HCI4D

Human–Computer Interaction and Global Development

Title: Human–Computer Interaction and Global Development
Author: Kentaro Toyama
Pages: 81 pp.
Source: Foundations and Trends in Human–Computer Interaction Vol. 4, No. 1 (2010) 1–79
Doi: 10.1561/1100000021
Date (published): 13/11/2010
Date (accessed): 09/11/2011
Type of information: research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"International development is concerned with making life better for the least privileged people of the world. Since the 1990s, HCI has engaged increasingly with development through an interdisciplinary field known as “information and communication technologies for development,” or ICT4D. This article overviews the historical relationship between HCI and international development, compares their disciplinary approaches, and suggests that both sides would gain from ongoing interaction. Inter- national development could benefit from HCI’s broad methodological tools, which include qualitative and quantitative research methods, design through iterative prototyping, and reflective inquiry. HCI could benefit from international development’s exposure to a broader base of cultures, sectors, and concerns. These issues are discussed with specific examples from published papers and several well-known projects that apply HCI to development. Finally, future directions for an ongoing collaboration between HCI and development are also indicated."

Stories from the Field: Reflections on HCI4D Experiences

Title: Stories from the Field: Reflections on HCI4D Experiences
Authors: Yaw Anokwa, Thomas N. Smyth, Divya Ramachandran, Jahanzeb Sherwani, Yael Schwartzman, Rowena Luk, Melissa Ho, Neema Moraveji, Brian DeRenzi
Pages: 15 pp.
ISSN: 1544-7529
Source: Information Technologies & International Development; Volume 5, Number 4, Winter 2009, 101–115, (Special Issue: HCI4D)
Publisher: USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
Date (published): 17/12/2009
Date (accessed): 18/12/2009
Type of information: peer-reviewed article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
Human-computer interaction for development (HCI4D) requires considerable time in the field interacting with users. While this is true for most HCI work, fieldwork in developing regions presents unique challenges due to differences in culture, language, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. As a group of nine HCI4D researchers, we have adopted a systematic approach to reflect on the challenges we have encountered in the field. Arising from this exercise are three contributions: The first is our research method itself, which uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative instruments to elicit and synthesize individual experiences. The second, intended for beginning researchers, is a set of lessons learned and suggested strategies for navigating the unique challenges of HCI4D research. The third, intended for the HCI4D community at large, is a critical reflection on the field itself, inspired by our findings. Topics covered include the incentives and agendas of the research world, the importance of managing expectations, the nature of "participation" in HCI4D, and the conflict between research and development more generally.

A Multidisciplinary Approach to ICT Development

Title: A Multidisciplinary Approach to ICT Development
Author: Vikram Parmar
Pages: 8 pp.
ISSN: 1544-7529
Source: Information Technologies & International Development; Volume 5, Number 4, Winter 2009, 89–96, (Special Issue: HCI4D)
Publisher: USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
Date (published): 17/12/2009
Date (accessed): 18/12/2009
Type of information: research paper
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
Despite large-scale investment in ICT in developing countries, information poverty has not been addressed, particularly for rural users. This article analyzes the shortcomings of current ICT design and deployment approaches and attributes the failures to both poorly designed information transfer mechanisms and single disciplinary development approaches. The article calls for adopting a multidisciplinary design approach when developing ICT interventions and proposes employing a user-centered design framework as a tool to help achieve higher user acceptance and efficient information transfer.

Overcoming Blind Spots in Interaction Design: A Case Study in Designing for African AIDS Orphan Care Communities

Title: Overcoming Blind Spots in Interaction Design: A Case Study in Designing for African AIDS Orphan Care Communities
Authors: Donald J. Patterson, Susan Elliott Sim, Tosin Aiyelokun
Pages: 14 pp.
ISSN: 1544-7529
Source: Information Technologies & International Development; Volume 5, Number 4, Winter 2009, 75–88, (Special Issue: HCI4D)
Publisher: USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
Date (published): 17/12/2009
Date (accessed): 18/12/2009
Type of information: peer-reviewed article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
The process of designing technological systems for the developing world is a challenging task. In a project that we undertook in the summer of 2007 using an iterative design process, we attempted to develop delay-tolerant networking technology on mobile phones to support workers at AIDS orphanages in Zambia and South Africa. Despite extensive preparations and research, we found that conditions on the ground were radically different from what we had anticipated, and we had to quickly re-group and redefine our strategic goals. This experience made us realize that, for this type of design, resiliency and contingency planning were the most valuable tools in our interaction design toolbox. In response to changing conditions, we rapidly prototyped a different mobile telephony application called Nomatic*AID that provides a feedback loop among donors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and field workers. In this paper, we reflect on the redirection of our work once we reached our field site and our resulting acceptance of design blind spots. We present lessons we learned to help practitioners meet their goals in the presence of considerable and obvious design distance.

