Current work

My PhD

Video-mediated communication technologies as sites of performance of indigenous knowledge

My PhD examines how Video Mediated Communication technologies can be designed to support the nurturing of indigenous knowledge over distance. Indigenous ways of knowing and being value highly social, performed and situated interactions when practising and sharing knowledge. Through technological deployments between elders in Kenya and Kenyan transnationals in Australia, my research contributes knowledge on 360° video conferencing and indigenous technology design.

To read more about my PhD, visit the Publications page.

Mobiotrics - UX Lead

Collecting and managing biometric data in field settings with limited GSM and internet connectivity

Mobiotrics was developed to support field research in remote areas, amid dynamics such as intermittent GSM connectivity, limited access to electricity and extended hours in the outdoors - conditions which existing off-the-shelf software products do not sufficiently cater to.

Mobiotrics meets the need to share data while in the field, by allowing for data synchronisation across multiple devices without the need of a telephone or internet network.
Additionally, the Mobiotrics toolkit utilises solar energy, providing a green and renewable alternative to limited electrical energy. The toolkit also allows users to structure and manage the data they collect through both mobile and desktop devices. Finally, through scheduled updates, Mobiotrics connects to the cloud, thus allowing users to collaborate from both office and field sites.

Visit www.mobiotrics.com for more info.

Previous Work

AfriCHI 2016 - Technical co-chair

Promoting UX in, from and for Africa

AfriCHI 2016 was the inaugural conference for Human-Computer Interaction in Africa, co-sponsored with the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). The conference was well attended and received in total 207 registrations from 21 countries around the world. Most notably, 13 of those countries were African countries.

The conference offered three days of pre-conference activities with workshops, courses and the very first Summit on Community Networks in Africa hosted by the Internet Society. The remaining two main conference days were filled with paper presentations, panels, posters, keynote speeches and a design competition. Google sponsored an Africa Women in Computing lunch. We also offered remote participation opportunities.

Conference contributions were published in the ACM Digital Library. The Full Proceedings of AfriCHI’16 include 12 full papers, 10 notes; extended abstracts of 6 poster papers, 5 panels, 5 workshops and a course; and the abstracts of 7 Doctoral and Masters Consortia papers. This represents the work of 116 authors from, or working in, 24 different countries, of which over half are in Africa.

AfriCHI’16 represents some of the best research in HCI and interaction design done in Africa, by Africans or with relevance to Africa. We are proud that the AfriCHI’16 committee includes members from 27 countries and who are, together, fluent in 33 languages, of which 20 are African languages.

Conference sponsors included the Namibia University of Science and Technology, ACM SIGCHI, Kenya Education Network (KENET), Microsoft Research India, IBM Research Africa, Internet Society and Google.

Umati - UX research and design Lead

Monitoring and managing online hate and dangerous speech

The Umati project emerged out of concern that mobile and digital technologies may have played a significant role in the Kenyan 2007/08 post-election violence. Hate and dangerous speech were noted to have been significant avenues for citizens to condone or engage in violence, through digital media. The project therefore sought to better understand the use and effects of dangerous speech in Kenyan online spaces.

The Umati Project consisted of two phases. Umati I was primarily a manual online-monitoring project that collected and analysed hate and dangerous speech statements from the Kenyan online space around the 2013 Kenyan general elections. Apart from monitoring online content in English, a unique aspect of the Umati project was its focus on Kenya’s ethnic languages. Kenya has over 70 tribes, each with a distinct and well-developed language. Umati I monitored Kenya’s 6 major ethnic languages.

Umati II was initiated in July 2013. Umati II’s main goal was to build an intelligent tool, the Intelligent Umati Monitor, that will automate the duties of Umati I. The Intelligent Umati Monitor (IUM) is based on machine learning and natural language processing approaches. The IUM was designed to augment the manual processes carried out when monitoring sensitive multi-lingual data, and thus enable online monitoring and analysis to be carried out in projects outside Kenya, and beyond election periods.

Umati II came to a premature close in late 2015 due to funding limitations. The IUM is yet to be fully built and implemeted.