let the lessons I have encountered in my over 20 years of founding at least 17 businesses help you avoid it.

My late dad always said to me, “share your failures”. It’s the main reason why I am writing these practical tips. Today, my tip for the would-be entrepreneur is how to fund your ideas.

There is nothing more difficult in your pursuit than finding the money to pay for your entrepreneurial idea. Be prepared to suffer rejection after rejection. Be prepared for people who will laugh at your business plans and tell you how “stupid” your logo looks like, and how amateurish your pitch deck appears. For those of you taking this path of entrepreneurship, be prepared for this; as long as the sun shines, you will face it. Finding money for your startup falls into two baskets: 1) scrapping and 2) other’s

  1. Scrapping is the tedious pursuit of finding money through personal ingenuity. It means listing everything and anything that you can sell off (old DVDs, CDs, electronics, shoes…) on eBay, to raise the money. Scrapping also means “renting” yourself out to other businesses, as a freelancer. As a writer, I’ve done 87 ghostwriting projects on subjects that aren’t my favourite, but which helped my clients and put money in my pocket. From ebooks, articles, and novels, there is so many writing works out there. If you are great at drawing, there are equally vast amounts of design gigs all over the internet; logos, sketches, caricatures to web design. Are you good at math, then there are accounting and algorithm design gigs ready for you. There are even weird ones like anonymous shopping, where companies pay you $100 to shop and provide a report of your experience. There are several passive methods for scrapping and generating additional income. Scrapping brings in money at the slowest pace but it is free from the burdens of the alternative.
  2. Others are the means by which you can fund your startup. This is a cauldron of chaos and many times, insanely complex. Convincing other people to part with their money (angel investors) or other people’s money (venture capital) is absolutely difficult. If this is your path, then be prepared for a “lot of time-wasting” and “weird customisations” of business plans, pitch decks and a ton of costly “nonsense” with zero guarantees that you’ll be funded. Taking other people’s money also means giving up on several aspects of your ideas to accommodate theirs. It also means that decisions on how your idea comes to the world are decided by people whom you are only associating with simply because of money. There are also legal consequences for taking these monies: debt-buying, shared patents, shared owners, majority shareholding, management buyouts, exits and other binding arrangements that will test your sanity. If you fall prey to so-called “vulture capital” or attempt to play ball with a “hedge fund”, your life will never be the same. One way to navigate this is to use the services of a reputable lawyer. Do not hire some “basic lawyer”! Find yourself the meanest and ruthless lawyer you can find. They know exactly how to work “the system”. There is a somewhat third option called the SUBSIDES. This route is also not the most ideal. It involves a convoluted set of “unattainable” rules. After successfully raising money for several NGOs, I would like to point out that the subsidy route is the MOST difficult. It’s been designed that way; luring you with the “possibility” of funding, but the truth is that, you will literally have to write tens of thousands of proposals before succeeding with one. There is also a catch; all subsidies require transparency with the use of funds and a public declaration of funds. This will push any entrepreneur into the ugly confines of “lying” about their proprietary product. Generally speaking, it would also be difficult to file patents with subsidies. You don’t want to lie because… it will come back to bite you hard. Visit any of the EU subsidies and you’ll be overwhelmed by the sheer number of requirements and documentation needed to access a couple or euros or dollars for your venture. Be prepared to pay a couple of 1000s for a professional service provider to help you navigate the waters of the subsidy environment; with no guarantees of getting the money.

Funding your startup can be an awesome and rewarding experience. It will teach you valuable lessons about human interactions and money management. These possibilities should spur you on to successfully bringing your ideas to life. That’s how you fund your startup, lean. It’s my two cents. Stay professional.

About the author: Sal Souza is an International Designer (Graphic, Visual, Multimedia, Broadcast Media, Industrial, User Interaction, User Experience) and IT Consultant with expertise in New Media, Web 3.0, IPTV, DTV, Media Production, Product Prototyping, Desktop Software, Interactivity, Mobile Applications, Traditional Knowledge, Geographical Indications and Cultural Goods. He lives and works in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Practicals of Lean Startup 2

A startup business is no easy feat and not for everyone to “try”. It is reported from several sources (KPMG, PWC, EY…) that about 90% of startups fail within 2 years and are forced to close shop. The core reason behind these failures is money management. To counteract this issue, it is highly recommended by experts that startups go lean. Going lean requires significant discipline in the form of “delayed gratification”.

