January 18, 2012
THE PROJECT BEGINS
BUT now I am over in NID in Ahmedabad, India…so this is what this blog post is going to be about.
NCR have sponsored the MSc Product Design (MSc PD) team to gather insights into access to and use of mobile technology and the internet in India.
The use of mobile technologies and communications in India over the past 5/10 years has been prolific. India has the world’s second largest number of mobile phone users with over 881 million as of October 2011. Although the percentage of population that have access to the internet in any form is low there are still 40 million users who use their mobiles to access the internet.
In countries such as the UK use of the internet has started with fixed line access due to the nature of legacy copper cable infrastructure. Where in many Western countries the advent of mobile technologies was seen as an evolutionary step forward, in developing nations it could be seen as a mobile revolution, bypassing infrastructure investments other countries have made.
India does not have the same legacy issues as the UK; they can effectively leap-frog the UK and move to a much more mobile and inherently accessible mode of internet access. With countries such as India, China and those in Africa spearheading the mobile revolution companies, like NCR, are looking to them to understand how business and consumers are adopting mobile technologies and the opportunities this may create.
The team have had a day of just getting used to the environment and the have had some initial introductions with stage 4 NID product design students. It was a day of tuktuk rides, mad traffic, street life and indian culture!
GETTING DATA AND INSIGHTS
One of the main aims of the trip is to gather not only insights but some tangle data on mobile habits and the internet. We want to understand who uses these service and how. One way of collecting this data is through a questionnaire. The key thing with the creation of the questionnaire is to do it collaboratively with the NID students. Doing it this way meant we were able to ask the right questions and target specific areas that we would otherwise have missed.
As ever the NID students have been great. We sent an hour in a focus group co-designing the questionnaire. From there we were able to draft up an initial layout and test it in NID. That done we were confident we could get out on the street, speak to people, get data and insights!
The students have spent the day interviewing people about their mobile phone use and how they use the internet. It is interesting to see the cultural differences coming to light. We hope to build up some nice infographics from the data to clearly illustrate the breadth of people we connected with, consumer trends and insights.
In parallel to this the team have been doing some service mapping. We have targeted areas relevant to NCR lines of business, from Banking, Retail and Travel. These help us understand the stages of a particular journey. Mapping this out not only shows us the current touch points in a particular transaction/service but also opportunities for design thinking, self-service, new interactions.
As a group we also need to consider the final document, we have spent time this evening developing the layout. The format is going to be in a news paper style so we have been doing some research into news papers in India to give the document some cultural founding and context. One thing is for sure is that we will not be struggling for content! The good thing with planning the layout now is that it will give me and the students focus to the insights we gather, photos we take and life we document.
Street life in Ahmedabad is LOUD, BUSY, INTENSE and DUSTY…It take some getting used to and can be quite overwhelming. I have send the day neck deep in it all. I wanted to experience first hand what it was all like as for too long on this trip I have been stuck in NID. I have been trying to document street services, self-service objects, graphics, signage and interactions.
Its can be hard to create order out of the chaos. Putting design filters on all the content out there on the street helps (well helps me anyway..)