In a post by Mindy Zhang on the AshokaTECH blog, Timothy Prestero—Lemelson Fellow, Ashoka Affiliate and Co-Founder of Design That Matters—sheds some light on how to and how not to develop technological solutions to social problems.
Pitfall #1: Starting with invention.
Pitfall #2: Using technology to solve a culture-based problem.
Pitfall #3: Failing to understand the user context.
Pitfall #4: Calling users “dumb.”
Pitfall #5: “One size fits all” syndrome.
Pitfall #6: Clogged supply chain.
(Update Apr 29, 2015 – Unfortunately, the AshokaTECH Blog is no longer live and the full article is not available.)
This is a successful example of Timothy’s and Design That Matters’ work: