Tamasha Hack! - Digital Skills Hackathon

Tomorrow, with the help of Equity Foundation, we're hosting Tamasha Hack, a hackathon to create Android prototypes that teach or assist digital skills. As part of the Digital Skills Observatory project, prototypes from this hackathon will be the foundation for the software that DSO study participants will receive on their smartphones.

Ahead of Tamasha Hack, the DSO Software and Research groups gathered insights from 2 months of interviews and workshops with study participants, and came up with a list of design constraints and concepts to guide the hackathon's teams. The lists below aren't meant to be exhaustive or restrictive, but to help teams understand the study's focus and the challenges its participants face with their smartphones.


Concept 1

Many people use their smartphones to chat with their friends and family over Facebook, Telegram, Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat, and SMS. How can we take advantage of these platforms to teach people digital skills to social groups? What features will provide interesting learning experiences?

#platform #social media #groups #chat #live

Concept 2

M-Pesa, banks, internet providers, and other services provide access to services over USSD or similar platforms that let people interact with them automatically. Since USSD is becoming obsolete in the era of smartphones, what kind of digital skills training can social media provide using similar automation? (e.g. Telegram chat bots that answer your digital skills questions.)

#platform #ussd #telegram #whatsapp #facebook #bots #automation

Concept 3

People often use apps like Flashare to exchange apps and other information with each other without accessing Google Play Store or even a WiFi or cellular network. Is it possible to leverage this social interaction to let people discover new apps (e.g. being able to look at apps on another person’s phone), and to teach people about the limitations of this approach (e.g. being able to update apps)? Is it then possible to illustrate the usefulness of the Google Play Store when people are browsing or searching for apps?

#content #apps #discovery #downloading #awareness

Concept 4

Gestures and icons are the language of smartphone interaction. Can we make it fun to learn these interactions (e.g. a progressively hard memory game) to make people more familiar with their phone’s functionality?

#content #gestures #icons #comfort

Concept 5

People often use apps like Flashare to circumvent the need for an internet connection and a Google account to access the Google Play Store. Further problems arise when people want to access social platforms like Facebook, and they are asked for an email address to sign up. What game can demonstrate the need for accounts and how they work on the Internet?

#content #apps #awareness #accounts

Concept 6

Can the Google Play Store be gamified such that people are encouraged to find links and secrets by searching for and downloading apps? (Think “Play Store scavenger hunt”.)

#content #awareness #apps #searching #reviews #play store

Concept 7

The Android user interface does little to help those that have difficulty understanding the features of their smartphone. A button with a Wi-Fi symbol and corresponding label is cryptic, and hard to describe to someone to ask for help. How can users capture portions of their UI and send them to “helpdesk” volunteers (or a social group, e.g. WhatsApp) to better describe their difficulties and ask questions about their smartphones?

#content #helpdesk #settings #android

Concept 8

People aren’t always sure of what consumes their data bundles, and are surprised by how quickly they’re consumed—especially when using a 4G network. How can they better understand which apps contribute to the consumption of each bundle they purchase, and illustrate their consumption/purchasing patterns clearly?

#bundles #apps #consumption

Design Constraints

Design Constraint 1: People use “lite” versions of apps/websites/online services to conserve battery and data when necessary.

Design Constraint 2: Some people have very small screens or low resolution.

Design Constraint 3: People use the keyboard they’re most comfortable with (e.g. number pad from feature phones).

Design Constraint 4: People don’t always know how to read or write.

Design Constraint 5: How is this different from a feature phone app/prototype?

Stay Tuned

We'll be posting results from the hackathon here, as quickly as possible.

Good luck to everyone!

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