Saving money on almost every aspect of your business is key to achieving success in the long run. Today’s tip is helping you save on “internet data costs” for conducting your daily work.

Utilise the available bandwidth offered by popular eateries. The Netherlands, for example, has one of the best and densely distributed internet connections in the world. Buses have free wifi, trains have free wifi, and all the popular eateries like KFC, MacDonalds, Starbucks, and Dominos have free access to the internet.

Using their free internet is awesome BUT there is a small catch here. It is important to “time” your visit to such eateries because they are popular with teenagers who often “hog” on the free internet. So, conduct your business activities when those eateries open and aren’t that busy. It is also wise to purchase some sort of concessions such as a donut, drink or their cheapest offering. And for your own sake, stick to just one thing only. You would be a paying customer who is utilising their electrical connection and free wifi. Also, plan your trips so that you spread out your visits. For example Monday (KFC), Tuesday (MacDonalds), Wednesday (Starbucks), Thursday (Train station), Friday (Dominos), Saturday & Sunday (Home).

That’s how you save on internet bandwidth as you start lean. It’s my two cents. Stay professional.

About the author: Sal Souza is an International Designer (Graphic, Visual, Multimedia, Broadcast Media, Industrial, User Interaction, User Experience) and IT Consultant with expertise in New Media, Web 3.0, IPTV, DTV, Media Production, Product Prototyping, Desktop Software, Interactivity, Mobile Applications, Traditional Knowledge, Geographical Indications and Cultural Goods. He lives and works in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Practicals of Lean Startup 1

Starting up or running a business is a costly affair. I have heard several speakers admonishing entrepreneurs to practice so-called “lean startup”. If you are like me, you would be wondering: “what is a lean startup”.

I am hoping to help others find a practical and real-world application of working “lean”. Lean is a fancy way of saying “barebones or its-absolutely-necessary”. There aren’t any specific formulae but rather the methodology of simply keeping your business operations, costs and budgets to as minimum as possible. The methodology forces a business owner to go the extra mile when sourcing for any type of service or product necessary for their venture. So, for every aspect of the business, be it communications, marketing, advertisements, face to face meetings, and so forth, the lean operator must go the extra step to keep to a bare minimum cost.

To elucidate a bit on this, let us take one aspect of most businesses which “eats up” a significant percentage of the budget. Communications, and in particular, telecommunications, that can skyrocket and cause severe damage to a company’s bottom-line.

Applying a lean methodology to telecommunications begins with a quick and dirty “write-up” of what your needs are. You would be surprised how many entrepreneurs fail at this most basic step. Do not worry, I failed this step too. I was busy “looking” at what other successful businesses were doing and chose solutions that were not practical and costly to operate.

Do not assume that all businesses require a fax, internet, mobile telephony, landlines, SMS and other diverse means for telecommunication.

When you have scribbled down what you truly need for your business, you then get down to researching the most cost-effective ways by which your customers can contact you. Think of the long-term and weigh the consequences of using such a communication medium. Happily, today’s telecommunications landscape is ripe with a plethora of solutions.

An internet capable smartphone with email and several apps (WhatsApp, BBM, Signal, Telegram, and Skype) can save the entrepreneur a lot of money. But, do not also be fooled by the many offerings of the mobile service providers. Be “sober” and mindful of the trappings of data costs because of those annual contracts. And, hold the principle that NO telecommunications provider is LOYAL. They are in it for the money and so should you too. With these guidelines, entrepreneurs should go lean by selecting the most median, practical and cost-effective telecommunications provider without the “data and new smartphone trappings”. The iPhone 6 will still serve you well and will save you 50-80% on your device expenditure than when you decide to go with a “fancy” iPhone X which costs upwards of $1000. One day, when your business is flourishing you can pick up two iPhones but for a lean entrepreneur, stick to the practical.

As an example, I use a Blackberry Priv smartphone, purchased new and through an auction website. That saved me about 55% on the price of the device. After spending an entire weekend comparing sim-only deals, I got myself a 4G LTE, 250MB, 100min Sim-only service from a reputable service provider and pay less than $5 a month.

Go lean and try not to waste money. My two cents! Stay Professional.

