Information "uptrieval": exploring models for content assimilation and aggregation for developing regions.
ABSTRACT Information Retrieval on the WWW is important because it is hard to nd what one is looking for. There is a plethora of information available, and searching relevant information is a challenge. In the case of developing regions, we have the opposite problem: (1) Information availability of global markets is scarce. Most of the consumers and producers (of information as well as goods) are relegated to local mar- kets in geographical vicinity. In order to reach wider mar- kets, it is important for this local information to reach wider audiences. (Local information for global consumption LIG model). (2) At the same time, locally relevant information, such as delays in bus/train timings, mobile medical van schedule changes, electricity outage timings, is not easily available either. (Local information for local consumption LIL model). We introduce the term Information Uptrieval to address the reverse problem of acquiring, assimilating, ag- gregating and uploading global and local information that is relevant for developing regions to a platform that improves the reach of the information. While the WWW is an ob- vious example of one such platform, given the low internet penetration in such regions, we need to explore eectiv e al- ternatives. Several innovative, but disconnected approaches have been attempted to address the information uptrieval problem, ranging from the use of DVDs1 through the use of wireless stations on motorcycles2. Many of these have met with reasonable success in their pilot deployments.
Conference Proceeding: Text-Free User Interfaces for Illiterate and Semi-Literate Users[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We describe work toward the goal of a user interface designed such that even novice, illiterate users require absolutely no intervention from anyone at all to use. Our text-free user interface is based on many hours of ethnographic design conducted in collaboration with a community of illiterate domestic labourers in three Bangalore slums. An ethnographic design process was used to understand what kind of application subjects would be interested in, how they respond to computing technology, and how they react to specific UI elements. We built two applications using these principles, one for job search for domestic labourers, and another for a generic map that could be used for navigating a city. The resulting designs are based on key lessons that we gained through the design process. The paper describes the design process, the design principles which evolved out of the process, the final application design, and results from initial user testing. Our results confirm previous work that emphasizes the need for semi-abstracted graphics and voice feedback, but we additionally find that some aspects of design for illiterate users that have been previously overlooked (such as a consistent help feature). Results also show that the text-free designs are strongly preferred over standard text-based interfaces by the communities which we address, and that they are potentially able to bring even complex computer functions within the reach of users who are unable to readInformation and Communication Technologies and Development, 2006. ICTD '06. International Conference on; 06/2006
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ABSTRACT: Spoken dialog systems have been widely researched, and are in everyday use (e.g., Amtrak’s automated reservation system at 1-800-USA-RAIL). This research, however, has been targeted at Western users – comparatively affluent, literate, with many different options for information access, and with very different realities than those ,of the ,typical user in the ,developing ,world. Further research is needed,to understand,the users that comprise the other half of the world – the 2.8 billion for whom ,such speech interfaces may ,be the ,only realistically viable option. It is the use of dialog ,systems ,by such ,users that I propose to study. Specifically, the research question I wish to address is: are spoken dialog systems an effective interface choice for information access by semi-literate users in the developing world? My proposed ,research plan is to design, develop and test a spoken dialog system for information access in the domain of community health, tailored to the skills and needs of community health workers in the developing world, who are often semi-literate and have a dire need for access to information. ,The system ,will be evaluated ,relative to existing mechanisms for information access (such as handbooks), on standard HCI metrics such as task completion rate, task completion time, and user satisfaction. 2 / 36 Table of Contents01/2005;
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ABSTRACT: Paper plays a crucial role in many developing world information practices. However, paper-based records are inefficient, error-prone and difficult to aggregate. Therefore we need to link paper with the flexibility of online information systems. A mobile phone is the perfect bridging device. Long battery life, connectivity, solid-state memory, low price and immediate utility make it better suited to developing world conditions than a PC. However, mobile software platforms are difficult to use, difficult to develop for, and make the assumption of ubiquitous connectivity. To address these limitations we present CAM - a framework for developing mobile applications for the rural developing world. CAM applications are accessed by capturing barcodes using the phone camera, or by entering numeric strings with the keypad. Supporting minimal navigation, direct linkage to paper practices and offline multimedia interaction, CAM is uniquely adapted to rural user, application and infrastructure constraintsProceedings of the 15th international conference on World Wide Web, WWW 2006, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, May 23-26, 2006; 01/2006