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Nokia Research Centre Studio TAO Research Report Part I “MOBILE SERVICES FOR THE RURAL/URBAN COMMUNITIES” Research and Design project RESEARCHERS: Serena Pollastri Diego Dalia Francesca Valsecchi Xia Shuang Wang Ye Zhu Mingjie


Shanghai, July 31




1. introduction


2. methodology


3. desk research


trends & devices


case studies #1 urban - rural connection in China


case studies #2 urban - rural connection around the world


4. ethnography research


cards for ethnographic research


online survey & in-depth interviews


5. target outcomes / personas


6. conclusions & discussion


1. INTRODUCTION The project aims to produce prototypes, models of interaction and service systems that can create a synergic connection among different resources of the urban and rural areas, exploring how Information Communication Technology can help bridging the divide between the two realities. The reason why the Chinese context is so peculiar, in fact, is that the country is growing with a double speed: while cities are becoming advanced metropolis, with outstanding cases of innovative services that promote connectivity, the near coutriside areas are very often left behind. The connection between the rural and urban areas, through devices designed for inclusiveness, can help local population to keep in touch with relatives and friends from the city, find new small business opportunities, exchange experiences, and being updated. The current report describes the first phase of the research in which conducted ethnographic analysis and data collection about rural/urban target and technology mapping and state of the art.


2. METHODOLOGY FIELD RESEARCH AND DATA ANALYSIS This first part of the research project has been dedicated to the development of the topic and the target analysis. In fact, we started from an established knowledge about the rural environment and the weakness/opportunities ties with the city, that still didn’t allow us to conceive the rural inhabitants as a unique and homogeneous typologies of technological users. In order to understand the scope of further design intervention both in the direction of devices then services design, we needed to focus on a better definition of our potential, relevant and significant users. The methodology of research has been structured balancing qualitative and quantitative tools of inquires, in order to define who our user is according to three different categories: the technical literacy of the people, the context of use of technological devices and the habits and needs that emerge by observing daily interactions.


RESEARCH METHODOLOGY rural/urban unbalanced


design action



role of technology based services & mobile connectivity

rural target low education low income low access

China mobile consumer trends

> INPUT >>> desk research (understanding) tools (local + worldwide): reports/articles trend watching data collection case studies

RESEARCH ACTIONS research filter FILTER: technology trends devices market user habits

<<< INPUT < field research (conversations) tools (explorative + analytical): postcard survey in-depth interview

target definition WHAT IS RURAL: what they buy uses communication needs technology limits&contrains 10



Research tools and overall structure In the first months of work we split the research in two different fragments, one related to the urban/rural relationship and the other in the direction of devices analysis and behaviours discovery. Moreover, we combined two different methodologies and the relative tools; on one side we conduct a desk based research looking for market and technological trends in China and in specific segments of Chinese population, collecting data about consumer behaviours as well as desk research reports and articles about technological trends; on the other hand we conduct a series of field research inquiries trying to get in contact as close as possible with our target through game cards based focus groups, deep interviews in real context and online surveys.

Tools The following table summarizes the tools designed and used to acquire data relative to the urban/rural target and focus on mobile user behaviours and devices penetration in the rural area. Both the rural then the urban target are not considered from the point of view of consumers, but are strictly addressed as users, no matter if

users interfaces, services, habits, etc.; as users, we observe them looking for the understanding how the devices and the services are related with communication interactions and need.

Methodology Process As a first approach, we discuss and find out the criteria for the selection of the users sample more interesting for the inquiries, places also have been located on the map. The tools chosen for the analysis has been different for the city users and from the rural target: one reason comes from the differences in contents we where intended to explore, but also we tried to balance along the segmented targets the use of more analytical tools(interviews and topic oriented dialogues) with more explorative and qualitative tools (conversation postcards). From the point of view of design this also implied a differences on the languages that have been used. If by designing the interviews and the conversation tracks with the rural people, we had to face more stronger language based problems and semantic bias, on the other side by creating the postcard we deal with the visual language translation between western and typical Chinese mind-set. From the


