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Search results for 'chipchase'
5 June 2008

Africa’s grassroots mobile revolution – a traveller’s perspective

Uganda sign
Vodafone receiver magazine’s new issue is about “Emerging Markets“.

But it’s a shortened issue: Vodafone thought that launching a whole new issue, with all articles of all authors at once, might be too much to swallow. Therefore they decided to “feed us” one article each week.

The first article – which is actually a picture story – is by Ken Banks. Further contributions will come from Jared Braiterman, Jan Chipchase, David Lehr and Daniel Greenstadt, Adriana de Souza e Silva, David Frohlich and Matt Jones, John Traxler, Neil Clavin, and Toby Shapshak.

Ken Banks devotes himself to the application of mobile technology for positive social and environmental change in the developing world, and has spent the last 15 years working on projects in Africa. Recently, his research resulted in the development of FrontlineSMS, a field communication system designed to empower grassroots non-profit organisations. Banks graduated from Sussex University in Social Anthropology and currently divides his time between Cambridge (UK) and Stanford University in California on a MacArthur Foundation-funded Fellowship.

He is a close observer of a process he calls the “grassroots mobile revolution” and in this picture story, based on his African travels, shares some of his insights into how going mobile is transforming not only African societies, but also how it impacts mobile use in places a little closer to home.

He shows that the gap between developed and developing countries is not much of a gap at all. While mobile innovation in the West is largely technology-led, users in the developing word, with all their economical, geographical and cultural constraints, often find a more sensible way to go.

27 May 2008

Handbook of Mobile Communications Studies

Handbook of Mobile Communications Studies
Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies
Edited by James E. Katz
Afterword by Manuel Castells
MIT Press, 2008
Hardcover, 486 pages

Abstract

Mobile communication has become mainstream and even omnipresent. It is arguably the most successful and certainly the most rapidly adopted new technology in the world: more than one of every three people worldwide possesses a mobile phone. This volume offers a comprehensive view of the cultural, family, and interpersonal consequences of mobile communication across the globe. Leading scholars analyze the effect of mobile communication on all parts of life, from the relationship between literacy and the textual features of mobile phones to the use of ringtones as a form of social exchange, from the “aspirational consumption” of middle class families in India to the belief in parts of Africa and Asia that mobile phones can communicate with the dead.

The contributors explore the ways mobile communication profoundly affects the tempo, structure, and process of daily life around the world. They discuss the impact of mobile communication on social networks, other communication strategies, traditional forms of social organization, and political activities. They consider how quickly miraculous technologies come to seem ordinary and even necessary–and how ordinary technology comes to seem mysterious and even miraculous. The chapters cut across social issues and geographical regions; they highlight use by the elite and the masses, utilitarian and expressive functions, and political and operational consequences. Taken together, the chapters demonstrate how mobile communication has affected the quality of life in both exotic and humdrum settings, and how it increasingly occupies center stage in people’s lives around the world.

About the author

James E. Katz is Chair of the Department of Communication at Rutgers University and director of the Center for Mobile Communication Studies. He is the author of Magic in the Air: Mobile Communication and the Transformation of Social Life and coauthor of Social Consequences of Internet Use (MIT Press, 2002).

The book contains more than 30 contributions, including chapters written by Jan Chipchase (Nokia Research), Jonathan Donner (Microsoft Research India), Howard Rheingold, and Carolyn Wei (Google).

24 May 2008

Leading designers to new frontiers

Personal TV
Jeff Parks and Chris Baum of Boxes and Arrows sat down with several of the speakers and organisers of Adaptive Path’s San Francisco conference: MX San Francisco: Managing Experience through Creative Leadership, that took place on April 20-22.

The result is a series of podcasts that further examined the issues that the sessions revealed.

The podcasts include interviews with Richard Anderson (editor-in-chief of Interactions Magazine), Björn Hartmann (editor-in-chief, Ambidextrous magazine), and Michael Recchiuti (about chocolate and user experience), as well as a round table with with Adaptive Path and Boxes and Arrows (Chris Baum, Brandon Schauer, Sarah Nelson, Henning Fischer, and Ryan Freitas).

13 April 2008

Cellphones save the world

Jan Chipchase
Daniel Lende wrote a good annotated summary of the New York Times magazine feature of Jan Chipchase, on the “Neuroanthropology” blog.

