My adventure with the IBM Health Corps which began nearly one year ago, continued with a workshop for the harmonization of cancer treatment guidelines in Uganda. I extended the trip to include talks and additional research, making this an exceptionally productive (and fun) trip.

Here are the highlights of the UX work I did and I also published my personal reflections on Africa.

Workshop at Nairobi Design Institute

User Research — Intercept Interviews

The customers were very friendly and willing to speak with me about their experience. I hope to compare my experience with the team doing the same activity. I’m particularly curious if the responses change when someone local (and with more melatonin) intercepts customers. I suspect they would get a different response — though I’m not sure how it would differ — I’m interested to find out.

One of the more enlightening conversations was with a man who said he worked nearby and shared his concern with me that “many Kenyan’s don’t find out they are sick until too late.” In working with the American Cancer Society I’ve learned that late diagnosis (due to: lack of healthcare access; fear of cancer diagnosis which is equated to death; and concerns about the stigma of having cancer) is a primary reason for the rise of cancer mortalities in the region. I later observed him selling a vehicle and realized he was a car salesperson and worked from the lot in front of the store. It was reassuring that even a car salesman (I have only US stereotypes to compare him with — maybe some university education — not highly educated) are aware of (and frustrated by) the cultural barriers to improving healthcare in the region.

Usability Testing — Guerilla-esque

I led a small team of developers and analysts who also acted as facilitators. I observed one participant using the application on my MacBook Pro and the other on my Lenovo PC at the same time. Luckily the interactions were basically the same across both. I’m sure I missed a great deal of their interactions, but I made it work. Each of my colleagues observed one participant and then I gathered notes after each session. We ran six sessions with ~5 participants in each session across two days and gathered significant and helpful feedback to improve the tool.

Lecture at Makerere University

· potential bias in studies: studies with humans are always biased — we may or may not be able to identify all the biases — and our awareness makes a huge difference in one’s ability to understand the cultural nuances;

· logistics of participant recruitment: how to recruit, where to recruit and associated costs;

· and how to report findings: I always recommend providing findings and recommendations in as “light” and quickly shared format as possible (not a long, formal report) — the PhD students were not easy to convince of this.

Design Without Borders at Design Hub Uganda

UX Leader, speaker and community organizer. My thoughts on user research, design, AI and more. Provoking human values in AI.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store