Impact

Our users make a difference

Sign up
Download

\o/ stats

10000

Downloads

Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres.

Although I find myself intrigued by the convergence of computer science, human computer interaction (HCI) design and international development, it’s not often that I find myself in a room of experts. They’re just not places I tend to mix, most likely because I have no professional IT qualifications, let alone a computer science degree, and I’ve done most of my own software design off-the-cuff, much to the dismay of people who hoped there was a robust process behind it.

Last August I got my first taste of the very real challenges that the computer science world faces when it comes up against the equally real challenges of international development. The meeting – convened at UC Berkeley – was an eye-opener for me to say the least, and as I left I blogged about how thankful I was that it wasn’t me who had to come up with the answers. You can read that post here.

A little later in the year I was invited to speak at the First International Workshop on Expressive Interactions for Sustainability and Empowerment, held at one of Vodafone’s London offices. The topic of conversation was similar, but here the focus was on how to build mobile tools that work in difficult, challenging, ‘foreign’ environments. Following my talk I was invited by the Editor of Interfaces, John Knight, to contribute an article to the next edition of their magazine.

For the article I teamed up with Joel Selanikio, co-founder of DataDyne.org and the creator of the EpiSurveyor mobile data collection tool. It made sense working with Joel for a number of reasons. Not only have I known and admired him and his work for some time, but Joel is first and foremost a paediatrician. For him – like me – understanding the problem takes priority over the technology, consideration of which should always come last. FrontlineSMS and EpiSurveyor have both evolved from time spent in the field – observing, experiencing and understanding before designing, developing and building.

You can read our thoughts on the process – “Ten things you might want to know before building for mobile – in the current edition of Interfaces magazine (PDF, 2.5Mb).

For further posts on the subject see the “Mobile applications development” section of this blog, which includes a 10 minute video on the topic.

Tags: , , , , ,

32 Responses to “Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres.”

  1. Debs 10 January 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    Thanks for the link to the Interfaces mag, Kenny! Some really interesting articles. And nice to see your thinking evolve, and hear from both you and Joel. Good to hear people writing from experience. :)

  2. Peter Burgess 11 January 2010 at 9:24 am #

    Great … a good set of points … I especially like point 8!

  3. J Newlands 11 January 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    Very useful summary of your experiences — would be good to read more of these types of posts/articles from people who have developed tools and services, assuming they’re willing to share

  4. Allegra 14 January 2010 at 7:13 am #

    When Senior Management cannot get a new idea.They bring in the HCI dude to help…which never works or they bring in the HCI guy to make a pig pretty which never works.

    Interesting that what Vodafone are doing, however Vodafone do not practice what they preach in terms of Inclusive design and UCD. So, its just publicity to me and it means nothing. Anyone that has a great idea will never take it to any of the conferences and most cool ideas are lock away in Company Vaults.

    Sorry, to be DOOM and GLOOM about it but its the fact.

    Being an Ergnomist or HCI Guru is a thank less job and pays pea nuts.

    Also, everyone ignore’s you. Ask an HCI manager and he will tell u the truth about the real world of coperate life as a HCI Guru.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. changefeed - 10 January 2010

    ->@kiwanja: Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. http://bit.ly/7XhMTN

  2. Tariq Khokhar - 10 January 2010

    "Simple and free scales better than complicated and expensive" and more on building for mobile http://bit.ly/6GJRmj by @kiwanja via @jranck

  3. @mikegechter's RSS - 10 January 2010

    Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres.: Although I find myself intrigued by the convergence of computer science, human.. http://bit.ly/7XhMTN

  4. Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. | Build it Kenny, and they will … Thank god for 3G - 10 January 2010

    [...] the original post:  Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. | Build it Kenny, and they will … By admin | category: mobile | tags: computer-science, convergence, find-myself, hci, [...]

  5. Ken Banks - 10 January 2010

    Further thoughts on building for mobile on the margins. "Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres". http://is.gd/613In

  6. Deborah Elzie - 10 January 2010

    reading -RT @kiwanja: Further thoughts on building for mobile on the margins. "Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres". http://is.gd/613In

  7. iPayStation - 10 January 2010

    RT @kiwanja: Further thoughts on building for mobile on the margins. "Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres". http://is.gd/613In Generation-M !

