Jan Chipchase at EPFL

I had the pleasure to set a seminar at Media and Design Lab (EPFL) today with Jan Chipchase. Jan gave a talk was about user experience methods, exemplified by rural charging services in Uganda, informal repair cultures and design for illiterate users.

what market will it be in 20 years(for nokia)? it could be media, search.. one way of framing what I do: human-centered design, creating things that people wants and needs thinking about the range of contexts in which people will use cell phones cell phone = last thing teenagers interact with before going to bed need to be in those contexts to understand those needs multicultural studies all over the world

pb = people are suspicious of large corporations so collect/treat data in a ethical way

going in a place for a couple of weeks, researching a particular theme, time pressure, and leave and getting information back to the company, which is the most difficult thing (even more than the field research per se)

use the data to inspire and inform the development team having hooks to bring people in the research: for example weird stories/anecdotes, it's successful when people starts smiling about that. need to engage people in research material, compete with other analysts' write-ups figure out what the future looks like invent new stuff, patents (technologically oriented)... give designers insights about people's life

in-depth field research: lives with peopel a few days, following them... every interaction with people/places seen as an opportunity tohave a research theme for example: buy a bike and ride, meet people 90% of interactions are successul, people are happy to comunicate and share lots of shadowing: following people (asking them before) little bit of danger: hurricane (katrina), naughty dogs street surveys "do you mind if I take some pictures?" street pictures of

problem for places where we can't go: use of diary but it does not work, people reinterprete what they're asked to do, so figured out other methods like everything i touch diary: take a picture of everything you touch in one day; even though we're not interested in everything they touch, things sneak in

mystery shopper: pretend to be a shopper; smash a nokia phone and ask a shop to repair it and document the way it is repaired.

Rural charging services, Uganda: dig up examples like banking practices over phones (sente) turn anyone with a cell phone in an ATM machine

is nokia can be supportive? is there a business here?

need to be humble when designing

Informal repair cultures the ecosystem: looking at what happen on the streets when people fix stuff researchers buy those rip.offs, amazing quality in India: pretty much any mobile phone shops has a booth in the back where phones can be repaired (Nokia does not want to control it) what is needed to repair a phone: a screwdriver, a toothbrush and knowledge can be torn apart on the streets with these tools vibrant second hand markets, sell parts, rip-off component supplies (keypads....)

what services do this ecosystem offer? mostly change the keypads circuit fixing re-soldering memories, boards language change software installation content movies unlocking (it goes without saying)

you can find repair manual of nokia phones (but it's not published by nokia), it's somewhat reverse observed/engineered for every new parts of a phone, it's documented online, how you can hack you can even get warranties for repaired stuff (on second hand batteries!)

buy stuff and send them to nokia engineers

india has a tradition about repair culture courses

what's novel? scale, cost, the cell phone: ubiquity of objects of repair (compare to other electronic) imported, grey market, stolen devices: things that need repairing... grey market services, fake accessories, risk of having stocks condiscated priority and speed of what is repaired (tv or laptop?)

implications for consumers: informal repair cuture is largely convenient, cheap and fast reduces total cost of ownership for existing consumers makes phones ownership more affordable increasing the life-time of products consequently lowering the environmental impact (!?)

does Nokia can support this? MOtorola made the unscrewing of the phone back more easily could nokia redesign the product so that these guys can repair it more easily? discussion about whether this is good/bad for nokia; it's at least good for consumers!

phone as a way to travel in space and time