Research Seminar: Matt Jones

Designed in California... Whose future is it anyway?

Matt Jones, Interaction Design & Computing, Swansea

Thursday 24th October 4pm – Inspace, 1 Crichton Street

Mobile and ubiquitous computing researchers have long imagined future worlds for users in developed regions. Steered by such visions, they have innovated devices and services exploring the value of these with and for individuals, groups and communities. Meanwhile, such radical and long-term explorations are uncommon for what have been termed emergent users; users, that is, for whom advanced technologies are just within grasp. Instead, a driving assumption is, perhaps, that today’s high-end mobile technologies will “trickle down” to these user groups in due course.
For the past five years, our team of researchers and partner organisations have started to explore how to do future envisioning that includes emergent communities. We have carried out intensive, coordinated innovation-prototyping-deployment yearly cycles that has seen us work with people from townships in South Africa and informal and slum districts in India and Kenya. These activities have seen the development of a number of novel mobile devices and services that would not have emerged without the insights provided and integrated across these regions.
In this talk, I will explore what mobile technologies might be like if emergent users are directly involved in creating their visions for the future 5-10 years from now; explain and reflect on our
methods, highlighting the success and failures; detail some of the platforms and devices we’ve created; and, argue that such innovation is also vital to re-invigorate mobile design for the “traditional users” (like me) in the rest of the world.
Matt Jones is Professor of Computer Science, at Swansea University and the author of two books and many research articles that have helped shape the field of Mobile HCI and UX (Mobile Interaction Design – with Gary Marsden; and There’s Not an App for That – with Simon Robinson and Gary Marsden).

Inspace, 1 Crichton St, Edinburgh EH8 9AB