The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

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Usability Testing in Uganda

Matthew Flannery is co-founder of Kiva, one of my favorite new non-profits. On his excellent blog, he’s just posted a video of a Ugandan client using the Kiva site. If you’re a web designer, or at all interested in the issue of the digital divide, you should watch it. It’s actually a bit harrowing.

In related news, the merchant I helped fund via Kiva just paid back 10 percent of his loan! Nice!

May 15, 2006 / Uncategorized


Just as a matter of interest, the video is taken by two guys in Uganda researching the kinds of technology that could help microfinance in Uganda, and their blog (into)Context can be found at It is fascinating watching them arrive in Uganda for their Microsoft Research-funded Digital Inclusion project, to have to deal with such basic problems as power blackouts – the digital gap is indeed a chasm. But the beautiful thing is that we have the technology, and Cale and Jon are using it, such that we can observe this from anywhere in the world. Amazing – check it out.

Fiona Ramsey

Customer Relations and Operations Manager


Thanks for the extra detail, Fiona! That’s really cool.

I remember, in Bangladesh back in ’01, a) blackouts were a big problem, and b) after two months my Mac laptop’s power cord was starting to get frayed — and I knew if it broke I was SCREWED. No Apple stores in developing countries…

I spoke to Cale and Jon just before they arrived in Uganda. I am happy to see they are getting along well (with a few problems.) they do not have to worry about a mac dealer though. There is one available in Kampala, Uganda.

Maybe ‘Apple stores per capita’ ought to be a new metric of development… I’m sure a lot of Mac-heads would find that perfectly reasonable. 🙂

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