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Putting People First

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April 2009
30 April 2009

NESTA’s Age Unlimited project

Ageing
NESTA, the UK Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, just announced that it has undertaken research which leads it to believe the UK is unprepared for ageing. Just under a third of all pensioners live on or close to the poverty line and twelve million people – half the UK workforce – are putting nothing aside for old age. Demographic patterns mean these trends are getting worse and the UK is failing to find new solutions, focusing instead on existing services and initiatives.

NESTA’s Public services innovation Lab is responding by launching a programme that will design innovative new approaches to create sustained personal well-being for an ageing society. The aim is to get people in their 50′s to plan earlier for old age, when they are in a position to make informed choices about the type of lifestyle they want to lead.

‘Age Unlimited’ will call on policy makers and this new generation of Third-Agers – people aged 50-70 – to shift the focus from retirement to being prepared for ageing. It will experiment with ways of extending working age and social participation and strike a better balance between the contribution and costs of an ageing society in the UK.

A call for ideas has just been launched.

Associated materials

Preparing for ageing
This report (summaryfull report) commissioned by NESTA from Deloitte describes the challenge of an ageing society, assesses the role that innovation is currently playing in meeting this challenge, and identifies where innovation needs to be harnessed more fully. It covers the public, private and voluntary sectors, across five areas: housing; the local environment; health and social care; personal finance; and social inclusion.

The new old age
Perspectives on innovating our way to the good life for all. A collection of essays that form part of our first Lab ‘Accounts’ and complement our Research Summary – ‘Preparing for Ageing’.

Voices of older people (video)
An introduction to what older people feel about the ageing process and their attitudes to retirement in the UK. This film supports the work of The Lab from NESTA as part of our Age Unlimited work.

30 April 2009

Bill Moggridge wins Cooper-Hewitt Lifetime Achievement Award

Grid laptop
Today, Cooper-Hewitt Director Paul Warwick Thompson announced the winners and finalists of the 2009 National Design Awards, which recognise excellence across a variety of disciplines.

The 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award – given in recognition of an individual who has made a profound, long-term contribution to contemporary design practice – went to Bill Moggridge, a true pioneer in user-centred design and interaction design.

“Bill Moggridge is a co-founder of IDEO, a global design consultancy, creating impact through design. A Royal Designer for Industry, Moggridge designed the world’s first laptop computer. He pioneered interaction design and is one of the first people to integrate human factors into the design of software and hardware. He has been a trustee of the Design Museum; visiting professor in interaction design at the Royal College of Art in London, lecturer in Design at the London Business School and a member of the Steering Committee for the Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea, Italy. He is currently consulting associate professor in the design program at Stanford University. His book, DVD and Web site “Designing Interactions” tell the story of how interaction design is transforming our daily lives.”

Bill, congratulations from all of us at Experientia!

30 April 2009

A selection of CHI2009 papers

CHI2009 proceedings cover
Today I spent some time looking through the CHI 2009 papers. Here is a personal selection (and you need an ACM membership to access them):

A comparative study of speech and dialed input voice interfaces in rural India
Neil Patel, Sheetal Agarwal, Nitendra Rajput, Amit Nanavati, Paresh Dave, Tapan S. Parikh
In this paper we present a study comparing speech and dialed input voice user interfaces for farmers in Gujarat, India. We ran a controlled, between-subjects experiment with 45 participants. We found that the task completion rates were significantly higher with dialed input, particularly for subjects under age 30 and those with less than an eighth grade education. Additionally, participants using dialed input demonstrated a significantly greater performance improvement from the first to final task, and reported less difficulty providing input to the system.

Sacred imagery in techno-spiritual design
Susan P. Wyche, Kelly E. Caine, Benjamin K. Davison, Shwetak N. Patel, Michael Arteaga, Rebecca E. Grinter
Despite increased knowledge about how Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) are used to support religious and spiritual practices, designers know little about how to design technologies for faith-related purposes. Our research suggests incorporating sacred imagery into techno-spiritual applications can be useful in guiding development. We illustrate this through the design and evaluation of a mobile phone application developed to support Islamic prayer practices. Our contribution is to show how religious imagery can be used in the design of applications that go beyond the provision of functionality to connect people to the experience of religion.

