UCT CS Research Document Archive

Abstractions for designing and evaluating communication bridges for people in developing regions

Tucker, W D and E H Blake (2010) Abstractions for designing and evaluating communication bridges for people in developing regions. In Proceedings First Annual Symposium on Computing for Development (DEV), Royal Holloway, University of London, London, UK.

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Abstract

This paper describes two novel abstractions that help software engineers work in developing regions to align social and technical factors when building communication systems. The abstractions extend two concepts familiar to engineers of computer networks and applications: the Open Systems Interconnect stack for design, and Quality of Service for evaluation. The novel nature of the abstractions lies in how they help cultivate awareness of socio-cultural and technical issues when designing and evaluating communication bridges in the field. Advantages of the abstractions are that they can be understood easily by software engineers, they aid communication with beneficiaries, and can therefore facilitate collaboration. The paper makes an argument for these socially aware abstractions, describes the abstractions in detail, provides examples of how we used the new abstractions in the field and then gives practical guidelines for how to use them. The simple nature of the new abstractions can help software engineers and end-users to work together to produce useful information technology based communication systems for people in developing regions.

EPrint Type:Conference Paper
Keywords:Design, Measurement, Human Factors, Documentation, User-centred design
Subjects:D Software: D.2 SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
H Information Systems: H.5 INFORMATION INTERFACES AND PRESENTATION
ID Code:639
Deposited By:Blake, Edwin H
Deposited On:29 November 2010