He thinks the “world is going to see a transformation through the convergence of four factors: people-driven processes, change for the rest of us, human-centered science, and emerging methods”.

Read full story

12 April 2008

Julian Bleecker joins Nokia’s Design Strategic Projects Studio

Julian Bleecker
Julian Bleecker has decided to join Nokia’s Design Strategic Projects Studio.

Julian and (LIFT conference‘s) Nicolas Nova are the co-founders of the Near Future Laboratory where client work focuses on developing emerging and conceptual design-technology for new interactive experiences. Jan Chipchase and Duncan Burns are his colleagues in the studio.

In a long post on his blog, he explains why he made this decision:

“Time for the next chapter. Shortly, I’ll be officially joining a fantastic little studio within Nokia Design called Design Strategic Projects. It’s a studio of very clever, insightful and thoughtful designers and researchers. It’s a playground of big ideas, and plenty of support to work them through. There are some big questions and even bigger opportunities to continue the work I’ve been doing in the gaps between creative practices, technology and critical analytic thinking.”

Julian was recently in Turin, Italy, as a guest of the Bruce Sterling curated Share Festival, and I met him at a small party organised by the Turin-based participatory planning firm Avventura Urbana.

In his post, Julian also gives some background on the Studio:

The studio was formerly called Insight and Innovation. The work they did in that guise is pretty much exactly the sort of work I should be involved in. It combines analysis, visual storytelling, probes about new interaction paradigms, and speculative near future inquiries into new interaction rituals. One project that recently bubbled up to the public spotlight is called Remade, a phone made entirely from upcycled and recycled materials. It’s actually one central theme in a larger network of principled design projects that are incredibly exciting. What’s more, we’re going beyond talking the talk — appearance models and styling are well and good, but this is a design studio that will be making objects that function, turning their design principles and theory and coupling it tightly to everyday practice. There’s been some recent press about the studio and its people if you want some more insight. In the near future, there’ll be more of a public voice to the studio’s work. This was one of my central discussion points when we started late last summer chatting about my joining the studio, and every rung of the ladder up the leadership, across several international borders has indicated that this is indeed part of the mission.”

22 January 2008

The practice of beeping – making intentional missed calls

Beeping
Nokia researcher Jan Chipchase reports on just published research from Microsoft Research India‘s Jonathan Donner that explores the practice of beeping – making intentional missed calls.

The paper draws on field research from Rwanda in 2004, categorising three different types of beeping: call back beeps; pre-negotiated instrumental beeps; and relational beeps, and discusses the rules that define the what, why and how.

Chipchase continues:

“Reacting to prevelance of this informal practice carrier’s such as MTN [in Ghana] have introduced the Call Me service – where the user can send one of four pre-defined text message for free – Please Call me, Can’t talk now. Please text me, I’ve missed you. Please call me! and It’s important. Please call me!. Given the myriad of ways that a beep can be interpreted which is a better, for whom and in what contexts

It’s probably more efficient for the carrier to send a pre-defined text message (small bits of asynchronous data) than to tie up an exchange trying to connect a call in real time (a synchronous connection), so this new service could be a win/win.”

28 September 2007

A mobile revolution is taking place in the developing world

Phone use in Africa
The mobile platform is currently undergoing somewhat of a revolution in the developing world — and so are people’s lives — with Africa now more advanced than the rest of the world in terms of mobile banking. The user experience challenges are only beginning to be addressed.

If you want to keep abreast on developments in this field, here is a crop of news stories from just this last week:

A recent special report in Business Week on how basic cell phones are sparking economic hope and growth in emerging — and even non-emerging — nations. The report takes a particular look at the micro- and macro-economic impacts of this development, and what it means for local entrepreneurs and major mobile operators. It also features an online extra on the use of mobile phones by artisans and tradespeople in rural India, a summary graphic and a slideshow;

A Reuters story on the beeping boom in Africa, what the social practices are, and how that is pushing mobile operators to innovate their services;

A post on the Vodafone R&D Betavine blog on the Mukuru Kash service that like Paypal will store funds that you pay to them online and then set up a voucher which can be redeemed at the petrol station for fuel;

Next: bridging the digital divide, a recent post by Niti Bhan, where she puts developments in the bigger picture of bridging the digital divide between the digital haves and have nots, and wonders what will happen if all these people in the developing world can also start accessing the internet from their mobile devices;

In a recent post on mobile banking, Barbara Ballard of Little Springs Design guides us to three blogs on the topic: Mobile Banking (news and analysis from Brandon McGee, a VP in charge of mobile banking), Mobile Money & Banking, and Mobile Banking, the blog of Hannes van Rensburg, CEO of a South African mobile banking provider Fundamo.

