Intelligent User Interfaces for Developing Regions:
Users, Problems and Technologies

Third IUI4DR Workshop in Conjunction with IUI 2013
Santa Monica, California, USA
19 March 2013




This workshop aims to look at interaction from the viewpoint of users in developing regions.  We will identify  interesting research challenges and usability obstacles experienced by this user population at the workshop. Related workshops were conducted in 2008 and 2011, and several interesting themes emerged, for example low-literacy and multimodal interfaces. In 2013, we will build on past workshops by focusing on different themes that affect the interactions of this target population. This will involve a deeper user-centered analysis of who the users are in developing regions, the main devices they use for interaction, their most common application content, and the computer input capabilities that best support their language and application needs. At IUI4DR 2013, we aim to focus on understanding the problem(s) faced by people in developing regions, and how those problems could be addressed by appropriate intelligent user interface technologies.

Users and their problems: We invite papers that provide insights on how users ICT in developing countries are different from users in the developed world.  What specific issues need to be considered in terms of native language literacy, English language literacy, or knowing how to operate technology?  “Low literacy” and “low purchasing power” are frequently attributed to users in developing regions. We intend to develop deeper insights into the variability among these users and identify the implications for user-centered design, methods, and appropriate evaluation techniques.

Interfaces in developing regions: The developed world is moving from standard keyboard-based interfaces to incorporate new interaction styles such as touch-screen, gesture-based, augmented-reality, video/image-based, spoken language, tangible, and multimodal interfaces. At IUI4DR we would like researchers to share insights and debate what types of interface worked best in the developing world and why.

Input technologies: Most worldwide languages in developing regions are not Roman alphabetic ones, such as English, which are supported well with keyboard input and dominate the content represented on the Web. What obstacles exist to expressing other native languages when using existing computers, and why is the ability to express one’s native language a consequential issue?

Application content: While healthcare, agriculture, education, small business and finance are considered primary domains in most developing regions, we would also be interested in applications involving governance, disaster management, and other mobile domains.

Intelligence in interfaces: We would like to invite papers that could propose AI techniques such as recommender systems, conversational agents, intelligent assistants that have been used in the context of developing regions.