India Field Research – Week 1

“In India, every 6 kilometres, you discover a new language and a new culture”. India in itself is more a continent than a country and understanding it in 3 weeks is quite a challenge!

We are truly aware that we will not be able to grasp the culture in all its subtleties but we hope to get a general understanding of how people use technology in India, how they perceive making, how they share, how they create content, how they learn, so as to underline the different challenges and opportunities to enable grass root content creation and create a relevant Webmaker.
Let's go !
After one week on the field I thought I would share an update on what we have been up-to.
As a team of two, and with the precious help of Mozilla volunteers, we interviewed:
  • 3 male University Students in Mechanical Engineering, in their campus – Mumbai 
  • 2 male Primary School Teachers in their school in a slum – Mumbai
  • 3 male University Students – Vasai, close to Mumbai
  • 1 Maker Space founder (Expert Interview) in the Maker Space – Mumbai 
  • 2 female Teenagers living in a more conservative community.  We were able to visit the school and interact with the school principal. – Bhiwandi a town close to Mumbai.
  • 2 male teenagers in their school – Bhiwandi
  • a group of 9 female teachers in their school – Bhiwandi
  • 2 male owners of an Industrial Cotton Mill – Bhiwandi 
  • 3 female and male Young Artists in their home – Pune
  • 1 Family in home – Pune
  • 2 female teenagers from a very low income community – Pune
  • 2 male NGO Volunteers teaching computer literacy in villages – Pune
  • 1 male Professor (Expert Interview) who is an open source community leader and local content expert – Pune
Inside a Cotton Mill
Inside a Cotton Mill
Inside a Cotton Mill - Makers of India
Inside a Cotton Mill – Makers of India
We also:
  • conducted a Design Workshop with 5 University Students in ISDI Parsons Mumbai (Design University),
  • attended an Digital Literacy Event in a low income community of Pune,
  • organised a meet up with 20 RedHat localisers in Pune, focused on local content creation,
  • and a meet-up with the Mozillians from Pune to get their feedback on this project.
Design workshop
Design workshop
Teaching Web Literacy
Teaching Web Literacy
Each of these interactions was fascinating, we have gathered interesting data on how people use the web today in India, how they share and create content, how they learn online & offline, as well as the impact of local languages and local content on the web today for them.
Product testing
Product testing
After the interviews, we test our Webmaker Prototype by putting it in the hands of people and going throuh various use-case scenario such as : How would you do if you wanted to add an image? What do you think this button does ? What does this page tell you ? Let’s make our first blog entry…
I do my best to file GitHub issues regularly given the feedback received, and thanks to our amazing team of designers and engineers, we were able to quickly make important changes on the app !

What’s next ?

We now have 2 more weeks on the field, and we welcomed a new team member yesterday!
This week, we will be focusing on Small Business Owners, Women, Artists, Housewives, NGO volunteers, and we will keep on interacting with students who are a primary persona for this research.
We have plans to work in a village and a smaller town, and will move to South India, where we hear the culture is radically different !
Our schedule is revised every day, so if you have suggestions it’s never not too late 🙂 I also post daily updates here.
Feel free to reach out to this project is open to all contributions!

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