DESK data



Trend research

* Technology scope

Report devices

* Technology scope



Case studies

* Urban/rural relationships



* Technology literacy Interviews / User behaviours * Technology literacy Survey / User FIELD behaviours data * Technology literacy / User Postcards behaviours * Urban/rural relationships 12









x x

x x
















point of view of the ethnographic interest all this process is definitely relevant in the direction to build more mature awareness from the researchersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; point of view about the limits and the opportunities of any designed tools. From the point of view of the process development, the data collection in each of the research actions (interviews, focus groups, case studies) have been developed in parallel. All the activities have been documented through audio and video recording, and scripting, joining to the text documentation also the visual description of users and their contexts. The results of the desk research have been evaluated by all the groups members in thematic discussion, and then summarized and reported. They represent a base knowledge we acquired before the evaluation and analysis of the ethnography results. A planned activity of brainstorming and open discussions followed, in order to elaborate and understand the results from the field research. As a final step we condensed all the knowledge in their different format and fragments, in the creation of the personas, as five characters that represents closed but different typical user. These personas (described in chapter 5) will be the fundamental bases of the further design concept and development tasks. As a main general consideration about all the process of ethnography is that, given this design research is strongly related to social interactions, where more social and cultural factors are at stake, there should be an awareness that intervieweesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; own account may not adequately reflect the reality. This is because interviewees may have concerns that obstruct their expression of problems, or their ability of expressing or simply understanding their needs are limited. In fact, in both of the cases of our research, the problem of accessibility to the Chinese data had the most impact on the evaluation and awareness of data relevance and reliability. By constructing the research tools we necessary faced this problem.

#1 Desk Research The desk research has been conducted by accessing to different data sources. First, we looked for general technology and market trends related to mobile market and ICT devices, especially in China. This was important to have general understanding about the significant aspect related to technological market and how and when significant differences emerge from urbanized areas and the countryside. Then we access to the information related to main streams and technological trends, not necessarily related to China but much more oriented to the future tendencies of the market. As the third part of the desk research, an in-depth

case studies activities has been conducted to give more solid inspiration to the topic background about technology applied in community based examples of urban/rural development. The case studies has been collected and analysed according to several characteristics such has the type and level of the interaction of the community, the quality and the role of technology in the service provided, the nature of the target, the overall sustainability related feature of the service. The analysed cases have been related to the Chinese context, looking for existing experience about rural/urban interaction and community based social services; as well as at world wild level looking for virtuous cases of ICT and technology based services with shared benefits between the city and the countryside. The results of these desk research are reported in chapter 3.

#2 Ethnography based actions Besides the desk research, an ethnography based research has also been developed assuming that for a deeper and focus understanding of the context and users involved, not only quantitative surveys should be supplemented by qualitative methods because not all data are quantitatively measurable, but moreover that qualitative methods also fall short when no participatory observation is employed: there is a clear difference between what people say (as what they do when interviewed or on focus group discussions) and what they actually do; the complexity of the ethnographic process allows seeing patterns of behaviours in the daily life context and understand how these patterns are organized and changed. We developed the ethnography following different techniques according to the urban segment of the target and the rural one, and creating for them different tools. The ethnographic plan comprises an activity more focus on interaction and conversation that we mainly developed with the people from the city through a postcard based tool, and a more analytic activity with the farmers and rural people. The overall strategy besides these tools was to create conversation as much as possible open and spontaneous, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why we tried to inspire the people of the city with scenarios, evaluation of activities, desirable services, and instead with the rural people we tried to explore topics, to create dialogues in order to grab hidden and tacit knowledge about agriculture practices, food chains, technological literacy. The tools we developed and the ethnography sessions we accomplish are described in chapter 4.


3. DESK RESEARCH In this section we present the strategy and the results adopted for the desk research. Different data sources has been accessed, focussed on market and users behaviours trends about mobile devices and mobile communications. Sources focussed on Chinese context as well as world wide and general reports have been considered. The insights from this research are presented in this chapter with an infographic summary. Further and deeper insights came from case studies that has been conducted to explore and recognized existing or promising examples of technology based and agriculture/food related services or products. The case studies has been collected among Chinese experiences as well as at world wild level. All the case studies are presented and evaluated in the following pages.