About the author: Sal Souza is an International Designer (Graphic, Visual, Multimedia, Broadcast Media, Industrial, User Interaction, User Experience) and IT Consultant with expertise in New Media, Web 3.0, IPTV, DTV, Media Production, Product Prototyping, Desktop Software, Interactivity, Mobile Applications, Traditional Knowledge, Geographical Indications and Cultural Goods. He lives and works in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Blackberry Passport powers life’s most important things


Courtesy: Youtube

The postman hands you an envelope. It’s from your mother. You notice that the envelope has been opened and its content read. The postman smiles and walks away. What would you do?

There has never been a moment like now, where the most valuable asset we possess is our identity and the people we share it with. To take this for granted has severe consequences which has been amply demonstrated time and again. Blackberry has withstood the commercial reasoning to “toy” with our precious identity which also includes our banking, financial and health data. It is this value which the Blackberry corporation extends to all of us, that makes it a company that is worth investing in. In the thicket of our daily existences, we can stay truly private because Blackberry will help you do that. Say “i love you” to the one you cherish without Google sending you an ad about some flower shop. Visit your “cancer stricken” mother at the hospital without some push notification selling you some location-based item. These two begin at the towering list of “intrusive” behavioral systems employed just to “sell some ad”. The Internet of Things (IoT) where refrigerators and washing machines “talk” to you will make it even worse. Thankfully, only a quarter of the world are connected and for those who are within the network, Blackberry is the only choice.

Blackberry made several mistakes which caused a grand shift to other devices. Their new plethora of devices powered by the robustly built and dependable BB10 shows how serious they are in re-establishing themselves. It comes down to a significantly important question: whom you would trust to protect “your interests”? Apple? Google? Microsoft? Samsung? Mozilla? or Blackberry?

Blackberry answers the call. Secure, Safe, Protected, Reliable, Dependable. They design practical products whose primary objective is to help you to become efficiently productive. Everything else is secondary. It is a prudent step that Blackberry has taken to extend Blackberry with support for Android and to design the now popular Blackberry Priv which is powered by a “commando-style” Android, completely rewritten by Blackberry engineers.

In my opinion, Blackberry 10 remains the most secure platform and I’ll stick with it. And the device of choice within that arena is the unique Blackberry Passport.

The Blackberry Passport is a beautiful and powerfully engineered smartphone. It’s unique in all ways beginning with its square shape, gorilla glass technology, touch-keyboard and the intuitive Blackberry Operating System version 10. Apple devices will ran iOS apps, Microsoft devices will ran Win apps and Google Android devices will ran Android apps. With Blackberry 10 devices, you can install and ran all BB OS 10 Apps and Android apps, without allowing Google to “poke you” every square meter.

The question is: if you are unwilling to accept that a postman opens your mail, why is it ok with you when a tech company does that?


About the author: Sal Souza is an International Designer (Graphic, Visual, Multimedia, Broadcast Media, Industrial, User Interaction, User Experience) and IT Consultant with expertise in New Media, Web 3.0, IPTV, DTV, Media Production, Product Prototyping, Desktop Software, Interactivity, Mobile Applications, Traditional Knowledge, Geographical Indications and Cultural Goods. He lives and works in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Music Videos as Great Marketing Media

From expensive French champagnes (Crystal) to Michael Jordan themed footwear (J’s on my feet), products and lifestyles are communicated and marketed through music themes. These videos are everywhere and feature prominently on varied screens: Fast food joints, boutiques, YouTube and curated television channels. Music videos have become very strong tools for conveying specific visual and auditory messages. This form of information consumption tends to stay longer with consumers because it taps into our emotional sphere. Music and it’s accompanying video themes enable us to escape from our monotonous lives. It is not a secret that music videos are trend setters in terms of fashion, accessories and lifestyles.

Multi Colours Film Exclusive Clip from Ofamfa on Vimeo.