Note by the way that all the user research work by Jan Chipchase and others seems to have paid off: Nokia dominates the mobile handset landscape in India with an astonishing 74% market share.

4 September 2007

People regularly featured on this blog

In alphabetical order:

A
Marko Ahtisaari
Ken Anderson

B
Nik Baerten
Genevieve Bell
Chris Bernard
Tim Berners-Lee
Ralf Beuker
Nina Boesch
Danah Boyd
Stefana Broadbent
Tyler Brûlé
Bill Buxton

C
Jan Chipchase
Hilary Cottam
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Alistair Curtis

D
Uday Dandavate
Liz Danzico
Regine Debatty
Paul Dourish

E
Jyri Engeström
Richard Eisermann

G
Jesse James Garrett
Fabien Girardin
Anand Giridharadas
Bruno Giussani
Adam Greenfield

H
Laurent Haug

I
Mizuko Ito

J
Bob Jacobson
Matt Jones

K
Jonathan Kestenbaum
Anne Kirah
Dirk Knemeyer
Jon Kolko
Mike Kuniavsky

L
Loïc Lemeur
Dan Lockton
Victor Lombardi

M
Nico Macdonald
John Maeda
Ranjit Makkuni
Ezio Manzini
Roger Martin
Stefano Marzano
Simona Maschi
Bruce Mau
Grant McCracken
Jess McMullin
Peter Merholz
Crysta Metcalf
Bill Moggridge
Peter Morville
Ulla-Maaria Mutanen

N
Jakob Nielsen
Donald Norman
Nicolas Nova
Bruce Nussbaum

P
Steve Portigal

R
Carlo Ratti
Howard Rheingold
Louis Rosenfeld
Stephen Rustow

S
Dan Saffer
Nathan Shedroff
Jared Spool
Yaniv Steiner
Bruce Sterling

T
John Thackara

V
Marco van Hout
Rob van Kranenburg
Mark Vanderbeeken
Joannes Vandermeulen
Jeffrey Veen
Timo Veikkola
Michele Visciola
Eric von Hippel

W
Tricia Wang
Luke Wroblewski

Z
Paola Zini
Jan-Christoph Zoels

6 May 2007

LIFT conference video selection

LIFT 07
I found some time today to watch the videos of the 2007 LIFT conference presentations. Here are my preferred ones:

  • Panel discussion on technological overload with Stefana Broadbent of Swisscom Innovations (14:25);
  • Daniela Cerqui, anthropologist at University of Lausanne, about “Towards a society of cyborgs?”;
  • Jan Chipchase, principal scientist at Nokia Research Center, about “Literacy, Communication & Design” or how illiterate people are lead users for people who want simplicity;
  • Régine Debatty (we-make-money-not-art.com) and France Cadet (french artist) about “do biologists dream of robotic art?”;
  • Nathan Eagle, research scientist at MIT, about “Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control”;
  • Fabien Girardin, researcher at the Pompeu Fabra University, about “Embracing the real world’s messiness”;
  • Adam Greenfield, principal at Studies and Observations NYC, about “Everyware: Further down the rabbit hole”;
  • Sampo Karjalainen, chief creative officer at Sulake Corporation, about “Open-ended play in Habbo”; and
  • Jan-Christoph Zoels, director of user experience design at Experientia, about “Jumping jack flash – new forms of interactions”.
20 April 2007

Nokia global user study on where people carry their phone

Where's the phone
Jan Chipchase, the well-known Nokia anthropologist, has just published a blog post, an essay, and a paper (pdf, 344 kb, 8 pages) that explores where people carry their mobile phones and why. The research is based on data from a series of Nokia street surveys conducted between 2003 and 2006.

