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Design at the Edges - UX Design for Developing Countries
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Design at the Edges - UX Design for Developing Countries

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Imagine spending one month’s income on your next mobile phone. Or having to courier it to another town to recharge the battery. Or not being able to read what is written on its screen. These are ...

Imagine spending one month’s income on your next mobile phone. Or having to courier it to another town to recharge the battery. Or not being able to read what is written on its screen. These are everyday realities for people living in poor, developing countries. But mobile usage is exploding throughout the developing world. How should you think differently about design in this context? What does it mean to create appropriate design?

This presentation will explore the challenges and approaches to designing for mobile in developing countries, and will use case studies to help bring these insights to life:

- Bridge International Academies is building hundreds of schools throughout the slums of Kenya that cost $5 per month to attend, and wanted to use technology help the schools run better. But how do you design a complete enterprise management system to run on a $50 phone?

- Refugees United uses mobile technology to help bring together families separated by war and natural disasters. But how do you design a mobile online networking platform for people who have only occasional access to a shared mobile phone?

- Motorola wanted to create a phone for poor illiterate people. How do design a handset user interface so that people who cannot read are able to use it?

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  • Gabriel White: I agree. Humans are similiar. They just have different focus/need at different stages of development. I wasn't referring to motivation. Instead, if we believe the medium is the message, then our (big co) message/channel is mostly wrong when it comes to developing countries. I don't see it as superficial differences. Btw, nice presentation and I'm not hoping start anything other than having a simple discussion. Thanks for sharing slides.

    Jeff Stevens: I wasn't thinking about audio but perhaps this missing bit could the difference. Cheers.
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  • @jasenc The needs are often very much the same in most societies - people have practical needs and aspirational needs. Poor people are still consumers in the same way people in developed countries are, it's just that consumption is focused on different things. Long story short: never think of people living in developing countries as focused only on practical survival, and design is working within a different set of constraints / opportunities.
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  • There will be audio available at www.uxaustralia.com some time in the coming weeks.
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  • @jasenc I think you're hitting on the basic limitation of SlideShare. Based on the author's comments, I think what you're wanting to see was in the content of his speech, which the slides was used to reinforce.
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  • well done. great job but quite depressing in some areas. But thatwas necessary !
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    Design at the Edges - UX Design for Developing Countries Design at the Edges - UX Design for Developing Countries Presentation Transcript

    • Design at the Edges
    • Design for Developing Countries
    • Design for the Poorest
    • Lessons Learned
    • Reference Points
    • Superficial Differences
    • Society is Organised Differently
    • guuleed / Flickr Life’s Practicalities are Different
    • The Reboot / Flickr Difference: We Get It
    • johnjoh / Flickr ‘Developing’ Varies
    • Literacy
    • raymondjune / Flickr Mobiles
    • andresnilsson1976 / Flickr Grid Electricity
    • Lesson ‘Developing’ Varies 14
    • Improvisation
    • fbester / Flickr Uneven Infrastructure
    • maisha_elonai / Flickr Access Happens
    • kiwanja / Flickr Charging Happens
    • Fenix Turning into Business
    • dharma_for_one / Flickr Improvisation Mindset
    • Resource Driven Design
    • yum9me / Flickr SMS, Ubiquitous Platform
    • rickroxburgh.com Enterprise-Grade SMS
    • EU Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection / Flickr Front-line Field Staff
    • World Bank / Flickr Maternal Health
    • Internews / Flickr Community Radio Stations
    • capcase / Flickr The Swiss Army Knife
    • Quality Education for $5
    • Bridge International Academies Standardisation & Data
    • Poor Infrastructure
    • Bridge International Academies $50 Android Devices
    • Bridge International Acadmies $80 Refurbished e-Readers
    • Lesson Allow for Improvisation 33
    • Lesson Assess Resources 34
    • Communities
    • ne / Flickr Literacy Rates Often Low
    • dharmasphere / Flickr Technological Literacy
    • wink / Flickr Proximate Literacy
    • otama / Flickr ATMs
    • EU Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection / Flickr Reuniting Refugees
    • Refugees United Extended Communities
    • Refugees United Many People, One Device
    • One Account, Many People
    • Lesson Distributed Capabilities 44
    • Lesson Personal is Shared 45
    • Meaning
    • Artii / Flickr Low Literacy = High Literality
    • Ringtone Icon
    • swamibu / Flickr China
    • m4roon3d / Flickr India
    • zz77 / Flickr Ethiopia
    • onecle / Flickr Thailand
    • Motorola Learned Metaphors
    • amrefrance / Flickr Giving Instructions
    • Daktari Diagnostics Literate, Low Education
    • Lesson Abstraction Doesn’t Work 57
    • Lesson Representation Matters 58
    • Navigation
    • Amazon Navigation is Learned
    • bluekdesign / Flickr Models are Hard
    • Free Photo Fun / Flickr ‘Spatial’ Design Works Better
    • The Reboot / Flickr Mobiles Make this Difficult
    • Motorola Shallow Navigation, Spatial Design
    • Lesson Keep Navigation Shallow 65
    • Lesson Spatialise the Design 66
    • Lesson Touch is Wonderful 67
    • Change
    • swankalot / Flickr Developed Markets Are Slow
    • Change is Normal
    • andrewcurrie / Flickr Electronic Payments
    • oddwick / Flickr Internet Access
    • meemoo / Flickr Micro-business Bookkeeping
    • japsden / Flickr QR Codes
    • Lesson People Will Try Things 75
    • Lesson Change is OK 76
    • Design at the Edges
    • Design is the Same
    • Different Pragmatics
    • Future Consumers
    • Thanks! Gabriel White @smallsurfaces gabriel@smallsurfaces.com