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Hear From Expert Mr. Dhaval Joshi

How is the Use of Mobile Technology Shaping User Experiences in Developing Countries?

By Brittany Haynes on Aug 27, 2019
In this age of ever-evolving mobile and smartphone devices, the importance of user interface when utilizing mobile technologies in professional fields has become abundantly clear. One example is in developing countries where health workers are using mobile systems to help track the spread of diseases, making their work more efficient and productive. However, experts are struggling to find the latest research and methodologies regarding these technologies and the user experience, particularly in differing regions of the world and across varying perspectives, communities, and countries.

In order to better provide the latest research and solutions to challenges in the industry of mobile and smart device technologies and the user experience, Mr. Dhaval Joshi, Senior Product Manager at Tencent in Shenzhen, China, and author of the chapter “Experimental Research Approaches for Mobile UX in Emerging Markets” from the publication Research and Design Innovations for Mobile User Experience provides his insight from his work at Nokia Research on this ongoing topic of research in the IGI Global interview below.

What inspired you to pursue research activities in your area of expertise?

I have always been inclined towards research. I like to understand the cause or the correlation of an activity rather than just follow or accept it simply because “it is the way it is”. When it comes to user experience or product management, it is important to understand the “why” of things that we are working on; it gives depth and confidence to our decisions. It keeps the intellectual curiosity alive throughout the project.

What would you say was the most surprising discovery while conducting your research?

Once we were on a research study in rural parts of India, and we were trying to design a mobile system to track the spread of communicable diseases (such as Malaria). I spent about three months living in different towns and visiting villages. One interesting and unexpected pattern we discovered was how tech literacy was more important than Language literacy. For example, our system was in the local language, yet language itself did not help much. Health workers still needed to be educated on how to use the mobile phone as a reporting tool for these diseases. Once they understood how to operate it, the dependence on language went down. It is like they were using the system as a map to see how many steps to get somewhere and what to do next, hardly spending time to read the actual text labels. It was an important lesson; it seems user interfaces become more “invisible” as a user gains mastery of its use.

As an expert within your research field, what would you say you have learned so far?

Apart from all the project-specific knowledge and experience, my biggest takeaway is a personal one which helps me keep a curious/open mind and sharpen my logical thinking.

What were the main challenges in conducting your research?

Every research challenge is unique. The most common but critical challenge is to find the right questions to ask the right people. If we are too direct, the answers are sometimes too nice or politically correct. Asking smart questions is a big challenge in any given research.

What are some of the benefits of your research to its community of users?

Like everyone else in research, I hope to contribute to the knowledge base of this field. Since my focus has mostly been Asia and developing countries, some learnings are quite unique and offer a different perspective from the West.

Why are your respective areas of research important to the field at large?

Technology is changing so fast and this change is only going to get faster. Also, the demographics of the world are changing. A large part of the young population will be based in the East, and this means that more and more researchers will need to understand and get exposure to this part of the world. Good user experience for services based on mobile 5G, AI, etc. will fundamentally change the lives of people in this region for years to come.

What has your experience been like publishing with IGI Global?

It was quite a delight to be published with IGI Global. The process itself was simple and supportive. I know they have a huge readership across the world. I am happy that my works are part of this research family. I would encourage researchers to leverage IGI Global as a platform to share their knowledge with peers and research community as a whole.
IGI Global would like to thank Mr. Dhaval Joshi for sharing his research on the user experience and communication regarding smart device and mobile technologies. Additionally, for more information about this research, view the publication here.

Mr. Joshi joins IGI Global’s esteemed network of over 4,900+ Chinese scholars that have contributed to IGI Global’s expanding portfolio of 5,300+ reference books and 185+ scholarly journals. To learn more about these publications and IGI Global products, visit our Chinese extension of our website, which is fully translated into localized Mandarin.

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Mr. Dhaval Joshi’s chapter, “Experimental Research Approaches for Mobile UX in Emerging Markets”, and its source title, Research and Design Innovations for Mobile User Experience, is available through IGI Global’s Online Bookstore and world-renowned InfoSci®-Books, a database of 5,300+ reference books with over 100,000 full-text chapters in 11 core subject areas including business, science and engineering, computer science, education, and more.

InfoSci-Books hosts key features such as full-text PDF and HTML format, no DRM, unlimited simultaneous users, and no embargo of content (research is available months in advance of the print release), as well as IGI Global’s Open Access (OA) Fee Waiver (Read and Publish) Initiative, which provides their institution with an additional source of OA article processing charge (APC) funding.*

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of IGI Global.
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