Have you ever looked at tech solutions from an anthropological point of view? It’s what digital anthropology is all about: examining the way people use digital media and IT solutions all over the world.
- Reforming tech
- Digital anthropology and the designing of software solutions
- Implementation of human-centred technology in business
- Is universal cross-culture design possible?
- The Next Billion Users
- The future of the Internet
- Approaching creative design in technology from an anthropological point of view
Studying how people use and interpret technology in daily life while taking into account the context of a certain social group and their settings is the goal of digital anthropology. Even while a lady in Brazil and a boy in Namibia could have quite different digital experiences, they might share certain commonalities.
The development of software solutions and digital anthropology
In terms of developing software solutions, the anthropological study of the interaction between people and digital technology is becoming increasingly important.
Ironically, as technology advances, we increasingly become aware that we are now capable of doing something right: customizing and personalizing technology. In this case, diversity should be seen as a commercial opportunity rather than a hindrance.
use of technology that puts people first in business
There have been several attempts to integrate the notion of developing human-centered technology in the commercial world.
However, there are some challenges. The biggest one is the fact that we continue to operate under the presumptive standard, which is often a male, white, middle-class person who lives in an Anglo-Saxon environment. Looking East, at the audiences outside those spheres, appears strange and quite dangerous.
Is it feasible to design universally across cultures?
There is a common viewpoint that claims that personalization would suffer if we pursue universality. When you see culture as practice, you can discover that the two things mesh together.
A notable example is the problem of battery life: Since individuals in Africa and South Asia often don’t have regular access to electricity, making long-lasting batteries was a crucial requirement for mobile firms to succeed in these environments. This also benefited commuter groups and mobile youths, and it rapidly became a global need that cut beyond national boundaries.
We can convey the universal in a way that works if we can go from an identity focus to a process focus. Through this cross-cultural approach, localisation may improve designs rather than contradict universal design principles.
Users of the Next Billion
In The Next Billion Users, a book I wrote, I discuss our presumptions about the Some areas’ internet claims that they are merely mistaken. We have been creating for a relatively small portion of the human population for many years, completely ignoring two-thirds of the world’s population.
However, we are accustomed to making decisions about what is best for them, building “good” things, such as healthcare and education applications, with little attention to the leisurely end that is frequently the driving force behind the adoption of new technology. These are fairly instrumental methods, therefore by using them, we are limiting the market and user behavior.
The Internet’s future
What shape will the internet take in the years to come? The romantic heyday of the past years is over. There is now a lot of dystopia about this future, which is characterized by growing mistrust, fragmentation, censorship, and manipulation. How can we rethink and rebuild a digital environment that is welcoming, secure, satisfying, meaningful, joyous, and, in general, beneficial to our social well-being? How can we guarantee that anybody can access the internet?
Some things, like the demand for leisure time or the allure of storytelling, will never go out of style. The freedoms, self-actualization, and meaningful connectedness that we all strive to typically show up in our digital behavior. However, some factors, such as rules, differ throughout nations, thus they will influence how Using the Internet
Using anthropological methods to approach technologically inventive design
A designer has to be integrated into the environment in which they work.
As an alternative, you look for regional collaborators and multicultural teams to educate you on cultural norms. Inherently, design is a social process.
You should also think about how simple your applications are to use, as well as its financial and security aspects. Designers are responsible for more than simply utility and aesthetics. You need to think far further than that if you want your app to endure, regardless of how lovely it is.
WHO THE AUTHOR IS
Digital anthropologist Payal Arora is the author of many works, including “The Next Billion Users,” which was published by Harvard Press. She is a co-founder of FemLab and holds a professorial position at Erasmus University Rotterdam. co, a project dedicated to the future of work. Her areas of expertise are inclusive design, user experiences, and global media cultures.
She has been featured in several worldwide media outlets, including the British Broadcasting Corporation, The Economist, Quartz, Tech Crunch, The Boston Globe, F.A.Z, The Nation, and CBC. She serves on a number of boards, including those of the World Women Global Council and Columbia University Earth Institute in New York. She is presently a resident of Amsterdam.