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User-centred mobile app development: ICT Update issue 73

Andrea_Jimenez's picture

According to Kamau, Kenyan web solution expert at the iHub UX Lab in Nairobi, too often developers focus on the technology, the hardware and software their apps will use rather than the people they are developed for. Their focus on technology has resulted in many advanced, sophisticated mobile apps winning top places in competitions, but actually failing to attract real-world users. 

A user-centred approach to designing solutions ensures the mobile app is contextualised, serving the needs of the intended users. At the UX Lab, app designers meet with their target audience, often in rural areas, sit together and talk about the actual problem to better define it. At this stage, the users’ needs are expressed and the intended use is discussed. In the field, designers also get a good idea of the surrounding natural environment (hazards, challenges, infrastructure and facilities, for example) in which the technology will be broadcast. 

People like Kamau and initiatives such as the UX Lab seek to convince developers to include the users in the earliest possible stage of the design process to better understand their needs and wants, and how, when and where they would use the new mobile app.

Related links
iHubUXlab, East Africa’s first UX, design, testing and training lab  www.ihub.co.ke/uxlab/

Can better UX reboot Kenya’s app economy? By Jessica McKenzie http://goo.gl/ZQNd7y