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      It’s not Just Illiteracy

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      India HCI 2010/ Interaction Design & International Development 2010 (IHCI)

      India HCI 2010/ Interaction Design & International Development 2010

      20 - 24 March 2010

      User Interfaces, Low-Literate Users, Illiteracy

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          Abstract

          There is increasing interest in using computing applications towards the socio-economic development of the poor. However, because poverty commonly correlates with illiteracy, researchers have identified various usability challenges that low-literate users may encounter in interacting with traditional text-based UIs. To counter such problems, researchers have proposed non-textual UIs for these users. However, most current work focuses exclusively on illiteracy (the inability to read) per se, with little recognition to other problems or the overall context in which a user is situated.

          In this paper we suggest that the inability to read is only one of several possible concerns that prevent useful interaction of existing computing (PC and mobile phone) UIs by low-literate users. Through our ethnographic and usability studies with 400 low-literate, low-income subjects across India, the Philippines and South Africa, we find a host of nuanced issues which mediate how a user interacts with computing technologies. Such issues include: cognitive difficulties, collaboration, cultural etiquette, experience and exposure, intimidation, mediation, motivation, pricing, power relations, social standing, and others. We observe that these factors can have far-reaching influence on the design of UIs as well as services for low-literate populations.

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          Most cited references 3

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          Text-Free User Interfaces for Illiterate and Semiliterate Users

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            Optimal audio-visual representations for illiterate users of computers

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              Full-context videos for first-time non-literate PC users

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Conference
                March 2010
                March 2010
                : 1-10
                Affiliations
                Microsoft Research India,

                196/36, 2nd Main Sadashivnagar,

                Bangalore, India
                School of Information,

                University of California,

                Berkeley, USA
                Article
                10.14236/ewic/IHCI2010.1
                © Indrani Medhi et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. India HCI 2010/ Interaction Design & International Development 2010, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Mumbai, India

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                India HCI 2010/ Interaction Design & International Development 2010
                IHCI
                Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Mumbai, India
                20 - 24 March 2010
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                India HCI 2010/ Interaction Design & International Development 2010
                Product
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
                Categories
                Electronic Workshops in Computing

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