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Challenges for interaction design education in the South: a case study of Botswana

Lotz, Nicole and Sharp, Helen (2020). Challenges for interaction design education in the South: a case study of Botswana. Journal of International Development, 32(1) pp. 62–84.

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In a long-term partnership between a university in the UK and one in Botswana teaching interaction design, the Botswana cohort of students consistently performed less well than their UK counterparts. To investigate this, we conducted a pair of design protocol studies: one in the UK and one in Botswana. Our findings show that designer behaviour differs in the two contexts in terms of process, use of ideation techniques, and solution and problem focus when approaching the task. More specifically, UK students follow the approach taught in the module, while this process conflicts with Botswana students’ behaviours. However, we also find that Botswana students prioritise the external context of the designed product rather than its interaction characteristics, which is problematic as interaction is the key feature of interactive products. These results are significant because without leveraging indigenous knowledge to design interaction that supports local user characteristics and context, sustainable and equitable development through technological innovation will be suppressed. In this paper we highlight challenges for interaction design education in Botswana, which include how to recognize and support a diversity of design approaches while providing suitable pedagogic scaffolding.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
ISSN: 1099-1328
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Novice interaction designers' behaviour in different cultures. (XC-10-070-HS)RPG-257LEVERHULME The Leverhulme Trust
Keywords: protocol studies; interaction design; education; design behaviour; indigenous knowledge
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Engineering and Innovation
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Computing and Communications
Research Group: Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Design and Innovation
Item ID: 66275
Depositing User: Helen Sharp
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2019 14:43
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2020 21:26
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