TRENDS & DEVICES In this section we summarize and visualize the characteristics of the Chines mobile devices market and the main technology trends. This is intended to be a general framework for the project, to contextualize future target definition and concepts. Even though this research is done at the beginning of the design process, we will in the next phases collect new updated data and analysis, particularly when we will have to deal with specific issues. In the first part we listed seven consumer trends about technology, then we analysed the current situation of the mobile phone market, and at the end we presented a target segmentation based on existing reports.


Technology Trends for 2011/2012 Even if we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t develop any quantitative or deep market research in the technology field, for future design purposes, we decided to spend some time checking trend watching blog and consulting online agencies, to have an overview of the main developing paths for the next five years. This part of the research takes into account the international background, but focuses more on the chinese and asian market. Here we list seven trend that we found in our research, and can be applied to user behaviours with techology. Mobile internet Smartphones and mobile internet advertising will keep growing in popularity. This will encourage more people to access conventional websites on their mobile handset. Consumers will have the possibility to access more complex and richer contents, making the medium extremely user for marketers. Personalized service: Thanks to social media brands can developed the capability to understand consumersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; profiles, habits and preferences, and customize campaigns and promotions to get closer to different targets in a more effective ways. Mobile marketing is not going to be perceived as spam byt the customers, because it is going to provide users with rewards and services that they really need and appreciate. Urbanomics Urbanization is the mega- trend. Urban consumers tend to be more daring, liberal, tolerant. Experienced, prone to try new products and services. Pricing Pandemonium More consumers are constantly connected and use SNS. Devices allow users to receive dynamic deals. Customers will more and more choose customized plans rather than the basic ones offered by telecommunication providers, to get their most used services for free or for a cheaper price. Free SMS/ free video/free phone calls will be available across devices. Location Based Services and Augmented reality Location-based services (LBS) already became popular, thanks to the proliferation of GPS phones with digital compasses. Augmented reality, when combined with LBS allows the creation of innovative and intuitive interfaces that make possible for the user the real-time interaction with the environment through the camera.


Mobile micropayments Electronic wallets will make easier for the customers to pay for services and goods, not only online but also in traditional shops. Transactions will be quicker and will provvide customers with relevant purchase opportunities while they are on the go. Made for China Western brands launch new products or even new brands dedicated to consumers in emerging markets (especially China), to reach new customers and specific needs.

Mobile Phone Market in China China is by far the largest mobile market in the world, with over 900 million active subscribers. Even if the market seems to be so mature, growth has not slowed down, with an average of 8 to 10 million subscriber each month. Half of them are 3G users. According to the research group “Mobile Youth”, the 84% of chinese youth use mobile phone as a primary tool to access internet. McKinsey foresee an explosive growth of Internet in China, from 420 million of users in 2010 to 750 million users by 2015. Between 2010 and 2012 100 million people more will log-in via mobile, making China the largest mobile internet community in the world. Accenture’s survey found that the 53% of Chinese respondents in urban areas currently own a smart phone, and the 38% of those surveyed that are planning to buy one. In his thesis on digital media market, Fabio Carneval Maffè underlines how the pervasive presence of electronic gadgets in most houses and workplaces, changes the behaviours of the chinese user, that is more likely to use IM services rather than e-mail to communicate.

In the diagram below it is represented the Chinese smartphone market segmentation in 2011. Since it has been impossible for us to find updated data on the mobile phone market segmentation, we skept the desk part of the research for this topic, and chose to carryout in-dept on field analisys that are explained in chapter 4 of this report.

China 53% USA 33% Japan 10%

NOKIA 50.3%

OTHER 16.2% Dopod - 4.9% APPLE 8.4%


Blackberry - 3.2% Sony Ericsson - 2.3% Lenovo - 1.8% LG - 1.0% Other - 3.0%

HTC 9.8% 19

China Digital Consumer Understanding Mc Kinsey carried out a research on digital consumers in China at the beginning of 2011, to understand digital consumers and segment the population in different groups. They identified seven homogeneous segments and defined for each of them how much time do they spend on digital media and how much money are they willing to invest. Here are the seven segments and a brief explanation of each of them.

