Kenya’s Ushahidi to be redesigned

The process of redesigning Ushahidi platform, a mobile app enabling users to crowdsource crisis information, is currently on track. The new platform, Ushahidi v3, will be a complete redesign of Ushahidi’s core platform with the front-end set to be more mobile web-focused.

Erik Hersman, co-founder at Ushahidi, said in a recent post: “As Ushahidi, we are still building, theming and using Ushahidi v2.x, and will continue to do so for a long time. This idea of a v3 is just vaporware until we actually decide to build it, but the exercise has already born fruit because it forces us to ask what it might look like if we weren’t constrained by the legacy structure we had built. We’d love to get more input from everyone on this as we go forward.”

The proposed changes follow a recent statement by the Kenyan platform discussing with members of its community about possible upcoming software development changes.

Some of the new proposed features to the platform will include introduction of design tools called “Personas” & “Scenarios”. This is a direct result of their discussions with users of the Ushahidi platform.

Gabriel White, of Small Surfaces and also involved with Ushahidi explained that persona is a description of a person that includes information about his goals, motivations and needs as he relates to a product (in this case Ushahidi).

“Scenarios are descriptions of the most important activities people need to be able to carry out when using the software. Creating these helps make sure we remain focused on real user needs as we design Ushahidi 3.0,” White said.

White added that it is hoped the new features will help the platform ensure that the software, at its core, addresses the most important needs.

Ushahidi, Inc, a non-profit software company that develops free and open source software (LGPL) for information collection, visualization and interaction, develops the app.

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