The first study in this series, conducted in Helsinki during the summer of 2003, was designed to understand the extent to which people noticed incoming communication. Since then the study has evolved to encompass the carrying location of other objects, collect a visual snapshot of mobile phones and their ‘owner’s’ and has since been run in eleven countries across four continents.

7 February 2007

Jumping jack flash – new forms of interactions

LIFT 07
My Experientia business partner and friend, Jan-Christoph Zoels, is one of the main speakers at LIFT 07, a conference that starts today in Geneva, focused on the “challenges and opportunities of technology in our society”.

In his talk tomorrow entitled “Jumping jack flash – new forms of interactions“, Jan-Christoph will present “some key trends and design ideas for our interactions with devices, services or applications”.

“As more and more devices support location-aware, contextual or rich media, how will we interact with them, choose content, navigate or connect multiple sources of information? The presentation explores gestural, haptic and other sensorial interfaces for a variety of applications. The success of Nintendo’s Wii game controller exemplifies the migration of traditional task-based interfaces into the realm of explorative and entertaining interactions. What will the poetic interfaces of tomorrow be?”

Other speakers include Robert Scobble, vice president of media development at Podtech; Régine Debatty of we-make-money-not-art; Stefana Broadbent, head of User Adaption Lab at Swisscom; Jan Chipchase, principal scientist at Nokia Research Center; Bruno Giussani, writer; and Sister Judith Zoebelein, editorial director of the Internet Office of the Holy See; to name just a few.

UPDATE:
- Tom Hume’s notes on Jan-Christoph’s talk
- Jan-Christoph Zoels : quelles nouvelles formes d’interaction ? French summary by Daniel Kaplan
- Audio interview of Jan-Christoph Zoels by Nicole Simon

19 January 2007

Nokia Research on Uganda’s Village Phone initiative

Nokia Village Phone research in Uganda
Jan Chipchase and Indri Tulusan of Nokia Research are on a roll.

Following a July 2006 field study in Uganda, and previous presentations on shared phone practices and street charging services, they now explored the Village Phone initiative between the Grameen Foundation, Nokia and local micro-finance organisations in Uganda, that is available as a downloadable photo essay.

The Village Phone extends regular base station cellular coverage from around 15 kilometers to around 30 kilometers through the use of a village phone kit – an antenna and ten meter cable (shown above) and a coupler (shown below) connected to a regular Nokia 1100 mobile phone plus of course, a micro-finance loan. The net result? In a number of cases it provides the first convenient, reliable and affordable connectivity to the outside world for many rural communities as well as providing a stable income for the local entrepreneur that takes out the loan.

To what extent do villagers need access to mobile phone? Who is in more need of personal, convenient synchronous and asynchronous communication – someone in London who works 9 to 5, 5 days a week or someone in rural Uganda working 5 to 9, 7 days a week? IMHO the impact on quality of life is far greater in the rural context and the some of the innovations this enables are touched on in this longish essay on Shared Phone Use. One example of the benefits of connectivity? Sente – the transfer of money via mobile phone that essentially also extends regular banking services such as the remittance of cash to these communities.

- Read abstract
- Download presentation (Powerpoint or PDF – 2 mb)

18 January 2007

Interview with LIFT 07 conference organisers

LIFT 07
Convivio, the European network for human-centred design of interactive technologies, has published an interview with Laurent Haug and Nicolas Nova, two of the organisers of LIFT 07, a conference that will be held in Geneva on February 7-9 2007, focused on the “challenges and opportunities of technology in our society”.

My Experientia business partner and friend, Jan-Christoph Zoels, is one of the main speakers. Others include Robert Scobble, vice president of media development at Podtech; Régine Debatty of we-make-money-not-art; Stefana Broadbent, head of User Adaption Lab at Swisscom; Jan Chipchase, principal scientist at Nokia Research Center; Bruno Giussani, writer; and Sister Judith Zoebelein, editorial director of the Internet Office of the Holy See; to name just a few.

In the interview, they discuss how the design of the conference last year, almost accidentally, became deeply human-centred and how they have added even more opportunities (LIFT +, Open Stage) this year for attendees to act like active contributors rather than passive recipients of somebody else’s messages.

