Orality-Grounded HCID: Understanding the Oral User

Jahanzeb Sherwani, Nosheen Ali, Carolyn Penstein Rosé, Roni Rosenfeld


While human-computer interaction (HCI) methodologies are designed to be general, they have most often been applied in the context of literate end users in the West. These methodologies may, however, need rethinking for application in HCI for the developing world (HCID) contexts, where many of the basic assumptions that underpin the methods may not always hold true. In this article, we present an overview of one factor that is significantly different in the HCID context—the literacy of the end user—by drawing on the literature of orality, and we offer a framework for HCID methodology that we argue is more appropriate for the HCID context. Based on this framework, we then present guidelines for design and user research methodologies in such contexts, highlighting seminal HCID research that corroborates these guidelines.


human-computer interaction; HCID; developing world; orality; literature; methodology

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