20 December 2006

Nokia research on shared phone practices

Be the first to share

Shared phone practices
What happens when people share an object that is inherently designed for personal use?

Jan Chipchase and Indri Tulusan of Nokia Research set out explore this topic during a July 2006 field study in Uganda with a brief to understand how people share mobile phones. The research builds on prior research from India, China, Nepal and Mongolia and Indonesia.

Research abstract

The research team identified 6 shared use practices:

  • an informal service called Sente that essentially enables a mobile phone owner to function as an ATM machine;
  • mediated communication that neatly side-steps issues of technological and textual literacy;
  • the ever popular practice of making missed calls;
  • the pooling of resources to buy the lowest denominations of pre-paid airtime and extend the access days for the phone that is topped up;
  • the use of community address books to reduce errors and (supposedly) encourage phone kiosk customer loyalty;
  • and finally Step Messaging – the delivery of text and spoken messages on foot.

Whilst the baseline benefits of sole ownership and use of a mobile phone are personal, convenient, synchronous and asynchronous communication, the personal and convenient aspects of mobile phone ownership are compromised by sharing. This support the notion that phone sharing (as it is defined at the beginning of the essay) is seen as more of a transition to sole ownership than a naturally stable state.

For many poorer consumers in emerging markets other people’s perception that you are connected is the status symbol, a sign that you have arrived and in some senses are worth connecting to. When most of the members of a person’s peer group , or society are connected the focus of status shifts to the brand and model of device. phone ownership is not the same as use – if there are cheaper ways to communicate these will be used.

We are increasingly coming across what have termed unlikely consumers, where feature rich and once premium devices in the hands of the very poor and the myriad of ways the devices get there we have dubbed sideways adoption. Today the front-line of telecommunications innovation is in connecting the unconnected, and its a matter of time before today’s unlikely consumers become tomorrow’s innovators.

research abstract
research essay
PowerPoint presentation (7 mb)
list of related research

Be the first to share
1 October 2017
Building the networked city from the ground up with citizens
How can technology lead to more participation in democratic processes? Who should own and control city data? Can cities embrace a model that socializes data and encourages new forms of cooperativism and democratic innovation? Albert …
1 October 2017
Google’s Director of User Experience on the power of ethnography in an era of Big Data
Elizabeth Churchill, Google's Director of User Experience argues that there has never been a better time for an ethnographic embrace and a reconfiguration of what it means to render meaning into big and small data. …
10 September 2017
[Book] Everyday Schooling in the Digital Age
Everyday Schooling in the Digital Age: High School, High Tech? By Neil Selwyn, Selena Nemorin, Scott Bulfin, Nicola F. Johnson Routledge 2018 – 224 pages [Amazon link] Today’s high schools are increasingly based around the use of digital technologies. Students …
29 August 2017
Self-driving cars need human intuition
"If self-driving cars are going to achieve their promise as a revolution in urban transportation—delivering reduced emissions, better mobility, and safer streets—they will have to exist on a level playing field with the humans who …
25 August 2017
Design Thinking is bullshit
Here is Pentagram partner and designer Natasha Jen's definition of design thinking: Design thinking packages a designer's way of working for a non-designer audience by codifying their processes into a prescriptive, step-by-step approach to creative problem …
25 August 2017
Design Thinking needs to think bigger
We live in a massively complex, intricately interconnected global system. And it’s increasingly impossible to be designers (or human beings) without taking into account how we affect and are, in turn, affected by all the …
25 August 2017
Should we delight the customer?
Growing the service design industry requires more than simply educating the next generation of service designers. Business students can also benefit from learning how service design can be used to innovate and address complex market …
4 August 2017
The human side of autonomous cars — with Nissan Research’s Melissa Cefkin
Reposted from Medium Beyond the engineering challenge of creating cars that drive themselves lies the social challenge. Before autonomous cars are ready to navigate our roads, they must be able to navigate the vastly more complicated …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

18 October 2017
Innovate through service design – The Innovation Center of Intesa Sanpaolo and Experientia for “Torino Design of the City”

by Erin O’Loughlin – Photos: Naz Kazazoglu In Turin, you only need to tell your taxi driver “Take me to the skyscraper” to end up at the impressive Innovation Center of the Intesa Sanpaolo bank, rising in the heart of Turin, with a fine view of the Turin hills and the Italian alps. Here on […]

17 October 2017
Richard Thaler’s Nobel Prize is a win for good design

by Erin O’Loughlin Richard Thaler’s 2017 Nobel Economics Prize on Monday was met with more buzz around the offices of our design agency than is usual for economics news. What people outside of the industry probably don’t realize is that service designers don’t think of Richard Thaler as an economist — instead, we consider him one of […]

3 October 2017
Don’t miss Experientia at Torino Design of the City

Torino Design of the City is nearly here! Experientia will of course be part of this exciting week (10-16 October) of events, meetings, workshops, exhibitions and guided tours about design, and we warmly invite you to join us. The event is organised by the City of Turin and will take place in strategic city locations […]

1 October 2017
Half-day event on service design innovation in Turin

(This page will be regularly updated to reflect minor programme changes) To Innovate through Service Design – Conference for Torino Design of the City From 10 to 16 October, the City of Turin will host Torino Design of the City. This week of events, meetings, workshops, exhibitions and guided tours about design will take place in […]

4 August 2017
The human side of autonomous cars — with Nissan Research’s Melissa Cefkin

Reposted from Medium Beyond the engineering challenge of creating cars that drive themselves lies the social challenge. Before autonomous cars are ready to navigate our roads, they must be able to navigate the vastly more complicated nuances of human behaviors and interactions — from that friendly nod that says “You first” at a four-way stop, to the […]

31 May 2017
 Intervista a Todd Harple di Intel sul tech-fashion

Ripostato da Medium – English version Il mondo del fashion sta diventando sempre di più digitale — e non si tratta solo di dispositivi da indossare, ma anche e soprattutto di abbigliamento, realizzato con tessuti in cui sono effettivamente integrati dei sensori in grado di misurare e monitorare il corpo di chi li veste. Dato che la […]

See all articles