Sunday November 29, 2015

Designing for new cellphone users in Burma

Basket salesmen in Rangoon, Burma.

Basket salesmen in Rangoon, Burma. (Timothy Neesam)

Listen 11:53

Just a few years ago, cellphones were a rarity reserved for the elite in Burma (also known as Myanmar). But now, they've exploded in popularity. 

Spark checks in with a design team working on a digital communications tool for rural farmers there. Lauren Serota and Taiei Harimoto talk about how, because so many people in Burma are new to cell technology, they don't have the biases the rest of us have built up about how the technology is "supposed" to work. We also learn about novel uses for cellphones as income generators, and in the recent election.