Posted to the Ethnos Project by on August 26th, 2013

One of the greatest challenges in developing Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for global development is that 41% of the population in the least developed countries is non-literate and even the literate among the poor are only novice users of technology. I will describe work we have done over the past 6 years in Text-Free User Interfaces. Text-Free UIs are design principles and recommendations for computer-human interfaces that would allow a first-time, non-literate person, on first contact with a PC or a mobile phone, to immediately realize useful interaction with minimal or no external assistance. Through an ethnographic design and iterative prototyping process and rigorous user evaluations, involving more than 700 hours of field work and 570 study participants from low-income, low-literate communities across India, the Philippines and South Africa, we established design principles that could apply to UIs for non-literate groups new to ICTs. [source]

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