Using technology to tackle low literacy
The experience of creating a mobile game that had such success in my home country of Brazil made me think that maybe this could be the right path for me: finding a way to put together my skills and my desire to change people’s lives through design. That was one of the reasons that led me to apply for an EngD position at TU/e to work in the Emergence Lab at Eindhoven Engine on Low Literacy and the Future of Work projects.
Focus within low literacy
Nowadays, almost 2.5 million people are low literate just in the Netherlands and this number is increasing over time. It is known that there are different types of literacy, but we are focusing on reading and writing abilities since these are the main forms of communication and access to knowledge in contemporary society. On top of that, there is a shortage of teachers for all these people, so we should use technology such as Artificial Intelligence, digital games and social media to tackle this problem. However, low literacy, as you might imagine, is a complex problem. Choosing a traditional way of designing is not the right decision.
I have always dedicated my efforts, creativity and abilities to developing something meaningful for people, using my knowledge to make people’s lives better.
Using design thinking
Up to this moment, I have been studying in order to better understand this issue, following design thinking steps as an approach. At the same time, I am learning how to develop a way of thinking that is systemic and takes into account the complexity of this wicked problem. I am being supported by an excellent team of teachers and I believe that the EngD program is helping me to have access to the latest research in AI interaction and user experience, guiding me to become a more human and complete designer. Regarding the language (you might be asking yourself), since I don’t speak Dutch (yet), I am following interviews by Dutch students with the target group to get information on how we can develop a solution that really will help them.
Finally, my next steps will be developing a prototype to be tested with the target group until the end of the year and then making the necessary changes to adapt to their needs. Also, I wish to extend this project to my home country and – why not? – more countries.