Heavy users Digital Junkies They spend 34.1 hours on digital media a week; they are early and intensive adopters, and they change their mobile every 12 to 17 months. They typically live in tier 1 cities and they are relatively young (the 42% of them between 18 and 24 years old) Gamers They spend more than 8 hours a week on online games, and they also are normally younger than 24 years old.

Moderate Users Info Centrics They are normally business managers or owners that use the Net for work, to keep themselves informed or read emails. They rarely use their mobile. Mobile Mavens They are intensive mobile device users, they look for new gadgets and services and they replace their mobile every 12 months or less.

Light users Traditionalists They resist the lure of Internet, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to own a mobile or any other digital device in general. They normally live in tier 4 cities. Online Traders They spend most of the time in tracking companies and trading stocks online, but they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t use their device for anything else. Basic Users They are high school users or blue collar, who are on a tight budget but might be willing to pay a premium price for added value services. The last target (Basic Users) is the one that we investigated in our on-field research.






basic users (17%)

high schools scholars or blue collar workers on a tight budget (they earn less than 3000 RMB/ month). They live in Tier 3 and TIer 4 cities. 24% of them owns a mobile with basic entertainment features 47%willing to pay for high quality.

Data from Mc Kinsey Company Understanding Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Digital Consumers. (published in February 2011)


Heavy Users (spend more than 28 hours a week on digital media) Moderate Users (spend between 14 and 28 hours a week on digital media) Light Users (spend less than 14 hours a week on digital media) 21

CASE STUDIES #1 URBAN - RURAL CONNECTION IN CHINA In order to provide some practical examples of how in the Chinese context the urban community can meet the rural one, understand which motivations generate the process, and which implementation models lead to the definition of the final solution, in this section we provide the summary of six best practices among the ones that we found in our research project. Selection criteria have been the relevance in terms of innovation, the focus on sustainability, the bottom-up initiation an participation, and the completeness of the documentation available. After we presented and examined the cases, we proposed some maps of positioning and comparison.



Claim: promoting “Grow Local, Buy Local” Place: Shanghai Contacts:

Project idea Improve the soil of a wasteland once covered with rubbles and boulders with organic methods, and reintroducing biodiversity by growing non GM vegetables to be sold in the local market.


In cooperation with the Organic Agriculture and Organic Food Institute of Nanjing Agricultural University, BIOfarm has started keeping local seeds to establish the first seed bank in China, and start growing in a sustainable way, local organic vegetables that are sold in the city. The core team of BIOFarm has been trained through organic farming courses and bio/education promotions, and educational activities related to organic food and production have been promoted in schools and local events. BIOFarm also has a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project, that enable members to subscribe a BIOFarm Organic Basket that is delivered at home. Different CSA-assisted farmers’ market are organized throughout the year both at the farm and in different spots in the city. BIOFarm is also a member of WWOOF.

Actors involved

The staff at BIOFarm includes the management and office staff as well as farmers from the local community. The contribution of volunteers is relevant for their activities, such as farmers’ markets or other events, as well as basket distribution in collection points in the city. International WOOFers are also involved.


In the Shanghai Area BIOFarm is the best known example of organic farm that connects a rural area (situated in the periurban territory) with the city, by being actively involved in activities, events and initiatives that bridge the two realities. This idea of the bridge is also reinforces by the focus on education.


#2. ç&#x152;ŞĺŚ&#x2C6;ĺŚ&#x2C6; ZHU MAMA, vegetables shop

Place: Shanghai

Project idea Four mums renting a field in the countriside to provide their kids with organic food, that decided to control the whole chain (production, packaging, distribution) and sell vegetables to new customers.


Four young mothers are involved in renting a field in the countryside of Huzhou to do some organic farming and provide their kids with organic vegetables. They employed some farmers to take care of it. With time, they started recognizing the business potential, expanding Most customers now are friends, friends of friends, neighbours or Taobao users. Shanghai four young mothers, to make their own baby eat organic vegetables, a piece of land rented in Huzhou, employed farmers take care of. Food is picked, labelled, packaged and transported to the main shop in Minhang District, and from here delivered to the family that booked it.

Actors involved

Four mothers are involved in the business, each one of them takes care of a different part of the project, according to their background and capabilities. Just one of them (who is the CEO of the company) is full time involved in the project


This case is an example of a bottom up approach to the short chain food production, collection and delivery, and presents a simple model of service that can be applied in different contexts.



