I am an HCI and ICTD researcher, currently at Google’s Next Billion Users team, working with product teams to design better experiences for under-represented communities in the Global South. I graduated with a Ph.D. from University of California, Irvine and an MS from Georgia Tech. My Ph.D. was funded by ICS Dean’s fellowship and Google Anita Borg scholarship. I have interned at Microsoft Research India, Nokia Research Center in Tampere, and IBM TJ Watson Research Center in Hawthorne. At Google, I have traversed technology products for energy infrastructure, Internet access, civic engagement, and gender at Google.org and Google Access.
Broadly, my work falls under a few categories:
Design for marginalized communities: Our current project here seeks to understand women’s access, privacy and safety concerns with technology. In the past, we have designed and deployed a voice-based system based on ethnographic research with sex workers in India (at CHI 2011), analysed intermediated usage in slum communities of India (at CHI 2010), and analysed how low-resource communities construct access and improvisations around technology (at Ubicomp 2010, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, and CHI 2010)
Design for constrained Internet access: Examples of projects include designing public Wi-Fi in 400 train stations in India; caching solutions like Accelerator in SE Asia; and mobile data transparency through SmartBrowse in Ghana. We have written about how Indian users and non-users of public Wi-Fi assemble their conceptions of the technology at CHI 2017, how longitudinal immersion in high-speed Wi-Fi shifts behaviours at ICTD 2016, and how mobile data transparency leads to better data savings and longer time spent online in Ghana in ICTD 2012.
Crises and climate change in low-resource environments: We are studying a series of environmental and man-made disasters in India to understand how communities respond in the face of infrastructural and political failure.
Design for new technology users: Our research has resulted in Google’s official guidance for Android and Web developers for emerging markets. See talks at I/O 2017 on accessibility for the Global South, I/O 2016 on research methods for low-resource areas, and I/O 2015 on principles for global design. The latest is a new collection of design and research methods for emerging markets at Google Design, including an article on high level principles for global design. I am editing a new column on ICTD in ACM Interactions, called The Next Billion.
Photo credit: David Hutchful
I co-write a world music blog.