Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Introducing Interaction Design Association - Nakuru Local Group

It's almost 2017 and a time to prepare to usher in a new year. As 2017 approaches, a new association is about to be born in Nakuru that brings together like-minded people with an interest in improving the design of interactive technologies. Unlike other associations that focus on specific platforms or types of software, the Interaction Design Association's interest is how to improve the way systems are designed for use by human beings. 

We live at a time where mobile and other devices are rapidly being adopted globally. It means that all manner of people from young to old, literate to semi-literate, have access to digital products that they use in their daily lives. By making these devices and systems easier to use, we simplify life, reduce the cost of business, improve productivity and speed up the adoption of useful technology.

As a specific example in Kenya, 1.2 million learning devices are being distributed to schools. These are tablets for use by primary school pupils in their first few years at school. It is likely that parents all over Kenya will now also have access to tablets and the Internet for the first time in their lives. Who has thought about the design of such devices and the software they run in an African context? Are there uniquely African or Kenyan cultural contexts that, if adopted in these designs, would improve their usability and user experience?

How can Kenyan systems designers adopt methods and tools that others have found useful to measurably improve design? Can adoption of African motifs in our software improve user interest and reduce the anxiety of first-time users of technology? 

All these are questions of great interest. The Interaction Design Association of Nakuru expects to help introduce IxD concepts and techniques to systems developers in the Nakuru area and initiate deep discussions about the meaning and implications of IxD theory and practice in the design of websites, mobile applications and other ICT-related systems. IxDA Nakuru is expected to be a leading focal point of IxD in Kenya since there are few other active IxD groups in the country. 

Among the activities and programs of IxDA Nakuru will include organising seminars and workshops and eventually conferences. We shall publish a blog (this one!) and eventually an IxDA Magazine and possibly, in collaboration with local universities, a Journal. IxDA will be active in local high schools and colleges to help teachers and students better appreciate high quality software design principles through presentations and boot camps. IxDA will engage with various media to help the public, especially users and creators of interactive technologies to better appreciate the principals of IxD and the quality improvements that IxD can bring to software systems.

All in all, welcome to IxDA Nakuru. Contact us at [nakuru at IxDA.org] 

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. When things quieten down a little, we can have a meeting in the city on IxD.

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