Claim: The first Organic Eco Town in China Place: Xing Yi (Sichuan) Contacts:

Project idea A fair trade platform to integrate resources and initiatives related to organic farming, traditional practices and eco-sustainability by creating and enlarging a strong web of connection between growers, traders and customers.



“Xing Yi Organic Eco-Town is developed based on Organic Trade Union (OTUC)’s core value, which is to promote organic industry while establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with local people and environment. In 2010, under the supervision of OTUC, Xing Yi farmers started growing their produce organically while significantly improving their monthly income by more than 100%. This mutually beneficial system, if becomes a financially-sustainable model, will be implemented in other rural regions in China, and help improve the lives of more than 300 million farmers while better preserving the natural environment like that of Xing Yi” (from the website).

Actors involved

OTUC is coordinated by the same group of people of Biofarm, in partnership with iFOAM, China Organic Group Certification Center and Global Market Access.


OTUC is an ambitious example of coordination of different actors and disciplines to create a network that has the valorisation of rural heritage and eco and social sustainability as a main core.

#4. 小毛驴市民 农园 - LITTLE DONKEY FARM

Claim: explore rural and urban road to sustainable development. Place: Beijing Contacts:

Project idea Supporting environmental protection by promoting organic agriculture and research projects. The farm also acts as a place for community involvement, through visits, community involvement in farming activities and land rental.


Little Donkey Farm was established in April, 2008. It covers 230 acres. It has been the first Community Supported Agriculture farm in Beijing, and delivers products once or twice a week, according to customers’ preferences. In 2009 only 54 families were taking part in the farm, but the number increased to nearly 600 in 2011. The connection among members strengthened during the years, and most of them started organizing activities at the farm. “Part of Little Donkey’s mission is to include agriculture in the tertiary industry of culture and heritage through mobilizing not just farmers, but citizens, NGOs, and governments to join the sustainable agricultural movement. Little Donkey also seeks to use international experience to build “civic agriculture and cooperative sustainable agriculture.” Little Donkey Farm boasts a core research base, connecting rural and urban areas through affiliation with Green Ground Eco-Tech Center (Beijing), founded in 2003, formerly known as the Institute of Rural Reconstruction. Green Ground Eco-Tech Center has extensive experience in urban and rural ecological agriculture” (from the website). Members can also farm your own small 30~60 square meter plot for RMB 1,500~ 12000 a year.

Actors involved

Little Donkey Farm is collaboration between Beijing’s Haidian District’s Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, Renmin University’s School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Reconstruction Department.


It is the most well organized and established CSA program in China; it’s core idea is the participation of the city community to the whole process, farming activities included.



Place: Beijing

Project idea A Food Purchasing Group organized by mums that wants to provide their kids with safe food and spend some leisure time together.


Green Union was initiated and established by many housewives that wanted to find an affordable way to purchase safe and healthy food for their kids. By creating a centre where the food is delivered and a group of volunteers among the members, they could buy support organic producers by buying their products and reducing the delivery costs; in this way more families can participate. Green Union provides both a space and an on-line platform with a forum where people can post information and questions. The space can be rented to other organization, or used by families as a dancing room or for parents to share personal experiences.

Actors involved

Other than the main group, volunteer and housewives take part in the distribution and in dividing the food.


Food Purchasing Groups are not that common in China. This example is interesting because it follows a bottom-up approach, it is organized with a low budget in a small local community, and it includes socializing activities to the main service provided.



Place: Beijing Contacts:

Project idea Learning traditional skills in France to produce artisanal high quality cheese in Beijing.


“LE FROMAGER de PEKIN (LFP-The Cheese Maker of Beijing), a French artisan cheese maker, is located in the Hui Long Guan District of Beijing. LFP’s founder, Mr. Liu Yang, was trained in cheese making in France. In order to make artisan cheese with the highest quality, LFP imported its equipment and cultures from France and follows the standard operational procedures in traditional French cheese making. The mission of LFP is “a taste of France away from France”. In additional, Mr. Liu would like to expose the Chinese palates to the authentic taste of French artisan cheese For the time being, LFP offers a variety of soft cheese (similar to Camembert), ricotta, mozzarella, whey cheese, etc. Future products to be launched include blue cheese. LFP’s products got good reviews at various tasting parties and are loved by its customers” (from the website). Orders can be placed online and cheese can be delivered home.

