Category Archives: Masters Thesis

Abstract of My Research Thesis Proposal: This is why I am going to India!

As of 2014, over half of the human beings living on this planet are deprived of Internet access. Most of these people live in developing or poor countries. This reflects a deep gap between technology creators/designers and their understanding/involvement of the end users. The problems lie beyond our conventional understanding like hardware availability and network coverage.

The traditional methods of design and research are just not working in understanding the real problems that lies deeply embedded within socio-technical design of small communities in these countries. The numerous problems associated with enabling internet access include social & cultural perception of technology; outdated/unfair public policies shaped by corporate oligopoly and political bureaucracy that affects affordability; learn-ability and usability from an HCI perspective; and contextualization of applications, services and content. It’s impossible for an individual, a company, or an organization to foresee and solve all these intertwined problems that hinder enabling internet access.

The first part of the purpose of this research is to gain a deep understanding in the current socio-technical issues involved in enabling Internet access in developing countries using a (distributed) Participatory Design approach. By understanding and compiling a list of all the major problems involved, I would like to create a design solution with the help of the local community (and other stakeholders) to enable internet access in one small local community in a developing country.

BRINGING FREE WIFI TO ONE CITY IN INDIA BY THE START OF 2015.

A Social Venture & Usability Experiment coordinated by:

INDIA NEEDS FREE WIFI - Introducing Muft Wifi (1)

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Free Wifi India - An Interaction Design and Usability Experiment

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BRINGING FREE WIFI TO ONE CITY IN INDIA BY THE START OF 2015!

Passionate about Internet and Information as a Human Right? Would you like to be the one to provide Muft (free) Wifi in your city? Would you like to participate? We need an awesome army to fight the through the existing system!

Project Volunteers Needed:

Documentary Freelancers, Video Experts:

We need a short documentary explaining the problems with internet access in India. The problems go beyond social and political. We need to talk about diversity, lack of localization and completely unrealistically designed apps for the local average Indian citizen. Doğa Zeren Anil Kapur Slavik Bihun – Would you know someone interested in making documentaries for a social issues and human rights? We need it to be low cost and has to be shot in India.

Brand Identity Designers:

Designers with some knowledge in UX – We aren’t really a brand. We are a NOT FOR PROFIT social business. However, since we will be working with some douchebag big telecom & advertising companies. We need a very classy design language..
The challenge for the logo it is understandable and appealing to all the stakeholders of the project – the users, the investors, the clients etc . India has 30+ spoken languages with 1600 dialects. The brand needs to aim being “text free”. Simple visuals, classy and big boy google style. Think you’re up for the challenge?

Lawyers (ICT, Intellectual Property, Telecom):

This is one of the most tricky parts. A hundred different permissions required from Municipalities, Ministry of Information, Department of Cyber Security, Department of Telecommunications etc. The list is endless.
Even if we sail smoothly through all the permissions, I am sure that some assh*le corporate, politician or a religious activist nut is going to try and create problems.
No matter how good an idea is, some people aren’t gonna be happy with it. We need strong minded and conscious lawyers to ward off the big boys who try to spoil the party.

Network (and firewall) specialists:

Hackers, we need you. Before we launch the private project, we are inviting several ethical Hacker organizations to try and Hack into our free wifi system. The person who manages to hack into our system get a cash prize.
With a possibility of data from a billion+ user accounts at stake, we can definitely not risk people stealing our user data. Er Vipul Patel Mahendra Nagle Bhavin Shah Amit Goyal Amit Mehta- Would guys know some people who can help us with this?

Marketing Gurus, Content Geniuses, Bloggers – Helps spread the word!

Well, you could be a digital or social media marketer, an advertising specialist, a creative designer or simply an enthusiast who wants to help us get the word out. We need your ideas. We need your strategy. We invite digital and social agencies as well to partner us in this idea. We are looking at ways agencies can ask their clients to invest into our idea. We will manage the entire set up, provide the hardware, deal with the ISPs, manage permissions – and in exchange your clients. Think of ways we could get the word out and get sponsors for this idea!

Young Entrepreneurs & Business Owners

Our business model will be open with a detailed step-by-step wiki on how someone could replicate our business. We encourage young entrepreneurs and existing business owners to get inspired and adopt the same (or similar) business model whereby they can provide people with free internet in their villages, cities or towns. Shreyas Sirigeri
We are also looking for young companies to practice social reponsibility by investing into the idea of providing a billion people in the world with Free WiFi! Müller-Dechent Marcus Ravik Philippa Main

All Your Grandmothers – Usability Testers

A huge part of usage studies comes from extreme users. Volunteer your grandma to test out our service. Her success determines the success of our product’s experience.

Politicians and Government Officials

Interested in winning your next election or want to do some actual good for the citizens of India? Join our idea, help us give your city/town/village free wifi and become famous!

Masters Thesis Interests

Human Computing Interaction (HCI) is a huge concept consisting of several different spheres of study interests. I have several different ideas on what could I base my research thesis on however I am not sure which one is worth (and viable) investing my next 2 years into.

For the moment, I am going to speak about the two problems that I have always wanted to solve and had in my mind before choosing to study HCI. The problems will help me understand my study goals better and thereby enable me to think of a concrete research problem in time to come.

Re-Thinking Small Business Project and Knowledge Management:

In the past decade, there has been a sharp rise in new business registrations. However, 50% of small businesses fail within the first year, 95% fail within the first 5 years (Dun & Bradstreet).

Why is it that new (and small) businesses fail so quickly? Why is it that ‘big boys’ always win?

One of my goals is to help and empower small businesses in developing nations with the right kind of low cost, yet cutting-edge, technological tools and applications to compete with large global enterprises from advanced countries.

Re-Thinking Consumption:

The second problem I see with the world and the one that bothers me deeply is our culture of producing and buying. Manufactures, marketers and consumer psychologists have changed the way we buy our goods and services. One of the premier problems of our civilization today is the way we consume. It has severe social and environmental consequences.

A plastic fork and spoon manufactured in China is transported, using fossil fuels that took millions of years to form, more than 5000 miles to a supermarket in Tallinn so that somebody could have a small picnic in a park for a few minutes! To most people reading this and me, it just doesn’t make sense. However, we have all engaged in semi-conscious buying behavior.

Can the right technological tools and applications change help us make smarter choices when we consume to enable sustainability? 

Ref. EERE.  An attempt to change the way we buy using powerful and intelligent contextual information.

I have found my goals and interests. However, it will take me a few weeks before I decide on how to work towards these goals through a sound scientific research study.