A comparison of mobile money-transfer UIs for non-literate and semi-literate users
Indrani Medhi, S.N. Nagasena Gautama, Kentaro Toyama
Due to the increasing penetration of mobile phones even into poor communities, mobile payment schemes could bring formal financial services to the “unbanked”. However, because poverty for the most part also correlates with low levels of formal education, there are questions as to whether electronic access to complex financial services is enough to bridge the gap, and if so, what sort of UI is best.
In this paper, we present two studies that provide preliminary answers to these questions. We first investigated the usability of existing mobile payment services, through an ethnographic study involving 90 subjects in India, Kenya, the Philippines and South Africa. This was followed by a usability study with another 58 subjects in India, in which we compared non-literate and semi-literate subjects on three systems: text-based, spoken dialog (without text), and rich multimedia (also without text). Results confirm that non-text designs are strongly preferred over text-based designs and that while task-completion rates are better for the rich multimedia UI, speed is faster and less assistance is required on the spoken-dialog system.

Comparing semiliterate and illiterate users’ ability to transition from audio+text to text-only interaction
Leah Findlater, Ravin Balakrishnan, Kentaro Toyama
Multimodal interfaces with little or no text have been shown to be useful for users with low literacy. However, this research has not differentiated between the needs of the fully illiterate and semiliterate – those who have basic literacy but cannot read and write fluently. Text offers a fast and unambiguous mode of interaction for literate users and the exposure to text may allow for incidental improvement of reading skills. We conducted two studies that explore how semiliterate users with very little education might benefit from a combination of text and audio as compared to illiterate and literate users. Results show that semiliterate users reduced their use of audio support even during the first hour of use and over several hours this reduction was accompanied by a gain in visual word recognition; illiterate users showed no similar improvement. Semiliterate users should thus be treated differently from illiterate users in interface design.

StoryBank: mobile digital storytelling in a development context
David M. Frohlich, Dorothy Rachovides, Kiriaki Riga, Ramnath Bhat, Maxine Frank, Eran Edirisinghe, Dhammike Wickramanayaka, Matt Jones, Will Harwood
Mobile imaging and digital storytelling currently support a growing practice of multimedia communication in the West. In this paper we describe a project which explores their benefit in the East, to support non-textual information sharing in an Indian village. Local audiovisual story creation and sharing activities were carried out in a one month trial, using 10 customized cameraphones and a digital library of stories represented on a village display. The findings show that the system was usable by a cross-section of the community and valued for its ability to express a mixture of development and community information in an accessible form. Lessons for the role of HCI in this context are also discussed.

Designable visual markers
Enrico Costanza, Jeffrey Huang
Visual markers are graphic symbols designed to be easily recognised by machines. They are traditionally used to track goods, but there is increasing interest in their application to mobile HCI. By scanning a visual marker through a camera phone users can retrieve localised information and access mobile services.
One missed opportunity in current visual marker systems is that the markers themselves cannot be visually designed, they are not expressive to humans, and thus fail to convey information before being scanned. This paper provides an overview of d-touch, an open source system that allows users to create their own markers, controlling their aesthetic qualities. The system runs in real-time on mobile phones and desktop computers. To increase computational efficiency d-touch imposes constraints on the design of the markers in terms of the relationship of dark and light regions in the symbols. We report a user study in which pairs of novice users generated between 3 and 27 valid and expressive markers within one hour of being introduced to the system, demonstrating its flexibility and ease of use.

“When I am on Wi-Fi, I am fearless”: privacy concerns & practices in everyday Wi-Fi use
Predrag Klasnja, Sunny Consolvo, Jaeyeon Jung, Benjamin M. Greenstein, Louis LeGrand, Pauline Powledge, David Wetherall
Increasingly, users access online services such as email, e-commerce, and social networking sites via 802.11-based wireless networks. As they do so, they expose a range of personal information such as their names, email addresses, and ZIP codes to anyone within broadcast range of the network. This paper presents results from an exploratory study that examined how users from the general public understand Wi-Fi, what their concerns are related to Wi-Fi use, and which practices they follow to counter perceived threats. Our results reveal that while users understand the practical details of Wi-Fi use reasonably well, they lack understanding of important privacy risks. In addition, users employ incomplete protective practices which results in a false sense of security and lack of concern while on Wi-Fi. Based on our results, we outline opportunities for technology to help address these problems.
Predrag Klasnja, Sunny Consolvo, Jaeyeon Jung, Benjamin M. Greenstein, Louis LeGrand, Pauline Powledge, David Wetherall