Actors involved

The company is relatively small and involves people working for the management, production and delivery. There is not a strong community involvement.


Le Fromager de Pekin developed a traditional technique of food production and adapted to the local context, promoting high quality food to the urban population.



Location and scale Most of the cases we found have a relatively small scale, and the services and the community involvement are limited to one city or even one district inside the city. This is because typically the organization that drives the case is not an industrial, large scale, but rather an informal bottom up one. Actors involved are normally few full or part-time workers, and a variable number of volunteers.



Some of the cases, though, have a larger territorial impact, when they involve ICT or improve the logistic system to deliver products in other cities. In these cases provide updated information and news is extremely important.


Shanghai Where does the input come from







city community






+ openness

Although motivations can vary, these are the most common; farmers try to open to the urban community to receive support, new market possibilities and revitalize their farm people from the city look for easy and affordable ways to get healthy or organic food, especially for kids..




In this map we indicate, case by case, how much it is the city community to initiate, organize and manage the service, and how much it is the rural one. The process, in fact, can move in two different, opposite, directions; sometimes is the owner of a farm that decides to involve the rural community, other times is a group of people from the city that decide to get connected to the countryside.




Openness and use of ICT In this diagram we mapped the openness and use if ICT for the cases we analized. For openness we mean how much the community (outside of the main organizersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; group) is involved on a participatory level, while the other axis describes how much technology is used.



CASE STUDIES #2 URBAN - RURAL CONNECTION AROUND THE WORLD Through the analysis of some existing cases of services based on gardening and farming, we tried to understand how different kind of users could be connected to each others, either if they come from several contexts and different social segments. We tried to figure out which are the latest trends and how users respond to their stimuli, which are the forces that drive the market and in which way they are able to create a social innovation. In this section we propose a resume of eight cases that we have identified as relevant to understand the relationship that citizens have with rural areas and those activities that in a meaningful way they can do only there. We have paid special attention to the role that technology assumes in these cases, in order to understand which are the circumstances in which users need its presence and benefits from it. After we presented and examined the cases, we proposed some maps of positioning and comparison.



Urban Gardening Community Care

Claim: All can grow food at home after work in back yards Place: Vancouver (Canada) Contacts:

Project idea A Web community based on sharing knowledge about a specific topic


City Farmer has encouraged urban dwellers to pull up a patch of lawn and plant some vegetables, kitchen herbs and fruit. Their message is the same today as it was in 1994, when they started, and will be relevant far into the future. They act using their website where they hold a collection of stories about City Farmer’s work in Vancouver, Canada, and about urban farmers from around the world. The context in which they operate derives from a demand. When they started, they did not fell “urban gardening” as a solution to a problem, but as a requirement useful to improve citizen lives.

Actors involved

City Farmers works as a sharing platform where users are involved posting their stories, interacting with other members. They can post & share whatever and whenever they want.


City farmer can be defined as a trend setter: in 1994 they talked about gardening in the city as first, starting a trend that in few years became of global importance. The main aim is to promote a sustainable lifestyle, sensitizing public awareness on consequences of their behaviour. One of the main goal is to drive people to transform their habits and start looking to urban areas with a “green eye”.

Role of Technology

Its presence is relevant for the functioning of the web platform. The system was been developed in a very simple way, in order to make it accessible to all community’s member, especially to those with basic technology skill.



Urban Farming


Community Supported Agricultuture

Claim: Create an Abundance of Food for All in Our Generation Place: Based Detroit (Michigan), they acts worldwide Contacts: http://www.

Affect a paradigm shift in the consciousness of people around the world, creating a different perspective on food and financial security.


It is a holistic global vision that sees a future in which good health, innovation and productivity are an inherent part of our lifestyle. Urban Farmingâ&#x201E;˘ begins with lifting people who are suffering from starvation and food insecurity out of their current circumstances and continues by connecting them to opportunity. They help people move from stagnant, difficult conditions to vibrant, healthy and productive lifestyles so that they may win in the global markets. At the moment there are 120 Urban Farming empowerment zones that connect a wide network of users interested in green & healthy lifestyle or just in farming.

