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Technology as a Cultural Practice

How do you design a mobile money service for people in rural Uganda who’ve never had a bank account?

How do you test the usability of a mobile phone’s address book for users in rural India who’ve never had an address… yet alone an analog address book?

As cheap PCs and inexpensive mobile phones flood the global market, usability and user experience professionals will encounter more and more questions like these. Questions that challenge not only our research tools and methodologies, but our fundamental assumptions about how people engage with technology.

In this keynote, Rachel will share her thoughts on the challenges and opportunities the current cultural watershed will present to our industry as well as the metamorphosis our field must undergo in order to create great experience across different cultures.

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Technology as a Cultural Practice

  1. Title Technology as a Cultural Practice Rachel Hinman Senior Research Scientist - Nokia Research Center
  2. Title 90 Mobiles in 90 Days
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  10. NPR slide Mobile
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  14. NPR slide UX as Problem Solving
  15. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Make it Work!
  16. Hypothesis vs. Agenda What are we missing when we frame our work as problem solving?
  17. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Parables of the “ Problem Solving” approach
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  21. Hypothesis vs. Agenda NPR slide What are we missing?
  22. Hypothesis vs. Agenda NPR slide What are we missing?
  23. Hypothesis vs. Agenda We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us. Marshall McLuhan
  24. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Central Idea: Technology is a cultural practice
  25. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Central Idea: The time has come to stop thinking of our work solely as “ problem-solving” and start thinking of it is as a form of cultural expression.
  26. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Cultural practice?
  27. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Everyday life rituals
  28. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Social practices
  29. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Medical treatment
  30. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Forms of artistic expression
  31. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Governance, leadership, and conflict resolution
  32. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Power Relationships
  33. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Cultural Institutions
  34. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Housing
  35. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Religion
  36. Hypothesis vs. Agenda <ul><li>Cultural Practices: </li></ul><ul><li>Everyday life practices </li></ul><ul><li>Social practices </li></ul><ul><li>Medical treatment practices </li></ul><ul><li>Forms of artistic expression </li></ul><ul><li>Religious and spiritual practices </li></ul><ul><li>Governance and leadership, conflict resolution </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Power relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Housing and construction </li></ul>
  37. Hypothesis vs. Agenda What does technology and user experience have to do with cultural practices?
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  41. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Edges worth tracking
  42. Hypothesis vs. Agenda New technology makes its way almost everywhere within two years. ~ Jan Chipchase
  43. Hypothesis vs. Agenda
  44. Hypothesis vs. Agenda <ul><li>CHI 2010 Themes: </li></ul><ul><li>Feminism in HCI </li></ul><ul><li>HCI and Politics </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusive Design </li></ul><ul><li>Design for Emerging Markets </li></ul><ul><li>Designing for Social Impact </li></ul><ul><li>HCI and the Environment </li></ul>
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  46. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Signals
  47. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Uganda: Mobile Money
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  52. Hypothesis vs. Agenda “ How does it work?”
  53. Hypothesis vs. Agenda 1. Create an account with authorized dealer
  54. Hypothesis vs. Agenda 1. Create an account with authorized dealer 2. Download Mobile Money application to mobile
  55. Hypothesis vs. Agenda 1. Create an account with authorized dealer 2. Download Mobile Money application to mobile 3. Transfer funds – Passcode, recipient’s phone #
  56. Hypothesis vs. Agenda 1. Create an account with authorized dealer 2. Download Mobile Money application to mobile 3. Transfer funds – Passcode, recipient’s phone # 4. Recipient retrieves funds from authorized dealer (if they have the cash)
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  58. Hypothesis vs. Agenda ?
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  60. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Gestalt: Figure Ground
  61. Hypothesis vs. Agenda McLuhan believed that to fully grasp the effect of a new technology, one must examine figure (medium) and ground (context) together, since neither is completely intelligible without the other. McLuhan argued that we must study media in their historical context, particularly in relation to the technologies that preceded them.
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  70. Hypothesis vs. Agenda India: Mobile Literacy
  71. Hypothesis vs. Agenda 774 Million* *UNESCO Institute for Illiteracy http://www.uis.unesco.org/ev.php?URL_ID=6401&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201
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  84. Hypothesis vs. Agenda 774 Million* *UNESCO Institute for Illiteracy http://www.uis.unesco.org/ev.php?URL_ID=6401&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201
  85. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Literacy
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  88. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.
  89. Hypothesis vs. Agenda The Rearview Mirror
  90. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Mobile presents an opportunity to invent new ways for users to interact with information and each other. Opinion!
  91. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Opinion!
  92. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Even in situations in which a spirit of exploration and freedom exist, where faculty are free to experiment to work beyond physical and social constraints, our cognitive habits often get in the way. Marshall McLuhan called it “the rear-view mirror effect,” noting that “We see the world through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future.”
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  101. Hypothesis vs. Agenda How can I apply this idea to my daily work?
  102. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Less of this, more of that
  103. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Get out of the UX Echo Chamber
  104. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Cultural Relativism
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  106. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Reaching out and touching and shaping the world… allowing the world to touch and reshape us. Reuben Margolin
  107. Hypothesis vs. Agenda Thanks!

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