Generally speaking, we look to popular figures to tell us what has a “cool factor” in order to socially connect and be part of the society. When we admire and like what we see, we most likely decide to have it for ourselves. It is the cornerstone of marketing and consumption. Music videos gives us a preview of what we can become by telling us what we can “purchase” in order to achieve the cool factor. They reveal new dance styles like locking and popping, new types of smartphones, or anything else with which they can generate significant interest including controversies. If something was cool and funky, or scandalous or unethical, it garnered similar amounts of attention. And most of today’s celebrities from the music industry thrive on the quantity of attention they receive, either good or bad. Notable feuds like Tupac/Notorious, JayZ/Nas, IceT/Soulja-Boy, and Minaj/Lil-Kim drew in significant social media discussions. The feuds all had the same trademark: everyone had to read and watch content in order to confirm which schism they sided with. The marketing behind any music video is able to achieve it’s goal when people “engage” and give it enough attention.

This ATTENTION is very IMPORTANT to the MARKETING of a brand, idea, lifestyle or product.

An example of this methodology in action is embodied in the work of hip hop artist Ace Hood. His collaboration with record producer DJ Khaled and Rick Ross led to the creation of a stylistic musical anthem titled BUGATTI. In the song, the rappers edify an opulent lifestyle and “diss” anyone and everyone who isn’t driving a Bugatti Veyron, in a catchy tune and with the lyrics “I woke up in a new Bugatti”. In this case the Bugatti brand is marketed as the personification of success.

To better understand this unique phenomenon, it is important to pay homage to some very important music video milestones. Music Videos used to be boring stage performances lacking lustre. Michaels Jackson’s “Thriller” music video became the turning point for the industry. Intended to be a promo clip for the title track of the album he’d released a year before, the video became a short movie that changed the world of music forever and established Jackson as a pop icon. The music video was also backed by MTV, a station that metamorphosed to become the number one trend setter in terms of commercial entertainment. What was uncommon about “Thriller” is that, for the first time in music history, a video became both an art form and a marketing tool. The video “freed” the artist from the confines of stage performance. The medium could be filled with stories, plots and anecdotes whether related or disparate to the song. The public was now in the position to judge music performance not only by its intrinsic audio quality, but also on its visual communique. From then on, great songs were further appreciated and consumed only if it had a video capable of telling a laudatory message.

If Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was a revolution for the world of music videos, then we are now witnessing another curve. We can easily call this moment an involution. A moment in history where the medium will eat itself into oblivion. An example of this involution is epitomised in Anaconda, performed by Nikki Minaj. As at 26 February 2015, Anaconda, which features several sexual gyrations and near nakedness has been seen 402,281,783 times on Youtube. Strong sexually oriented content has become the natural choice for successful music video attention and consumption. This is not without opposition. A new principle has emerged that: “If enough skin is shown, commercial success can be guaranteed”. At this juncture, one cannot falter but ask if media enterprises are promoting what the public want to see or persuading the populace to like what is shown? This is a weighty question because it targets the very foundation of the music video marketing apparatus. Further to this, academics (Andsager and Roe’s, Ward, Hansbrough, & Walker, EMERSON A. R., Rivadeneyra, R., Ward, M.L., & Gordon, M.) are challenging the notion that hyper sexualised apparel and gyrations give women their desirability. While the debate goes on, there is a general acceptance that music videos are tremendously viable for marketing. In light of that, creative design bureaus are finding new ways of placing adverts in music videos with the music artiste being the connecting facilitator between the product and the public. But music videos are not restricted to promoting only products. New ideas and new consumer habits can make their way to the public in this medium.

CONCLUSION

In terms of efficiency, music videos are probably the best marketing medium available and is on course to becoming emblematic for what we consume and assimilate into our cultures; individually and collectively.


About the author: Sal Souza is an International Designer (Graphic, Visual, Multimedia, Broadcast Media, Industrial, User Interaction, User Experience) and IT Consultant with expertise in New Media, Web 3.0, IPTV, DTV, Media Production, Product Prototyping, Desktop Software, Interactivity, Mobile Applications, Traditional Knowledge, Geographical Indications and Cultural Goods. He lives and works in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

The value of brand mascots

Brands and their products are recognisable by their identity; mostly their visual mark, and in particular their logo. We all have come to recognise Michelin tyres’ Michelin man, 7UP’s Fido Dido, Ronald MacDonald, Twitter’s bird, Google’s Android. The key to marketing brands is the ability to give life to those marks. These brand visuals could be about a person, company, or team, but they all share a common foundation, people should easily recognise your brand and products. The name, logo or mascot of a brand all play the role of becoming the bridge between the consumer’s memory and your person/service.

