3 Great Takeaways from the Women In Tech Web Design Workshop

From increased productivity and flexibility to enhanced marketing, science and  technology play a significant role in business growth and sustainability. Information is critical to any business and in this modern era, people and companies are looking for this information online. The ability to create and update your website will save you a lot of money as well as make you a lot of money if you decide to turn into a side hustle by building and selling people websites.

“Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that.”― Paul Cookson

Last week Refactory, a tech skilling program together with Zimba Women, Laboremus Uganda that seeks to provide  financial technology solutions for clients in East Africa and Europe, Hostallite, providing Web hosting, designing and E-commerce solutions in Uganda and East Africa and Next Einstein Forum(NEF), a platform that connects science, society, and policy in Africa and the rest of the world hosted a three day Women In tech Web Design Workshop at Makerere University (CoCIS) from 21st-23rd October during the Africa Science Week. It introduced the use of design thinking techniques such as wireframing in development of technology products and services, and the use of Webflow, a web-design tool that simplifies the use of HTML and CSS in building and publishing beautiful websites. 

“The methodology used at the workshop is way simpler and easier to get on board with than the one used in class”

Here are 3 great takeaways from the Women In Tech Web Design workshop.

1. Human centered design.

“The challenge we have is that we have quite a number of people who want to build and then come back to find out if what they are building is relevant.” “If you decide to spend x number of hours building a website on the assumption that somebody is going to use it and two months down the road find out nobody is interested in using it, you will never recover your time “.

The only trade-able commodity that we all have that is equal is 24hrs, how we choose to spend our 24 hours will determine how far we go.” –  Micheal Niyitegeka; Program director, Refactory

Don’t spend time building a website unless you are  certain that there is an opportunity for people to use it.

2. Invest time in research

-There’s a saying that there is no new  problem under the sun. Take time to find out who else has attempted to do what you are trying to do, which again saves a great deal of time, energy and resources.

-Spend time understanding your users.  Have conversations with your users. If you are building an app for mothers, get to talk to the mother. As humans we have very different needs and wants. A breastfeeding mother and a mother that just conceived’s needs will vary. Take time to understand the end-users to help you better understand what problem you are trying to solve and why.

3. Think outside the box and ask more questions 

 Asking questions is the simplest and most effective way of learning. It not only helps you gain deeper insight but also helps to stay involved.

The quality of our lives is directly related to the quality of our thinking. “The quality of our thinking, in turn, is determined by the quality of our questions, for questions are the engine, the driving force behind thinking.” The Miniature Guide to the Art of Asking Essential Questions

“This workshop has empowered me to be an empower-er to my students, and the ladies that I am mentoring, this is the beginning of something great and we are moving forward.”

 The very competent Joanitah Nalubega, the NEF Uganda ambassador and Maren Hald Bjørgum from Laboremus Uganda assisted by Kakura Cynthia, Ssematimba Trevis, Nsibirwa Melisa and Joan Ssanyu from Zimba Women led the training sessions and saw the event through to success.

 Website topics designed ranged from skincare, climate change, and education, to mention but a few. The participants presented their finished websites for review and appreciation which allowed them to identify areas of improvement. The program Director Refactory, Micheal Niyitegeka and Bonitah Nanziri, an innovator and health tech enthusiast then gave their closing remarks and with an award ceremony, the three day event came to an end.

Also see video content from the Women Web Design workshop

By Melisa Joyce Nagitta

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