Sharing empty moments: design for remote couples
Danielle Lottridge, Nicolas Masson, Wendy Mackay
Many couples are forced to live apart, for work, school or other reasons. This paper describes our study of 13 such couples and what they lack from existing communication technologies. We explored what they wanted to share (presence, mood, environment, daily events and activities), how they wanted to share (simple, lightweight, playful, pleasant interaction), and when they wanted to share (‘empty moments’ such as waiting, walking, taking a break, waking up, eating, and going to sleep). ‘Empty moments’ provide a compelling new opportunity for design, requiring subtlety and flexibility to enable participants to share connection without explicit messages. We designed MissU as a technology probe to study empty moments in situ. Similar to a private radio station, MissU shares music and background sounds. Field studies produced results relevant to social science, technology and design: couples with established routines were comforted; characteristics such as ambiguity and ‘movable’ technology (situated in the home yet portable) provide support. These insights suggest a design space for supporting the sharing of empty moments.

30 April 2009

Is Interaction Design a dead-end job?

Interaction design
Tim McCoy of Cooper thinks it is, at least as a service offering and a career path.

“IDEO’s Bill Moggridge made a comment last week after a screening of Objectified that hit close to home. To paraphrase, he said interaction design has become pervasive, that anyone and everyone can be an interaction designer, and so the role of professional interaction designer is (or is becoming) unnecessary.

So, is Interaction Design a dead-end job?

As an expertise, no. But as a discrete service offering or a career path, I say absolutely.

This position has not made me any new friends around the office, but to be clear, I’m not suggesting our profession is akin to flipping burgers at the mall. Instead, it’s that interaction design has reached a point of maturity where growth is constrained. I see three major factors behind this and hope that by acknowledging them we can find a way forward.”

There is also a rich discussion in the comment thread.

Read full story

30 April 2009

Social networking sites as business tools

GPS satellite
anthrodesign is a Yahoo! group of (currently 1693) individuals interested in the role of applied anthropology in the corporate, public sector, and medical contexts.

A recent contribution by Russ Nelson of Conifer Research is worth reproducing here:

Enough adults now have profiles on social networking sites–about 35%–that the fear or ick factor is going away.

As a result, social media/web 2.0 technologies are slowly being legitimized as business tools to improve communication, collaboration, and productivity (in part by reducing the amount of email). In my mind, it’s really interesting how technology is now being developed by and for consumers and then trickles into the business world. For so many years, it was the other way around (email, computers, cell phones, etc. all began as business technologies).

HP Labs is one of the many institutions that is studying the effect of these tools. I am sure that others on this list know of countless other sources for research in this area.

One good case study is Unity, Lockheed-Martin’s enterprise social networking platform (slides here).

30 April 2009

User-centred design improves workflows in radiology

Siemens
From an article on eHealthNews:

“The software developers at Siemens Healthcare have come up with something special for customers employing Siemens PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) and RIS (Radiology Information System) software: Clinical staff members process their specific tasks via “role-based portals”. These portal applications are tailored to the respective users and workplaces. Therefore, each application offers precisely those functions the staff member needs for his/her tasks.

Siemens developed this portal concept according to the “User Centered Design” method. By combining the practical clinical experience of many customers and users with medical knowledge and modern user ergonomics, developers created an innovative user interface which demonstrably enhances radiology workflows.

Three applications of this type are already on the market: The Syngo Portal Radiologist and Syngo Portal Referring Physician support efficient workflow for diagnostic processes relating to all aspects of radiology. Furthermore, Siemens recently introduced the Syngo Portal Transcriptionist, which simplifies the transcription of medical texts for transcriptionists and secretaries.”

Read full story

29 April 2009

Book “The Plenitude” – and extra thoughts on design and ubicomp

The Plenitude
The Plenitude
Creativity, Innovation, and Making Stuff
Rich Gold
Foreword by John Maeda
MIT Press, September 2007

We live with a lot of stuff. The average kitchen, for example, is home to stuff galore, and every appliance, every utensil, every thing, is compound—composed of tens, hundreds, even thousands of other things. Although each piece of stuff satisfies some desire, it also creates the need for even more stuff: cereal demands a spoon; a television demands a remote. Rich Gold calls this dense, knotted ecology of human-made stuff the “Plenitude.” And in this book—at once cartoon treatise, autobiographical reflection, and practical essay in moral philosophy—he tells us how to understand and live with it.