Among all marketing elements used for establishing an identity, #brandmascots are the most appreciated. It’s something extraordinary for the eyes to see a static logo coming alive or a friendly stripped tiger having breakfast or taking a photo with Ronald MacDonald. We instantly forget that there’s someone inside the costume and relate more to the powerful message being performed. #Brandmascots are able to cut the social barriers, from soccer mums and men at baseball stadiums to innocent toddlers at the breakfast table.

It is an accepted fact that we love to surround ourselves with familiar objects and to live our lives in familiar places. This is more evident when we shop for groceries. Our eyes scan the isles for our favourite product from the shelves, looking for the familiar colours, visuals and marks. We reach out for the familiar face smiling back from the packaging. We don’t give a second thought to our actions and we unconsciously consider them as part of us. This is the epitome of a brand’s success.

To achieve this triumph, one must understand that there is fine line between a successful and unsuccessful mascot. This line is rooted in the “details” of the #brandmascots. Because advertising is nowadays “in your face”, creatives have sought many ways to make a brand stand out. Designers have discovered that the shorter and iconic an identity is, the easier people will relate to it and, eventually establish a commercial relationship. This is the number one reason why symbolism and iconography SHOULD play a significant role in the design process and should receive extreme attention. Not everybody is able to conceive and give life to something coherent and in tone which connects a brand to its identity.

Design bureaus come as the best solution for creating a #brandmascots from zero or for rebranding an existing brand name. These bureaus often employ different people for the different stages of the design process. They are careful about proportions, colours, textures and how their ideas must align perfectly with a brand’s ethos. Bureaus go even further to build life-size replicas with a man/woman behind the costume. Designers create unique personalities for each #brandmascots and ensure that every action compliments the brand. Bureaus also prepare #brandmascots for trade events with the same standard equaling a Broadway theatrical show. But this is a play where there is no curtain and no backstage. The #brandmascots interacts with the public and carries the brand’s pre-prepared script.

#Brandmascots can be utilised in multiple media and throughout the brand’s life-cycle!

The success of a #brandmascots can be so big that people will remain faithful to a certain brand just because its mascot. When you buy a new set of car tires, you probably don’t think about all the technical details. You probably look at the smiling Michelin Man thinking it’s both safe and fun to buy from “him”. Your kids are not just at McDonalds for fast-food, but probably also attached to Ronald because he’s always happy and bubbly. Most teenagers love 7UP’s Fido Dido because he’s got the cool factor. He’s slim, young, active, wears swanky glasses and eager to experiment. These examples allow us to conclude that it is no longer a matter of taste. Rather, design characteristics embodied by a mascot, creates the desire to associate with a brand and eventually establish a commercial relationship.

CONCLUSION

#Brandmascots have proven their importance in all the media channels used for advertising. In either static or dynamic ways, they help to humanise corporations and products you would otherwise have ignore. There are numerous ways to make a mascot stand out. It can be funny, ironic, clumsy or even despised. Design bureaus hold the key to generating as much human emotion from the largest possible audience. Sometimes #brandmascots are just avatars of our most common thoughts and ideas and an experienced bureau will always know where to wrench out that unique identity. It usually takes time for the public to adopt a #brandmascots as one of their favourites, but there is no official rule. Instant success can come if all the right details are mixed with great ideas. Did I say great? Make it extraordinary. Contact Ofamfa Design Studio and we will design your unique, 100% brand owned Mascot.


About the author: Sal Souza is an International Designer (Graphic, Visual, Multimedia, Broadcast Media, Industrial, User Interaction, User Experience) and IT Consultant with expertise in New Media, Web 3.0, IPTV, DTV, Media Production, Product Prototyping, Desktop Software, Interactivity, Mobile Applications, Traditional Knowledge, Geographical Indications and Cultural Goods. He lives and works in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Do it with animation

Do you have a product or business you wish to promote? Do it with animation! Everyone loves animation! This is an example of our studio’s offering to new customers who wish to bring attention to their product or business. Here is what you get:

1. two minutes long animation
2. your product in a cartoon style
3. a custom-made cartoon character or mascot
4. a one of a kind music signature
5. voice over in English, French, Dutch, German*
6. delivered in 720P, 1080P, 2K and 4K**

* Clients can choose longer than two minutes. Clients can choose between 2 custom mascots. Other languages available. Subtitling also available. Standard delivery is 720P. It takes 150 hours for the Standard Service. 24 hours (Express Service) is available.

