As communities in the emerging markets are increasingly interfacing with technology, the technology landscape is heterogeneous and unevenly distributed. In this talk, I describe 'infrawork': emergent workarounds created by people in getting access to technology infrastructures, and three case studies of designing to leverage these socio-technical hooks: (i) design and evaluation of a mobile data transparency tool intended to help emerging mobile users control and manage their data (ii) design and evaluation of one of the world's largest public Wi-Fi networks, in train stations in India; and (iii) the study of citizen response in 2015 Chennai floods. Finally, I present some general lessons learned in designing for constrained infrastructures in emerging markets.
Nithya Sambasivan is a user experience researcher working in the area of emerging markets in the Next Billion Users team at Google, and previously at Google Access and Google.org. She has a PhD. in Informatics from University of California, Irvine and MS in Human Computer Interaction from Georgia Tech. Her research has won many awards at CHI and ICTD.