Gold writes about the Plenitude from the seemingly contradictory (but in his view, complementary) perspectives of artist, scientist, designer, and engineer—all professions pursued by him, sometimes simultaneously, in the course of his career. “I have spent my life making more stuff for the Plenitude,” he writes, acknowledging that the Plenitude grows not only because it creates a desire for more of itself but also because it is extraordinary and pleasurable to create.

Gold illustrates these creative expressions with witty cartoons. He describes “seven patterns of innovation”—including “The Big Kahuna,” “Colonization” (which is illustrated by a drawing of “The real history of baseball,” beginning with “Play for free in the backyard” and ending with “Pay to play interactive baseball at home”), and “Stuff Desires to Be Better Stuff” (and its corollary, “Technology Desires to Be Product”). Finally, he meditates on the Plenitude itself and its moral contradictions. How can we in good conscience accept the pleasures of creating stuff that only creates the need for more stuff? He quotes a friend: “We should be careful to make the world we actually want to live in.”

Mike Kuniavsky points out that “The Plenitude Companion“, the parts left out of the MIT Press book, contains Rich Gold’s thoughts on design and ubicomp.

29 April 2009

Research on how teenagers use news sites

Teens Know
The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) Foundation has published a report on a study on how teenagers use news sites.

“The NAA Foundation and the Media Management Center at Northwestern University have teamed up to explore and put to the test better ways to match the online news preferences of teens.

We developed prototypes of home pages and story-level pages, then tested them in focus groups across the United States. Teens’ responses were remarkably and overwhelmingly consistent, regardless of market size or location.

We found that there are better ways to serve teens with online news. The answer isn’t to dilute the news, but to be bolder.

This doesn’t mean that news organizations should necessarily create sites just for teens. The term “youth news Web site” conjures up visions of a site heavy with lifestyle and entertainment content, with a little news on the side. But what these teens said they want are news sites that do news well, not dumb it down or pose as experts in teen culture.

Given that teen responses were very similar to those of adults who are light readers, we recommend creating a new type of site – not just for teens, but for all people who lack experience with news and have a limited amount of time to get engaged with it.”

- Executive summary
- Full report
- Presentation at the NAA Annual Convention in April 2009

26 April 2009

Vodafone’s Receiver Magazine is seizing the moment

Widgets
After a short hiatus, Vodafone’s Receiver Magazine is updated again with a series of articles under the heading “Seizing the Moment”.

The first one in the series is by mobile apps thought-leader Paul Golding, who talks about the user experience of always-connected widgets.

“We are rapidly headed towards a new era of human interaction that is marked by perpetual conversations and perpetual info drip-feed, as enabled by the umbilical of the mobile. With its always-on and always-carried potential, the mobile allows our streams of consciousness and related intentions to be converted instantly into actions with both local and remote effects. Not only does the mobile enable us to seize the moment, but increasingly it is the cause of the moment, adding more and more events to our daily timeline.”

Read full story

26 April 2009

Co-creation’s five guiding principles

Co-creation
Fronteer Strategy, an Amsterdam-based management strategy consulting firm, has published a short (6-page) paper on co-creation, in which they argue that there are four types of co-creation and five guiding principles to any successful Co-creation venture:

The four types of co-creation

  • Club of experts: A very specific challenge is needing expertise and breakthrough ideas. Contributors are found through a selection process. Quality of input is what counts (e.g. Nokia)
  • Crowd of people: Also known as Crowdsourcing. For any given challenge, there might be a person out there having a genial idea that should be given a podium. It’s the Rule of the big numbers (e.g.Threadless)
  • Coalition of parties: In complex situations parties team up to share ideas and investments. Technical breakthroughs and standards often happen when multiple parties collaborate (e.g. IBM)
  • Community of kindred spirits: When developing something for the greater good, a group of people with similar interests and goals can come together and create (e.g. Linux)

The five guiding principles in co-creation

  • Inspire participation: Trigger people to join your challenge: open up and show what’s in it for them (e.g. P&G Connect & Develop)
  • Select the very best: You need the best ideas and the best people to deal with today’s complex issues (e.g. Innocentive)
  • Connect creative minds: You have to enable bright people to build on each others ideas, both on- and off-line (e.g. Lego)
  • Share results: Giving back to people – and finding the right way to do it – is crucial (e.g. Apple iPhone App store)
  • Continue development: Co-creation is a longer-term engagement, in- and outside your company. Only then it will deliver results (e.g. Dell Ideastorm)

Download whitepaper

26 April 2009

“We are all hackers now”

The Future of Making
For months now, I have been running with this simple thesis in my head: “We are all hackers now”, and again, again and again I notice it getting confirmed.