Adapting User-Centered Design Methods to Design for Diverse Populations

Title: Adapting User-Centered Design Methods to Design for Diverse Populations
Authors: Cynthia Putnam, Emma Rose, Erica J. Johnson, Beth Kolko
Pages: 23 pp.
ISSN: 1544-7529
Source: Information Technologies & International Development; Volume 5, Number 4, Winter 2009, 51–73, (Special Issue: HCI4D)
Publisher: USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
Date (published): 17/12/2009
Date (accessed): 18/12/2009
Type of information: peer-reviewed article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
User-centered design (UCD) methods such as personas and scenarios are useful tools for communicating extensive user research to design teams. However, the intensive data collection and onsite fieldwork required to create personas and scenarios can present barriers for user researchers and design teams working on technology innovations for diverse populations, including those in developing regions. This article presents a model that demonstrates how user researchers and design teams can use data collected for other purposes to source personas and scenarios and to substantively adopt user-centered design approaches. We demonstrate our methods based on research conducted in a case study in Kyrgyzstan, a country in Central Asia.

Orality-Grounded HCID: Understanding the Oral User

Title: Orality-Grounded HCID: Understanding the Oral User
Authors: Jahanzeb Sherwani, Nosheen Ali, Carolyn Penstein Rosé, Roni Rosenfeld
Pages: 13 pp.
ISSN: 1544-7529
Source: Information Technologies & International Development; Volume 5, Number 4, Winter 2009, 37–49, (Special Issue: HCI4D)
Publisher: USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
Date (published): 17/12/2009
Date (accessed): 18/12/2009
Type of information: peer-reviewed article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
While human-computer interaction (HCI) methodologies are designed to be general, they have most often been applied in the context of literate end users in the West. These methodologies may, however, need rethinking for application in HCI for the developing world (HCID) contexts, where many of the basic assumptions that underpin the methods may not always hold true. In this article, we present an overview of one factor that is significantly different in the HCID context—the literacy of the end user—by drawing on the literature of orality, and we offer a framework for HCID methodology that we argue is more appropriate for the HCID context. Based on this framework, we then present guidelines for design and user research methodologies in such contexts, highlighting seminal HCID research that corroborates these guidelines.

Democracy, Design, and Development in Community Content Creation: Lessons From the StoryBank Project

Title: Democracy, Design, and Development in Community Content Creation: Lessons From the StoryBank Project
Authors: David M. Frohlich, Ramnath Bhat, Matt Jones, Mounia Lalmas, Maxine Frank, Dorothy Rachovides, Roger Tucker, Kiriaki Riga
Pages: 17 pp.
ISSN: 1544-7529
Source: Information Technologies & International Development; Volume 5, Number 4, Winter 2009, 19–35, (Special Issue: HCI4D)
Publisher: USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
Date (published): 17/12/2009
Date (accessed): 18/12/2009
Type of information: peer-reviewed article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
Mobile and Web 2.0 technology have the very real potential to democratize the creation and sharing of multimedia content in developing communities, even beyond the levels currently seen in community radio and television. In this article, we report the findings of an exercise to test this potential in partnership with a Budikote village in southern India. We show how a system called StoryBank supported the creation of short digital stories on a text-free camera phone, and how these stories could be shared through a community repository and touch-screen display. Despite the success of a field trial in which 137 stories were created and shared over a one-month period, various technical and social factors meant that the devices and content were more hierarchically managed and controlled than expected. The implications of these experiences for rural development and community-centered design are discussed.

Human-Computer Interaction for Development: The Past, Present, and Future

Title: Human-Computer Interaction for Development: The Past, Present, and Future
Authors: Melissa R. Ho, Thomas N. Smyth, Matthew Kam, Andy Dearden
Pages: 18 pp.
ISSN: 1544-7529
Source: Information Technologies & International Development; Volume 5, Number 4, Winter 2009, 1–18, (Special Issue: HCI4D)
Publisher: USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
Date (published): 17/12/2009
Date (accessed): 18/12/2009
Type of information: peer-reviewed article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
Recent years have seen a burgeoning interest in research into the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the context of developing regions, particularly into how such ICTs might be appropriately designed to meet the unique user and infrastructural requirements that we encounter in these cross-cultural environments. This emerging field, known to some as HCI4D, is the product of a diverse set of origins. As such, it can often be difficult to navigate prior work, and/or to piece together a broad picture of what the field looks like as a whole. In this paper, we aim to contextualize HCI4D—to give it some historical background, to review its existing literature spanning a number of research traditions, to discuss some of its key issues arising from the work done so far, and to suggest some major research objectives for the future.

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