A simple illustrated image of a person running through an open door with the words ‘The State of Responsible IoT 2019
A simple illustrated image of a person running through an open door with the words ‘The State of Responsible IoT 2019

After speaking at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences in Spring 2019 they invited me to participate in a publication about the state of responsible technology looking at surveillance capitalism and specifically, the effects that can have on human rights technology and democracy.

I thought I’d add three sections from the publication here as it reflects on my time at Ushahidi and my thoughts about what technologies like Ushahidi’s Crowd Sourcing tools mean to people around the world.

Technology for human rights has come a long way. What responsibilities does it now have to ensure citizens are safe and promote peace?

The ability and the intention to listen to an existing or growing community and offer that community accessible ways to communicate to…

Eriol at Birmingham Design festival speaking on ‘Design for Crisis’
Eriol at Birmingham Design festival speaking on ‘Design for Crisis’

I’ve been tremendously privileged to tour several talks across the UK, Europe, Canada, North America, Asia and Africa ( I’m looking at you next South America, Oceania & Australia!).

My most widely known and requested talk is ‘Diverse representations in design and awkward conversations with colleagues’ but quickly gaining bookings are my talks on Designing tech tools for crisis & natural disaster relief in developed and developing countries and Open Source Design with OSS. As well as my two talks currently in progress Does experience and understanding abuse and trauma make me a good user experience designer? and How to…

Part 1 of 2 articles covering design research in crisis/disaster response and emergency services.

Guerilla Research

There’s a term in UX research called ‘Guerilla Research’ or ‘Guerilla Usertesting’ which many may be familiar with. This is, essentially when you go out ‘in to the field’, a real space with real human beings going about their daily lives and then ask questions, interview, take pictures, video, sketch and audio record and sometimes even offer a ‘product’ (often a mobile or tablet with wireframes or a physical prototype made of paper, wood or cardboard etc.) for them to test out there and then.


TenFour is Ushahidi’s tool that allows organisations to send out crisis communications (check-ins) to team members via a variety of different methods such as text SMS, voice call, slack, email and within the app itself. The owners and users of the TenFour account that sent out the check in, then receive an aggregated reply to quickly see whether everyone in a team is safe during a crisis.

By Jenniline Ebai

As a junior programmer applying into Outreachy was a big challenge. Even the thought of deciding to apply was a scary one too. Open source was not something I was very much engaged in but I had to give it a try, after all, you never know if you are ready till you are tested.

Around November 2018 a few months after I had just started learning to code, a friend of mine Perside who was a contributor and intern at Wikimedia for Google Summer of code encouraged me to engage in open source, for it was…

Trigger warnings: This article will reference some personal stories of emotional and physical abuse.

Are the abused, to whom it is second nature to subdue or even deny their own existence, the ones who also find it uncannily easy to become the ‘voice of the user’?

How might we better understand then how their own voices can be lost in the fray?

I’m both a painfully honest person and a tremendous self-editor.

Honest questions like: Can experiencing and understanding abuse and trauma make me a good user experience designer? recur frequently for me ever since sliding into the ‘primary role’ of a UX designer over the last 5 years of my design career. The edited part being the depth which I can or will go into how personal experience leads me to question whether it makes me good, or incredibly fragile. …

As designers and UX researchers, we often put ourselves and those we test with in the position of others to inform our work. Here’s one to get us started:

Imagine you’re a person with a sight impairment. How do you access our web products and apps?

And a little bit more flavour to that sight impairment: Perhaps you have around 5% vision across both eyes.

What kinds of ‘actions’ might you do to make the web products and apps:

You might use a ‘zoom’ function on a browser to better view the content on web pages, apps and digital content.

What happens when (using a zoom function) meaningful actions like buttons and form fields disappear or are…

It’s a Saturday afternoon in Autumn. The large board-room of a rented out tech office space has had it’s one polished 20+ person table removed in favour of 6 different smaller tables. One or two people are seated in each space with large sheets of paper pens and other paraphernalia associated with ‘brainstorming’.

There’s a cluster of more the 30 people that have entered this room as one group with wildly different age ranges, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

The reason these 30+ people are there? …

I’ve spoken about in-house design publicly three times, at three events at quite different time in my life/career.

The first was at Reasons to be Creative conference in Brighton as one of the elevator pitchers. The second was the same talk, extended into 20 minutes and given at Design Stuff Cardiff (This talk uses my old birth name not my chosen name) and the third time was this year in 2017 at South West: UX.

Prior to speaking at them, I was attending these conferences and meet-ups early on in my design career and hearing addresses from designers and developers…

Lately I’ve been taking some time out of my career path and job search to really look at what’s important to me in life.

Work is a huge part of my life, I adore the work I do and I know I’m happiest when my design and research skills are being put to good use in solving real-world problems for users/people.

However, I asked myself this question:

“What are the things that I’ve done that I’m most proud of?”

‘Being proud’ is a difficult term for me, I suspect this is true for most women/femme-folk. Modesty and humbleness is a trait that’s rather ingrained and encouraged. Balancing this instinct to be humble…

Eriol Fox (Ehh-roll)

Humanitarian Designer for FOSS & human rights tech. @opensrcdesign team. @ushahidi alumni. Writes about design, tech, OSS, games, LGBTQ+ &psychology.

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