The latest confirmation comes from The Institute for the Future, which for the last six months has been researching the “future of making,” exploring how the stuff of our world may be researched, invented, designed, manufactured, and distributed in the next ten years.

At last weekend’s Maker Faire, they released the results of their research in the form of a visual knowledge map, summarizing drivers, trends, and implications.

“Two future forces, one mostly social, one mostly technological, are intersecting to transform how goods, services, and experiences—the “stuff” of our world—will be designed, manufactured, and distributed over the next decade. An emerging do-it-yourself culture of “makers” is boldly voiding warranties to tweak, hack, and customize the products they buy. And what they can’t purchase, they build from scratch. Meanwhile, flexible manufacturing technologies on the horizon will change fabrication from massive and centralized to lightweight and ad hoc. These trends sit atop a platform of grassroots economics—new market structures developing online that embody a shift from stores and sales to communities and connections.”

Download the Future of Making Map

(via Boing Boing)

26 April 2009

Design Fiction, an Interactions Magazine cover story by Bruce Sterling

Bruce Sterling
As a contributing editor for Interactions Magazine, Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken was tasked with finding clever people to write a story for the magazine. His first choice was Bruce Sterling. Bruce accepted and wrote a wonderful contribution — much appreciated by the editors — that was chosen as the magazine’s cover story.

“We have entered an unimagined culture. In this world of search engines and cross-links, of keywords and networks, the solid smokestacks of yesterday’s disciplines have blown out. Instead of being armored in technique, or sheltered within subculture, design and science fiction have become like two silk balloons, two frail, polymorphic pockets of hot air, floating in a generally tainted cultural atmosphere.”

Thank you Bruce.

Read full story

25 April 2009

Africa Gathering in London

Africa Gathering
Today was the Africa Gathering in London and ICT4D, an Austrian NGO dealing with ICT for development, has done an excellent job at summarising them:

Summaries 1
David Hollow – ICT4D Collective / RHUL
* The $100 laptop in Ethiopia – A case study
Nkeiru Joe – International Law department , Virije Universiteit Brussel
* Staying connected to Africa: an ecosystem approach

Summaries 2
Ken Banks – Kiwanja.net / FrontlineSMS
* Mobiles in Africa – How technology is driving social and economic change
Nigel Waller – Movirtu.com
* How we’re creating access to basic phone services for more than a billion people earning less than two dollars a day
Sian Townsend – Google
* Conducting mobile user experience research in sub-Saharan Africa

Summaries 3
Nick Short – University of London Veterinary College
* How mobile telephony is being used to improve veterinary services in East Africa.
Niall Winters & Kevin Walker – London Knowledge Lab
* Village e-Science for Life: Participatory Design of ICT for Rural Agricultural Villages in Kenya
Alex Petrov – Working Villages International
* Building Peace in Eastern Congo: A Village of Hope
Simon Berry – ColaLife.org
* An amazing story that shows how the convening power of the internet can turn the head of a global brand . . . and get them to act.

Summaries 4
Martin Konzett – ICT4D Austria
* ICT4D and grass roots approaches in Africa
Dave Mason – IntraHealthOPEN
* How downloading a song can open the future of a continent.
Juergen Eichholz
* AfriGadget

Panel Discussion
Juliana Rotich, A J Munn, Erik Hersman,
Erik Hersman – White African, Afrigadget, Ushahidi born in South Africa
Alisdair Munn – tcg The Communication Group, trying to enhance understandning social media tools
Juliana Rotich – Ushahidi, Global Voices Online – Twitter, Mathematics, from Zimbabwe

Check also this excellent video trailer of the ICT4D movie project, which deals with mobile phone use in Zanzibar.

25 April 2009

Keeping it real: Interaction in the real world

EU
The latest issue of Interfaces Magazine, a quarterly magazine published by Interaction, the specialist HCI group of the British Computer Society (BCS), is all devoted to interaction in the real world.

