Designing Ummeli a case for mediated design, a participatory approach to designing interactive systems for semi-literate users

Gitau, Silvian Wanjiku (2013)

Includes abstract.


This dissertation documents a journey into the design of Ummeli with a community of semi‐literate job seekers in Khayelitsha, Cape Town whose primary access to the internet was through their mobile phones. Working closely with this community over many months, we developed Ummeli, a suite of tools that allow the user to build their CVs; browse and apply for employment and training opportunities; recommend and post jobs; get employment tips and connect to other job seekers. To design Ummeli, Ethnographic Action Research (EAR) was embraced, not as a methodology, but as a research approach, a foundation from which to incorporate participatory approaches to designing Information communication technologies for development (ICT4D). User Centred Design (UCD) was incorporated as a design approach. Ummeli was built by a combination of insights drawn from a lived-in experience, and employing UCD informed mtheods of participatory design (PD).