Thursday, 10 January 2013

#Mobile phones to help women empower themselves #gender

In the last years my focus was moving more towards mobile content then mobile design. But indeed as Ronda Zelezny-Green mentioned in her blogpost, the user design can make the difference in getting people, and specifically women increasingly into mobile use for learning. The technology has some affordances that can be improved for specific populations, addressing specific issues. In the case of Ronda, she points towards the Jokko initiative, tackling literacy. But indeed, there are other groups that might benefit from simplified, design specific mobile phones. Whether this specialized mobile design would be tackled on the operating system level, or based on a set of mobile apps that rearrange the actual design of the phone needs to be studied by experts in those areas. Nevertheless, I am all in favor of being able to tweak a phone in such a way that specific learner groups can be addressed in an improved way.

There might be a mobile market for more of these user-focused design initiatives: people who are impaired (adapted to impairment), people with specific chronic diseases (immediate health relevance based on sensors available, log book options), sports people (more stats and evolution's , geeks (transparent tech details of any kind)... But of course this type of design can only work if it is build in participation with the user group it wants to target, which inevitably takes more time because more iterations are necessary but still, it looks like a market to me.