The Challenges of taking a User-Centric Approach within developing countries: A case study of designing medical solutions for Zambia
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In an attempt to meet the needs of the world’s poor, user-centric methodologies have been applied to the development of appropriate product solutions, with growing popularity. However, despite the popularity of these approaches there have been criticisms surrounding their development within industrialised nations and calls for an analysis of their contextual suitability for developing regions. In response to these calls this paper conducts a comparative study of the application of Human-centred design’s (HCD) process of rapid-prototyping and user testing in the context of the UK and Zambia. The findings of the study present an overview of the benefits that can be gained through HCD’s application in the UK and Zambia context, whilst also identifying contextual elements that placed restrictions on their use and which resulted in compromises needing to be made. These elements included: varied comprehension of the product development process and language and literacy barriers.
11th European Academy of Design Conference;
Watkins C. A., Loudon, G. H., Gill, S. and Hall, J.E. ‘The Challenges of taking a User-Centric Approach within developing countries: A case study of designing medical solutions for Zambia’ to be published in the proceedings of the 11th European Academy of Design Conference, Paris Desartes University, Boulogne Billancourt, France, April 22-24 2015
- User Centred Design 
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