Table of contents
• View from the chair by Russell Beale
• Preparations for HCI 2009 by Alan Blackwell
• Interacting with Computers by Dianne Murray
• Completing the Circle by Stephen Boyd Davis
• Becoming simpler and smarter by Azlan Raj
• Timely interfaces to the real world by Daniel Harris
• Visioning workshops by John Knight
• A sprinkling of usability and a dash of HCI by Janet C Read, Brendan Cassidy, Lorna McKnight, Pirko Paananen
• Gesture navigation in contextual menus by Dennis Middeke and Thomas Hirt
• My PhD by Dan Lockton
• Interfaces reviews by Shailey Minocha
• The new Interfaces by David Gardiner
• Profile by Alan Blackwell

Download the “Interaction in the real world” Interfaces magazine

(via Usability News)d

25 April 2009

European Commission launches public consultation on design as a driver of user-centred innovation

EU
Yesterday, the European Commission launched a public consultation on design and innovation on the basis of a recent Commission staff working document on “Design as a driver of user-centred innovation“.

The aim of the public consultation on design and innovation is to find out what could be done at EU level to further support the use of design innovation.

“The European Commission is currently assessing the EU innovation strategy, with a view to launching a new European innovation plan by 2010, as requested by the European Council of December 2008. There is general political agreement that all forms of innovation need to be supported and that the progressive shift in emphasis of the broad-based innovation strategy from exclusive reliance on ‘technology push’ to more demand-and user-driven innovation must continue.”

This is tremendously good news for all user-centred design practitioners in Europe.

The consultation is open open for organisations and private persons, and runs until 26 June 2009.

(via Giselle Raulik Murphy of Design Wales)

Read also Nicolas Nova’s reflection on the matter.

(By the way, the top banner of the European commission website looks surprisingly like a crop of the standard Mac OSX desktop image).

23 April 2009

What on earth are anthropologists doing playing with mobile phones?

Indiana Jones
What on earth are anthropologists doing playing with mobile phones, asks Ken Banks, founder of kiwanja.net and creator of FrontlineSMS.

“It’s widely recognised that projects can succeed or fail on the realisation of their relative impacts on target communities, and development anthropology is seen as an increasingly important element in determining these positive and negative impacts. In the ICT sector – particularly within emerging market divisions – it is now not uncommon to find anthropologists working within the corridors of hi-tech companies. Intel, Nokia and Microsoft are three such examples. Just as large development projects can fail if agencies fail to understand their target communities, commercial products can fail if companies fail to understand the very same people. In this case, these people go by a different name – customers.”

Read full story

20 April 2009

How good is the mobile net experience

SportsNews
BBC technology reporter Maggie Shiels reflects on the quality of the mobile net experience.

The article contains many quotes from industry representatives, but offers, I think, little insight.

Read full story

20 April 2009

Nokia’s IdeasProject site on four major future themes of computing

IdeasProject
Nokia’s IdeasProject site contains this week a video interview with Don Tapscott, and four feature articles that integrate some of the ideas presented thus far on the site:

Also of interest is this reflection on virtual communications by Valerie Buckingham, Nokia’s director of technology marketing.

20 April 2009

“User interface is customer service for the computer”

Windows 7
AP published an interview with Julie Larson-Green, head of Windows Experience and in charge of Windows 7, the next version of Windows for PCs.

“The primary things that help you create a good user experience are empathy, and being able to put yourself in the place of people who are using the products,” she said. “User interface is customer service for the computer.” [...]

Many of the [design] principles come back to Larson-Green mantras of “user in control.” The team tried to build an operating system people could use without studying first, one that would let them get right to reading the news or sending e-mail without dragging them down a rabbit hole of settings and configurations.

Read full story

19 April 2009

Paper: Mobile phone access and usage in Africa

African e-Index
Research ICT Africa!, a network of universities and research institutions from 19 African countries, has a site with some interesting research papers and presentations:

Mobile telephony access and usage in Africa (2009)
Chabossou, A., Stork, C., Stork, M., Zahonogo. Z.

Towards evidence-based policy in Africa: ICT access and usage in 17 African countries (2009)
Alison Gillwald

Towards evidence based ICT policy and regulation Vol 1 Paper 2: ICT access and usage in Africa (2008)
Alison Gillwald & Christoph Stork

Towards evidence based ICT policy and regulation Vol 1 Paper 3: eSkills (2008)
Philipp Schmidt & Christoph Stork

Towards an African e-Index: telecommunications sector performance in 16 African countries: a supply-side analysis of policy outcomes (2007)
Steve Esselaar, Alison Gillwald and Christoph Stork

Towards an African e-Index: SME e-access and usage in 14 African countries (2006)

(via White African)