Thursday, October 31, 2013

A case for 'local' user interfaces?

The tweet above got my attention. Most folks in Ghana still enjoy SMS and those with smartphones enjoy text-based apps like Whatsapp. (Do note that Whatsapp now has voice-enabled input functionality).
From the convo on twitter, one realises that my friend is concerned about folks who cannot read English. I am however of the view that, a great majority of such folks can read in their local tongues.

A suggestion for developers who wish to design text-based apps for non-English speakers can be to use an API from Kasahorow. This would afford them the flexibility of using local languages.
However, another cool approach for developers looking forward to implement text-based apps, would be to use voice in place of text.

When it comes to using visuals, a lot of work has to be done to come out with better metaphors. This is because I've been contemplating how User Interface designers (in Ghana -- and Africa) could come up with icons that are 'local' enough to be understood and appreciated by their users.

Is this necessary, though?

What would the icons be like? A basket instead of a shopping cart? An earthenware bowl in place of fork and knife?
Well, as I've stated, more research needs to be done to really get a hang of this. An argument will be that the world is a global village, no? But what of the 'local' folks?

Forgive me if my thoughts are not 'falling in place' now.
I'm an enigma to myself.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Subtle discipline

Mr. X steps into his sitting room and finds his son watching porn.
Without distracting him, he sits by his son in silence -- fir a while.
"K, do you know about heaven and hell?"
"Yes, dad."
"What about them?"
"Good people who love God, and do his will, will inherit heaven. The bad will go to hell."
"What are some of the actions that can lead one to hell?"
"Fornication, killing, stealing, masturbation, pornography, e-er-r-mm-m..."

Akward silence.

Mr. X gets out of the room.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A great metaphor – HTW Empowerment beads

Since Ghana’s Heel The World Shoes introduced their trademark Empowerment beads, it has become a fashion statement (especially) amongst the youth.
I am no different.

My current HTW bead (with 2 REWARDS!)

But underlying this fashion piece is a world-related metaphor some of you (my readers – and fellow youth) might have missed. No juju (voodoo) issues here o!
The ornament is made up of black beads and a gold bead. The black beads represent the trials, disappointments, failures, and all the ‘negative’ challenges one goes through in life. Then comes the gold bead to remind you not to give up – your REWARD is in sight! It’s just as the Bible puts it in Hebrews 10:35 – 36.

My sketch of the metaphor

So whenever you put on the HTW Empowerment bead, be encouraged and cheerful, because your reward after all the b******t you encounter, is in sight.
Some of you may have personal metaphors you identify with, when you wear the HTW empowerment bead. Kindly share them via comments on this post. Thanks
Be fashionable in your own simple way.