So I'm looking forward to a Thanks Giving party at a friend's place. Her place is commonly hard to navigate to as people don't think Denis Pritt Road keeps going in her direction from the roundabout.
The host sent me a GPS pin point of a place listed on Google across from where her house is and included a text description.
I sent the people going an OkHi link with hosts's details, she was happy to have a link to share around finally, and one attendee came to me saying "I've been wanting something like this for ages. People struggle to find our office, and I meet with a lot of people. This would make my life so much easier. When can I get one?"
She wanted it for Spire where it happened we had done some testing, so I said tomorrow because we'd already collected data on the location. She was excited, so much so she emailed me the next morning with a reminder making sure she really got the URL!
Think big: OkHi founder Timbo Drayson talks about building a team in Nairobi to provide addresses to 4 billion people.
We have a great relationship with Nairobi's Boda Boda drivers. They make up a huge part of our research studies. They've seen more of our product and its evolution than anyone else! The ultimate testers...
To the Piki Piki Warriors, we salute you.
Just a high five to our awesome extended team!
Here Wes "P0, The Whisperer" Chege with Erastus and Shaq.
It's been an amazing whirlwind for nearly a year now. We're busy... and on the look out for world class people to join us on our mission.
Hosted by Ben Davies and Masumi Matsumoto we got involved on its final leg having been through South Africa and Nigeria.
It was really inspiring to see Kenyans and non-Kenyans engaged in the cutting edge of UX and getting an intro in Material Design.
We were tasked with creating a financial phone application for freelancers or consultants. We actually managed to win the competition for the best app after Punit "made it rain" in our teams presentation.
It was an activity packed two days that we really enjoyed attending. Thanks Google.
"We challenged ourselves to create a visual language for our users that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science. This is material design. This spec is a living document that will be updated as we continue to develop the tenets and specifics of material design." – Google [ Material Design Introduction ]
And you've done a great job...
At OkHi we're excited about the possibilities of Material Design, its now an integral part of our design and engineering workflow.
Its such a well thought through design system covering so many vital aspects of interaction and visual design. Although new, there are some great resources out there to get the leg up:
“Focus on the user and all else will follow.” – The Google
My mum lives in the UK, and I live in Kenya, but I feel safe in the knowledge that if something happened to her, emergency services would come to the rescue.
As I was lying in bed this morning, I was imagining, how would I feel if my mum lived here in Kenya? If something happened to her, would I feel confident that an ambulance could find her in time, without getting lost?
The concept of easily sharing an accurate and effective address with emergency services when necessary is very important to us. We aim to enable this with OkHi soon.
Theres so much validation around the addressing problem in Kenya and the world over. We come across and discuss moments everyday that let us know we're dealing with a problem that affects so many.
However, it can be hard for people who live in developed markets to really understand the problem that we're trying to solve. I remember explaining to our lawyer back in London the mission of OkHi, he got it, kinda. The real lightbulb moment came though when I needed to provide my personal address here in Kenya for some investor documents. When I said slightly satirically that I don't have one, the silence on the other end of the phone sounded like a lightbulb turning on!
I did a user research study on the back of a boda boda rider's motorbike to test our latest prototype. Observing him use OkHi to get to three addresses without getting lost once was amazing to see...
My whole family is getting for a wedding reception. Dad decides he is not well enough to go and at the last minute I have to order a burger for him from Big Square.
I call them up, super noisy on the other end of the line. She can barely hear what I'm saying and I'm trying to describe directions to my house (at night). She tells me the rider will call me when he gets close to my house BUT who is going to be able to take this call given that we are already late, busy getting ready and soon to be heading out in a cab.
I was at a Naivas in Westlands trying to buy appliances for a new apartment. I figured out what we needed pretty quickly, seamless checkout process more or less - very helpful staff and they even offered free delivery!
But then getting them to our house was crazy... First, we had to draw out a map even in the era of computers and smartphones. Then there were delays from issues with their delivery service - early on a car failure that they didn't think to get in touch with us about, and then finding the place...
Lots of calls to figure out where we are, even though we were just kilometers from the store, the delivery team struggles to find the place with me coming out front to wave them down from the road.
Would have been amazing to have used OkHi to solve this instead - this experience alone has made my roommate a huge fan and advocate wherever she goes.
We've heard some pretty weird and wonderful stories around giving directions in Kenya. One of our favourites involved being told to: "turn left after where the goats used to graze"
Crazy thing is that someone I asked actually knew what I was talking about.
Directions are contextual. Trying to understand how to give good directions relies on all sorts of starting points. Case in point – someone has directed me to a street, took the wrong turn, now we are both lost! And since our contexts are difference we can't help each other anymore.
We've heard a few stories of ambulances struggling to find people in dire need. This can be compounded by having problems finding a way back to the hospital.
The directions we got to get to a friends place were to walk down a road until we passed three hills then to call again as we were close...
So three guys and I walking down this dusty road in some rural area of Nakuru that was super bumpy every now and then debating whether a bump was one of the hills or just a bump!