Actors involved

The aim is to empower people and transforming lives. Urban Farming serves as a hub and a network to connect people with non-profit, private and public entities. Developing win-win partnerships with community residents, non-profits, governmental agencies, local businesses and international corporations.


This initiative aims to make people think about a healthier lifestyle, involving them in the process of production, selling and distribution of products. The general project operates on a large scale and offers several benefits to the local communities born around the single green garden.

Role of Technology

Everything turns around the website, where users can find information about the urban gardens, the markets, the events and all the other initiatives promoted by the organization.



Social Farming

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms

Couch Surfing

Claim: Living, learning, sharing organic lifestyle Place: Worldwide Contacts:

Project idea A Web platform to connect users interested in gardening and travelling


The organisation publishes lists of organic farms, smallholdings and gardeners that welcome volunteer help at certain times. The diversity of hosts available offers a large variety of tasks and experiences. .

Actors involved

The WWOOF is a huge organization that coordinates a system that clusters worldwide minor sub-groups, one for each Continent (WWOOF Europe, WWOOF Asia, WWOOF South America, etc.) and Country (WWOOF-UK, WWOOF-Germany, etc) that act on a local scale following the same principles. Every member is welcome to take part to the rural life of the farms that they join, spending a period of time there, becoming part of the family that own and manage it.


This initiative started when its founder understood that joining two on going trends (urban farming & couch surfing) could obtain a great improvement. This case became a trendsetter and, after its establishment, an inspiration for many other similar projects. The community is the main resource of the whole system. Users can interact with members there are worldwide, exchanging tips and sharing information about their favourite topics..

Role of Technology

There is a very low presence of technology. The system is built on the web platform, where users can keep in contact and share info and experiences and, of course, find the farm where they would to spend some days.



Urban Gardening


Social Networking Healthy Living

SHARE Claim: If you have a garden, if no one else will garden for you, and if you can find them, maybe you can hirE the UGS-Team. Place: It started on Capitol Hill in Seattle (USA) At the moment is running in other U.S. cities as Atlanta and Santa Cruz. Contacts: http://www. urbangardenshare. org

Create connections between citizens using gardening as starting point to gather people and use at best local resources.


The project started with the aim to connect people with a green thumb and those who own a garden and do not have time to take care of it. The main purpose is to educate people to have a healthy lifestyle, starting from cultivating and eating genuine food. Connecting people with a common interest, spreading around a message to prompt them to have a healthy lifestyle. Communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s users can interact and discuss on the web platform and meet in the real life to take care of their green gardens.

Actors involved

The UGS-Team manage the web platform and take care of promotion and advertising of the project. Some privates and governmental organizations contribute to sustain the system. Two main type of users are involved: Gardens owners: they offer their green area to start cultivating Gardeners : they look for places where to cultivate and give tips on the platform


Create new social relations using a network of people that share a common interest about a specific topic.

Role of Technology

A web platform is used to manage the system and put in touch the different users. You need nothing more than a computer. There is not yet a specific app made for smart phones.



Mapmaking Sustainable Living

Claim: Think Global, Map Local Place: Worldwide Contacts:

Project idea Promotion and development of sustainable communities through social networking and mapmaking


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Green initiativesâ&#x20AC;? are often started by volunteer groups, that try to launch them using at their best the smallest amount of resources. Open Green Map connects green development and ecotourism movements, empowering widespread participation in critical local environment, climate and equity issues worldwide.

Actors involved

Based on open source and familiar mapping technologies like Google Map, it counts mainly on the contributes of the members of its community and on those who are interested in donations. The community is based on users that share common interests. Their age are goes from 25 to 60 years old. There are not particular characteristics to talk about, but a green thumb is mandatory, as basic computer skills in order to use the web platform.


An interactive space for everyone to share insights, images and impacts about local green sites of all kinds.

Role of Technology

It has a preponderant role and it permit to manage the worldwide system and create interaction between users. From the settlement of the service until now, the organization try to involve all type of technological devices, from computers to smart phones, developing specific applications.



