Jan Chipchase of Nokia on literacy and mobile phone design

Illiterate consumers are in many ways lead users for the rest of us, argues Jan Chipchase, principal researcher at Nokia, at his presentation at the LIFT conference.

A person is literate who can with understanding both read and write a short simple statement on his or her everyday life, and can apply this knowledge to function in a textual environment.

799 million people are illiterate. Illiteracy can be found anywhere, including London, New York and Tokyo. In addition, there are many people who are using devices that do not support their native language.

Mobile devices that were designed with a Western audience in mind are increasingly used in places like Africa and India with much lower levels of structured learning.

Design research, as the only tool that can really address this problem, reveals a number of interesting insights that designers can act upon.

Download presentation (PowerPoint, 5.5 mb, 82 slides)
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  1. […] More and more, interface designers are looking at how to use gestural control to get around issues of literacy and language, and also age and ability. Most of us can point, and move an object to find another. Hopefully interface designers looking into this area will get together more often with information designers to collaborate on projects such as those I mention above.  […]

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