Your work is uniquely designed for you with no strings attached for you to show on television, cinema halls, websites, DVD, Blu-Ray and so forth. Contact Us.


About the author: Sal Souza is an International Designer (Graphic, Visual, Multimedia, Broadcast Media, Industrial, User Interaction, User Experience) and IT Consultant with expertise in New Media, Web 3.0, IPTV, DTV, Media Production, Product Prototyping, Desktop Software, Interactivity, Mobile Applications, Traditional Knowledge, Geographical Indications and Cultural Goods. He lives and works in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Faire un cas d’affaires sur mesure kiosques interactifs

Introduction

Nous voulons accéder à l’information de ne importe où et de partout et nous n’avons plus la patience d’attendre. De ce point de vue, les kiosques interactifs peuvent se vanter d’être les installations les plus créatifs et les plus utiles dans le paysage urbain, éliminant le besoin personnel et prolongée de la paperasserie et d’accélérer les activités de routine. Les kiosques interactifs viennent dans de nombreuses formes et tailles et peuvent être trouvés partout autour de nous. Vous avez probablement déjà utilisé un pour vos transactions financières ou pour acheter un billet de train. L’utilisation des kiosques interactifs s’étend actuellement à d’innombrables industries. Vous pouvez acheter un billet, demander un taxi, commander votre repas dans un restaurant, enregistrer votre vol à l’aéroport, accéder à vos dossiers médicaux, imprimer une photo ou rechercher des informations sur la ville que vous visitez en touchant simplement quelques boutons sur un écran.

Une taille unique ne CONVIENT pas à tous

Chaque kiosque est conçu dans un but précis et donne à l’utilisateur final assez outils visuels et auditif pour qu’il / elle ait son travail fait. Le «dialogue» avec le logiciel du kiosque se fait généralement par l’intermédiaire d’un écran tactile et le menu est assez intuitive pour être compris par tout le monde. Prenant l’example d’un un guichet automatique bancaire (GAB) et d’un kiosque de conférence comme deux comparaisons parallèles, ils ne peuvent pas être conçus de la même manière. Un kiosque est essentiellement un ordinateur conçu pour permettre aux gens d’atteindre une tâche spécifique avec des niveaux minimaux d’interaction. Deux caractéristiques principales sont central et clé qu’il ne faut pas oublier en donnant vie à un kiosque interactif: l’accessibilité et la cohérence.

Expériences de l’utilisateur (EU)

D’une manière générale les gens ont tendance à avoir peu de patience avec la technologie et perd très facilement patience quand les choses ne se passent pas bien. Bien que le matériel joue un rôle majeur, c’est le logiciel qui interagit le plus avec les gens et doit donc être parfait à 100%. Le logiciel utilisé pour un kiosque interactif peut être considéré comme une expérience positive pour l’utilisateur (EU), s’il fournit une iconographie reconnaissable, une interface sans encombrement, un très long temps de fonctionnement, sans erreurs inattendues et de plantage pendant le traitement des processus délicats (comme les transactions financières et la manipulation d’information personnel) dans un environnement sécurisé. Les kiosques sont généralement construits pour être très résistant à toutes les tentatives d’ouverture non autorisées. Les matériaux durables et une structure bien considérée sont des éléments clés qui rendent un kiosque sûr pour être laissés sans surveillance et ouvert à un public illimité. Que nous parlons de l’intérieur ou de l’extérieur des bâtiments, les kiosques doivent être conçus pour résister aux chocs et décourager toute tentative de vol.

