Nordkapp was tasked with creating a service platform around a physical internet base station that would provide connectivity to areas with inadequate or no coverage. We believed that conducting research early in the design process would be more profitable than leaving it to the last mile. With that in mind, we conducted research in Windhoek, Namibia, to validate our design and business concepts and see if our assumptions were a match for their intended purpose.
Nordkapp faced several challenges while conducting research in Windhoek, Namibia. To conduct research, Nordkapp needed to apply for a research visa from the Namibian Embassy, which required gathering several documents, such as school degrees, insurance certificates, criminal record statements, and officially stamped copies of passports. They also needed to find a reliable local partner. Nordkapp secured research visas through the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST), which promised to collaborate and assist with local practicalities. Nordkapp's goal was to immerse themselves in the local culture, hold ad hoc conversations, and conduct a couple of co-creation workshops with locals who live on limited means on the outskirts of Katutura township.
Nordkapp gained a basic understanding of where they were heading by having long conversations with a native Namibian doing her Doctoral studies at Aalto University. Nordkapp rented premises at Kabila Community Centre to conduct the co-creation workshops. During their research, Nordkapp had to make several schedule changes on short notice. However, things rolled smoothly while they were there, and they even managed to meet different people from the Namibian government. Nordkapp's support crew from NUST was instrumental in guiding them during and after business hours, showing them the places where locals go, organizing the recruitment of the study participants, explaining the cultural things they couldn't figure out on their own, translating their concept into Oshiwambo and Afrikaans when their participants were not fluent in English, and helping them execute a workshop and barbecue for a hundred church visitors after the Sunday service.
Nordkapp's research in Windhoek, Namibia, helped validate their concept and see if their assumptions were a match for their intended purpose. Conducting research in an authentic context allowed Nordkapp to immerse themselves in the local culture and hold ad hoc conversations, which enabled them to gain a better understanding of the realities of how people live on the other side of the world. Nordkapp's partnership with NUST was instrumental in making their research