Read interview

12 January 2007

Nokia research on street charging services in Uganda

Nokia research on street charging services in Uganda
Uganda is a country coping with a severe energy crisis resulting in frequent power cuts. In addition, access to mains electricity in rural locations is limited. Given that mobile phones require power, and access to power can be unpredictable – how do people keep their mobile phones and other electrical devices charged? How does people’s behaviour change when there is intermittent or limited access to power? How can we better support users with limited and intermittent access to power?

Jan Chipchase and Indri Tulusan of Nokia Research set out to explore this topic during a July 2006 field study in Uganda as part of a more in-depth study into shared phone use.

There are two forms of mobile phone battery charging services in Kampala – either offered as an additional service by phone kiosk operators or as a stand alone service. It costs 500 Ugandan Shillings (0.2 Euro) to have a battery recharged similar to the price of 2 or 3 phone calls. Whist both services appear to thrive there are a number of barriers to use: customers cannot use their phone whilst the battery is being charged; the customer risks, or perceives the risk that their battery being swapped for an inferior one; a perceived risk of phone theft – signs that suggest service providers are not responsible for loss or theft are evident.

For many Ugandan rural communities with no access to mains power car batteries are the primary means of providing electricity to the home. Businesses such as bars also run off car batteries but they are more likely to have their own power generator. A used car battery costs 30 to 40 dollars and can keep a household powered for a month, though in a bar the same battery might last a week. The homes we visited ran electrical items included radios, CD players, television and domestic lighting.

It can take 3 to 5+ days to have a car battery recharged at the process involves delivering the car-battery to a charging service often tens of kilometers away the nearest town that has mains electricity access. The battery is taken and returned by a trusted and friendly taxi driver or trader. It takes 3 days to charge a battery, longer if the town where the service is based itself experiences power cuts. The cost of charging a battery is around 1,000 Ugandan shillings (0.4 Euro), not including delivery. (As a comparison a mobile phone battery costs half as much to be recharged using one of the mobile phone street charging services mentioned above).

Two short presentations co-authored by Jan Chipchase and Indri Tulusan are available for download from research.nokia.com:
- Power Up: Street Charging Service in KampalaPowerPoint or PDF (3 mb)

- Rural Charging Service, UgandaPowerPoint or PDF (2 mb)

20 December 2006

Nokia research on shared phone practices

Shared phone practices
What happens when people share an object that is inherently designed for personal use?

Jan Chipchase and Indri Tulusan of Nokia Research set out explore this topic during a July 2006 field study in Uganda with a brief to understand how people share mobile phones. The research builds on prior research from India, China, Nepal and Mongolia and Indonesia.

Research abstract

The research team identified 6 shared use practices:

  • an informal service called Sente that essentially enables a mobile phone owner to function as an ATM machine;
  • mediated communication that neatly side-steps issues of technological and textual literacy;
  • the ever popular practice of making missed calls;
  • the pooling of resources to buy the lowest denominations of pre-paid airtime and extend the access days for the phone that is topped up;
  • the use of community address books to reduce errors and (supposedly) encourage phone kiosk customer loyalty;
  • and finally Step Messaging – the delivery of text and spoken messages on foot.

Whilst the baseline benefits of sole ownership and use of a mobile phone are personal, convenient, synchronous and asynchronous communication, the personal and convenient aspects of mobile phone ownership are compromised by sharing. This support the notion that phone sharing (as it is defined at the beginning of the essay) is seen as more of a transition to sole ownership than a naturally stable state.

For many poorer consumers in emerging markets other people’s perception that you are connected is the status symbol, a sign that you have arrived and in some senses are worth connecting to. When most of the members of a person’s peer group , or society are connected the focus of status shifts to the brand and model of device. phone ownership is not the same as use – if there are cheaper ways to communicate these will be used.

We are increasingly coming across what have termed unlikely consumers, where feature rich and once premium devices in the hands of the very poor and the myriad of ways the devices get there we have dubbed sideways adoption. Today the front-line of telecommunications innovation is in connecting the unconnected, and its a matter of time before today’s unlikely consumers become tomorrow’s innovators.

- research abstract
- research essay
- PowerPoint presentation (7 mb)
- list of related research

4 July 2006

Turning cultures of repair into cultures of innovation

Cultures of Repair
In an effort to understand the total user experience, Jan Chipchase of the Mobile HCI Group at the Nokia Research Center in Tokyo, has taken time out during recent field studies in emerging markets to explore local repair cultures.

