Again on Jan Chipchase, former ethnographic designer & researcher for Nokia, who explores an interesting topic on Shared Cellphone Use habits in Africa. It’s from 2007 (as is the accompanying TED Talk 2007), so it’s rather old, but the underlying idea is still relevant. And as with the speed of technology, Africa notwithstanding, I’m sure what Jan talked about in 2007 is probably miles better today.
Jan Chipchase’s current report on future perferct, co-authored with Indri Tulusan, is on mobile phone sharing — an important socio-technical practice, especially in the developing world.
“Much of the growth in the telecommunications industry is coming from emerging markets – places like India and Africa and for many new consumers their first mobile phone experience is a shared one.
This essay uses the term sharing in the sense of primary usage orientated around borrowing and lending rather than ‘let me show you the photos I took at last night’s party’.
Mobile phone sharing is not just limited to personal use – from the streets of Cairo to Kampala kiosks are springing up with little more than a mobile phone and a sign advertising call rates.
What happens when people share an object that is inherently designed for personal use? And based on how and why people share in what ways can devices and services be redesigned to optimise the shared user experiences? Indeed, should they be re-designed?