Conclusion

Toute entreprise qui planifie d’utiliser un kiosque doit s’aligner avec un service sur mesure qui planifiera et concevra soigneusement le kiosque; et en accordant une attention à chaque détail de votre plan d’actions, et surtout, à chaque interaction que votre client potentiel fera. L’utilisation d’un service de conception pour construire un kiosque interactif pour votre entreprise est toujours meilleure, plus sûre et plus rentable que de limiter votre entreprise à un kiosque pris sur l’étagère.
Bien que le logiciel et la qualité de la construction doivent toujours venir en premier comment les principaux atouts de vos kiosques, vous ne devriez pas négliger le design. Le design est dans la plupart des cas, le “Facteur X” qui pousse de nouvelles personnes à vous, et les poussent à choisir votre entreprise parmi une grande piscine d’entreprises offrant des services très similaires. C’est le design de votre kiosque, alimenté par un logiciel qui combine l’anthropologie culturelle, le symbolisme, l’iconographie et la conception visuelle, qui permettra d’attirer attention des gens dans les rues et de les faire réfléchir: ” qu’est-ce que c’est que ça? Je veux savoir ce que c’est, et ce que ça fait ? ” . Les fonctionnalités et la fiabilité ne feront que transformer une visite déclenchée par la curiosité a une utilisation constante. Utilisation de kiosques sur mesure signifie que chaque appareil est conçu et fabriqué selon vos besoins, exigences et préférences spécifiques. Opter pour un service sur mesure signifie également que vous recevrez probablement une assistance étendue et l’échange d’informations au cours de l’ensemble du processus, de la planche à dessin jusqu’à la ligne d’assemblage. Même si nous savons que la plupart de la conception devrait être laissée aux professionnels, la plus petite participation vous permettra d’obtenir le kiosque exact qui répond à vos besoins. Intéressé pour un service de kiosque interactif sur mesure? Contactez Ofamfa Design Studio maintenant.

Translated from the English version.


About the author: Sal Souza is an International Designer (Graphic, Visual, Multimedia, Broadcast Media, Industrial, User Interaction, User Experience) and IT Consultant with expertise in New Media, Web 3.0, IPTV, DTV, Media Production, Product Prototyping, Desktop Software, Interactivity, Mobile Applications, Traditional Knowledge, Geographical Indications and Cultural Goods. He lives and works in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

A case for bespoke business interactive kiosks

Introduction

We want to access information from anywhere and everywhere and no longer have the patience to wait. From this point of view, interactive kiosks can lay claim to being the most creative and useful installations to the urban landscape, eliminating the need for personnel and extended paperwork and speeding up routine activities. Interactive kiosks come in many shapes and sizes and can be found everywhere around us. You’ve probably already used one for your financial transactions or to buy a train ticket. The use of interactive kiosks is currently expanding to countless industries. You can buy a ticket, request a taxi, order your meal at a restaurant, check in at the airport, access your medical files, print a photo or search for information about the city you are visiting by simply touching a few buttons on a screen.

One size does NOT fit all

Every kiosk is designed for a different purpose and gives the enduser enough auditory and visual tools to get his/her job done. The “dialogue” with the kiosk software is usually done via a touch screen display and the menu is intuitive enough to be understood by everyone. Navigating through a menu which the enduser rarely uses can be a low quality experience; considering that if the user gets lost along the way, they are unable to figure out which options to choose. It is very frustrating to enter information and go up until the end of the process just to see your efforts denied by a system error, or in the case of ATMs, your card is “swallowed” by the machine. Considering an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) kiosk and a Conference Kiosk as two parallel comparisons, they cannot be designed in the same way. A kiosk is basically a computer designed to enable people achieve a specific task with minimal levels of interaction. Two main features are central and key when giving life to an interactive kiosk: accessibility and consistency.

User Xperiences (UX)

Generally speaking people tend to have little patience with technology and lose patience very easy when things do not go smoothly. While the hardware plays a major role, it is the software which interacts the most with people and therefore must be 100% perfect. The software used for an interactive kiosk can be considered a positive USER EXPERIENCE (UX) if it provides recognisable iconography, clutter-free interface, a very long uptime (free from unexpected errors and crashes while hosting delicate processes (like financial transactions and personal information handling) in a secure environment. Kiosks are usually built to be very resistant to any unauthorised breaching attempts. Durable materials and very well considered structural processes are key elements that make a kiosk safe to be left unsupervised and open for unlimited public use. Whether we are talking about inside or outside locations, kiosks should be designed to withstand impact and discourage any theft attempt. Like a nut, the outside shell of any kiosk should be hard to crack.

