The above video was one of the entries in an intriguing design competition to make a user-friendly interface for mobile phones that could be used effectively by women in the developing world who currently have no access to their use.
The mobile phone is probably the best technological development for communication, business and learning that has ever happened for developing countries. They often have isolated communities and bad roads, they have problems with access to health and other amenities and they do not possess a fixed telecommunications system as exists in the developed world.
The problem is greater for women than men because they are often barred from mobile use because of cost, opposition from partners/husbands and their literacy levels (which are related to social and cultural factors that deprive many women of a basic education).
I think the idea of linking design to real world (especially development issues) is an excellent one. I would like to encourage any readers of this post to try the same challenge with their students (or if you are a student just try it).
Can you design a better mobile phone interface for women’s use in the developing world?
Technology should relate to human use and do what it can do best, make life better. The chance to improve women’s lives has so many resultant potential effects, the decrease in poverty, disease and the raising of literacy and the potential todecrease population growth. This design challenge should be applauded.
- Mobile phone health schemes ‘could save Europe €200billion’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- Designing Mobiles for Education in India’s Low-Cost Schools on GSMA Blog (edtechindia.wordpress.com)