  8. James BonTempo - 10 January 2010

    RT @kiwanja: Further thoughts on building for mobile on the margins. "Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres." http://is.gd/613In

  9. Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. | Build it Kenny, and they will … | Mobile Metering - 10 January 2010

    [...] the original post:  Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. | Build it Kenny, and they will … Tags: attention, device, find-myself, human-computer, recent-study, the-convergence, the-device, [...]

  10. Michael Downey - 10 January 2010

    #ICT4D (not just mobile) solution design "the right way": "Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres." by @kiwanja http://is.gd/613In

  11. Solis Web Graphics - 10 January 2010

    Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. | Build it Kenny, and they will … http://bit.ly/4BRItD

  12. Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. | Build it Kenny, and they will … | Made On Mobile - 10 January 2010

    [...] more here: Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. | Build it Kenny, and they will … Tags: admired-him, article, creator, data-collection, episurveyor, selanikio, sense-working, [...]

  13. digitalforgood - 11 January 2010

    ->@kiwanja: Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. http://bit.ly/7XhMTN http://ow.ly/16jeMB

  14. Heather LaGarde - 11 January 2010

    RT @digitalforgood: ->@kiwanja: Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. http://bit.ly/7XhMTN http://ow.ly/16jeMB

  15. Steve Nickson - 11 January 2010

    Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. | Build it Kenny, and they will … http://bit.ly/5VHXMz

  16. Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. | Build it Kenny, and they will … Terms - 11 January 2010

    [...] Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. | Build it Kenny, and they will … Tags: computer-science, convergence, find-myself, hci, human-computer, the-convergence How to Build a Twitter Strategy for BusinessMiddleware To Help Manufacturers And Software Developers Build …WordPress Jobs » Blog Archive » Customize or build new themeIsrael Will Build Barrier Along Egyptian Border to Keep Out …Main page not showing the last build :: JetBrains Developer Community View the Contact Powered by Terms [...]

  17. Ken Banks - 11 January 2010

    Further thoughts on building for mobile on the margins. "Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres". http://is.gd/613In #m4d #ict4d

  18. Mark Oehlert - 11 January 2010

    thoughts on building for mobile on the margins. "Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres". http://is.gd/613In #m4d #ict4d /via @kiwanja #lrnchat

  19. lovisa - 11 January 2010

    RT @kiwanja: Further thoughts on building for mobile on the margins. "Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres". http://is.gd/613In #m4d #ict4d

  20. Kyle Outlaw - 11 January 2010

    RT @kiwanja Further thoughts on building for mobile on the margins. "Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres". http://is.gd/613In #m4d #ict4d

  21. Pablarribas Radar - 12 January 2010

    Delicious: Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. | Build it Kenny, and they will come… http://bit.ly/7XhMTN

  22. Pablarribas Radar - 12 January 2010

    dlcsubs Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. | Build it Kenny, and they will come…: http://bit.ly/7XhMTN

  23. Most Tweeted Articles by Anthropology Experts - 12 January 2010

    [...] the world is better placed now to make good choices about the future… 2 Likes Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. | Build it Kenny, and they will come… Although I find myself intrigued by the convergence of computer science, human computer [...]

  24. Aleksei - 12 January 2010

    RT @kiwanja: Further thoughts on building for mobile on the margins. "Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres". http://is.gd/613In #m4d #ict4d

  25. FrontlineSMS o/ - 13 January 2010

    Building and developing FrontlineSMS – a post on lessons learnt. "Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres". http://is.gd/613In #m4d

  26. Tweets that mention Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres. | Build it Kenny, and they will come... -- Topsy.com - 13 January 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ken Banks, Ken Banks, Mark Oehlert, changefeed, lovisa and others. lovisa said: RT @kiwanja: Further thoughts on building for mobile on the margins. "Mobile Design. Sans Frontieres". http://is.gd/613In #m4d #ict4d [...]

  27. miraj khaled - 15 January 2010

    #Mobile #Design.Sans Frontieres http://bit.ly/89LLzS @kiwanja | 'observe, experience & understand b4 you design, develop & build'

  28. Aleksei - 22 January 2010

    @kiwanja "Don't let anything stop you" – one of the best words I've heard. Thank you, Ken, for this good & deep article! http://is.gd/613In

Leave a Reply

Connect with us

Stay in touch

 

downloads