“The journey has taken me to cities such as Chengdu, Delhi, Ulan Bataar, Ho Chi Minh and Lhasa with recent brief stopovers in Kampala and Soweto. They all contain clusters of shops and market stalls selling a mixture of used and new mobile phones, and whilst (in this instance) size does not necessarily matter, they often operate on a scale not seen in cities such as London or Tokyo.”

“The mobile phone market around Chengdu’s Tai Shen Lan Lu Market for example stretches across number of streets and shopping arcades and includes 100′s of small shops and stalls. If you want a snapshot of urban mobile phone consumers in emerging markets this is a good place to start.”

He then goes on to explore what sets these locations apart from cities in more ‘emerged’ markets; how these mobile phone repair cultures are different from the everyday repair shops for other mainstream electronics; why these informal repair cultures exist at all; what we can learn from informal repair cultures; and what it would take to turn cultures of repair into cultures of innovation.

- Read full story
- Printer friendly version
- Download presentation (MS PowerPoint, 3.6 mb, 38 slides)

2 May 2006

Where’s the phone? A Nokia study of mobile phone location in public spaces

Table in Nokia's Where's The Phone study
This paper by Jan Chipchase et al., which was presented at Mobility ’05, Guangzhou, China, covers the approach and the outcome of a study, called Where’s-the-phone to identify characteristics of how mobile phones are carried whilst users are out and about in public spaces.

A series of contextual interviews were conducted in public spaces of Helsinki, Milan and New York collecting 419 responses in total.

The results show a strong tendency by gender, with females using bags and males using trouser pockets to place their mobile phones.

Comments from participants suggested users did not place the phone wherever available, but rather considered many aspects, such as the convenience, tolerance to multiple postures, risk of theft, comfort, or impact to their appearance. The authors learnt that bag users miss incoming alerts more often than with other carrying methods.

Based on the outcome of the study, the authors discuss the challenges in designing mobile devices, in particular mobile phones, and suggest that phones need to be more noticeable as a notification device.

Download study (pdf, 343 kb, 8 pages)

(via Carolyn Wei, who also provides some additional notes on the study)

2 May 2006

Mobile Essentials: Nokia field study and concepting

Nokia digital reminder shelf
Mobile essentials refers to the objects most people consider essential and carry most of the time whilst out and about.

This paper by Jan Chipchase (Nokia research manager) et al. describes a nine-month cross-cultural field study of what people consider to be mobile essentials, how those mobile essentials are carried and problems typically encountered.

Through careful field observations and in-depth interviews of 17 participants in four cities (Berlin, San Francisco, Shanghai and Tokyo), transitions between different situations turned out to be critical moments in which mobile essentials took on specific value, but also created problems of forgetting and loss.

The paper, which was first presented at the dux05 conference and is now published in AIGA’s Gain: Journal of Business and Design, introduces the notions of Center of Gravity, Point of Reflection and the Range of Distribution to describe user behaviours.

Based on the study findings nine product concepts related to mobile essentials were developed. One of the design concepts was the Reminder Shelf, a place where people could stow their mobile essentials by the door, as well as make digital reminders such as pictures of things to bring that were not on the shelf. The shelf design had a mobile charger to encourager users to put their phone on it.

Download case study (pdf, 381 kb, 8 pages)

(See also this post by Carolyn Wei who provides some longer notes on this study – scroll down)

28 November 2005

Future Perfect, a user experience blog by a Nokia researcher

Play_push_talk
Future Perfect is the blog of Jan Chipchase, who works in the User Experience Group at Nokia Research.

He defines it as a blog “about the collision of people, society and technology, drawing on issues related to the user research that I conduct on behalf of my employer – Nokia”, but also as “a pause for reflection in our planet’s seemingly headlong rush to churn out more, faster, smaller and cheaper.”

The blog, he says, contains material “that inspires or challenges me, helps me understand how the future might turn out.”

Jan splits his time between running user studies and developing new applications, services and products that we will be using 3 to 15 years from now. He specialises in taking teams of concept/industrial designers, psychologists, usability experts, sociologists, and ethnographers into the field and using their data to inform, inspire and affect how his colleagues think and what they do.

(via Eyebeam reBlog)