Conclusion

Any business planning to use a kiosk must align itself with a bespoke service who will carefully plan and design kiosks; paying attention to every detail of your business actions and, most important, to every interaction your potential customer will make. Using a bespoke design service to build an interactive kiosk for your business is always better, safer and cost-effective than limiting your business to a standard off-the-shelf kiosk. Although software and construction quality should always come first as the main assets of your kiosks, you should not neglect design. Design is in most of the cases the “x factor” that drive new people to choose you and your business from a large pool of businesses offering very similar services. It is the design of your kiosk, powered by a curated software application which combines cultural anthropology, symbolism, iconography and visual design, that will raise eyebrows on the streets and make people think: “What is that? I want to know what it is and what it does.” Functionality and reliability will only add up to the efforts of transforming a visit triggered by curiosity to constant use. Using bespoke kiosks means that each unit is designed and manufactured according to your specific needs, requirements and preferences. Reaching for bespoke services also means you will most likely receive extended assistance and information exchange during the whole process, from the drawing board up until the assembly line. Colour, materials, functionality are all variables for you to play with. Even though we know that most of the designing should be left to professionals, even the smallest involvement will enable you get the exact kiosk that addresses your business needs. Interested in bespoke interactive kiosks? Contact Ofamfa Design Studio now.


About the author: Sal Souza is an International Designer (Graphic, Visual, Multimedia, Broadcast Media, Industrial, User Interaction, User Experience) and IT Consultant with expertise in New Media, Web 3.0, IPTV, DTV, Media Production, Product Prototyping, Desktop Software, Interactivity, Mobile Applications, Traditional Knowledge, Geographical Indications and Cultural Goods. He lives and works in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Beninoise technology will save the world


Ganvie. Benin.

Introduction

As the world population crosses the 7 billion mark, the greatest minds are thinking up plausible solutions to Food, Energy and Shelter. The current discourse evolving out of these minds are heading in directions were expectations will not be met but even become dire: unsustainable technologies like patented genetically modified foods (Food), additional nuclear plants (Energy) and prefabricated concrete housing (Shelter). It is reassuring that the vast majority of people are not leaving these major human-impacting decisions to a few thinkers. To these ends, the influence and re-adoption of natural bio foods and green energies like wind, solar and new battery systems are fueling the drive to take care of our species and environment in a much better manner.

A Beninoise Technology

Nestled in the outskirts of the Beninoise capital Cotonou, is a unique enclave of about 20,000 people in the village of Ganvie. These people, although seemingly ordinary are the bearers and trustees of a special green technology system that will come to save the world’s housing needs. The housing system in Ganvie is nothing to write home about when you talk of appearance and aesthetics, but within its core foundation is a civil engineering feat that breaks every building technology out there. Houses are constructed with simple amenities like wood and twine and thatch. The ingenuity is firmly rooted in the engineering that enable complete homes to be suspended on sticks +/- 50cm in diameter. The building frame is aerodynamic and permits the flow of light during the day whilst keeping out the moonlight at night. The highest innovative quality shines best during the heavy rainy seasons from June through to September; the houses stay dry and warm.

Engineering

Traditional knowledge engineers in Ganvie can help the world understand how their engineering systems and constrution methodologies enable them to live in harmony with torrential rain, water and wind bursts. Areas in the world which suffer the effects of floods, tsunamis, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural but violent reactions to human activity will benefit from these systems. In its current formatting, knowledge of water bodies, silt, sand culture, elevation systems, bridge construction and other housing considerations remain in a culturally-relevant format. This format limits its ability to become a formalised civil engineering system and a future technology that is uniquely Beninoise. To move this knowledge into the future is of paramount importance because of its relevance to the world’s needs.

Conclusion

Benin is a country of tremendous traditional knowledge (TK) systems. From the body of its TK systems comes an engineering technology rooted in Ganvie. As the world grows and the housing needs of people become ever more urgent, the people of Ganvie are in the position to help the world build in harmony with the environment. Their sytems for selecting materials, locations, techniques and for managing water and humans will enable countries like Japan, The United Kingdom, Philippines, the United States and the rest of the world to engineer much better homes.


About the author: Sal Souza is an International Designer (Graphic, Visual, Multimedia, Broadcast Media, Industrial, User Interaction, User Experience) and IT Consultant with expertise in New Media, Web 3.0, IPTV, DTV, Media Production, Product Prototyping, Desktop Software, Interactivity, Mobile Applications, Traditional Knowledge, Geographical Indications and Cultural Goods. He lives and works in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.