Healthy Living


Social Networking Community Care

Claim: Sites By Farmers, For Farmers Place: USA & Canada Contacts: http://www. smallfarmcentral. com/

Web service for promoting small businesses about farming and create connections with customers


A professional and affordable web services (websites and e-commerce) to direct-marketing farmers. Each site is administered through an online control panel that turns any farmer into a web developer.

Actors involved

The main actors are those farmers who are interested in promoting their small business using the web-platform. Participating to the creation of their personal page, they invite a larger number of new users to be part of the community.


An accessible tool to offer to farmers the opportunity to improve their businesses and enlarge their market.

Role of Technology

The service is totally web based. Without this kind of technology it would not exist.



Community Care


Sustainable Living

Claim: Exploring Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sustainable food landscape Place: United States Contacts:

Project idea An information channel on green economy and lifestyle


An exploration of the American sustainable food landscape, focusing on the people, places and products that are shaping a new green economy and lifestyle. From farmers to urban gardeners, and from teachers to restaurant owners, they travel the country to document how sustainable food systems are being created.

Actors involved

Volunteers interested in spread a green message enter in contact with green lifestyle settlers. A main team of two people manages this initiative: a video producer and writer. They take care of organizing, writing and shooting their show. To help them, there are some volunteers based in the place they are going to visit.


Promote initiatives and inform people about a sustainable way of living and green activities, in order to make everybody aware of it, also who is not directly involved or interested in.

Role of Tecnhology

Technology is fundamental because is the engine that make all the thing possible. Actors need it to spread the message; users to receive it.



Urban Gardening


Social Innovation

Claim: A way to analyze the idea of health exploring rural and urban road to sustainable development. Place: Berlin Contacts: http://www. invisibletwinning.

The project explores the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s long tradition of urban horticulture and reveals ideas of health in the widest sense: as balance and imbalance as well as on a societal and personal level, looking at how people navigate and share resources within a city.


It was initially intended to develop an area of land where immigrants of different nationalities, representing the percentages of immigration in Berlin, could cultivate their own food. The project approached the organization responsible for allocating allotments, to rent a plot of land where this mixed group of people would be able to cultivate together, to share their resources and knowledge and also learn about whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s known as the Kleingartenanlage (KGA), community garden plots, by interacting with the German plot holders. By working with the immigrants in their own homes and in the community gardens where they were allowed to cultivate, the project began to document the plants, herbs and vegetables that they grow, to record the recipes in which they use the ingredients, and to explore the relationships between what they cultivate and their ideas of health in their respective cultures.

Actors involved

The main users of the project are community gardeners, often young immigrants coming from different countries. The Secondary users are KGA holders, usually Germans and over 40 years old, they are involved in managing the system, and some Local Artists that take care of planning and managing of the events


The importance of this project lies in using smartly a global trend as a driver for social innovation.

Role of Tecnhology

There is not a big involvement, except for the web site (blog) used to inform their community about the latest activities.


Openness and use of ICT


In this diagram we mapped the openness and use of ICT for the cases we have analysed. For openness we mean how much the community (outside of the main organizersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; group) is involved on a participatory level, while the other axis describes how much technology is used.

Vancouver GREEN MAP








Berlin Detroit







Location and scale

Where does the input come from In the map below we indicate, case by case, how much it is the city community to initiate, organize and manage the service, and how much it is the rural one. The process, in fact, can move in two different, opposite, directions; sometimes is the owner of a farm that decides to involve the rural community, other times is a group of people from the city that decide to get connected to the countryside. Although motivations can vary, the main aim is to connect, using technology or not, people that come from different contexts. URBAN GARDEN SHARE

The cases analysed have a different scale of diffusion: some of them use web-sites to reach and gather their users, some others work on a local scale. Actors involved are normally few full or part-time workers, and a variable number of volunteers. Some of the cases, though, have a larger territorial impact, when they involve ICT or improve the logistic system to deliver products in other cities. In these cases provide updated information and news is extremely important to improve the business or make the community more active.




city community





4. ETHNOGRAPHY RESEARCH The ethnographic plan aimed to a qualitative understanding of the target based on direct interactions and conversational tools. In this section we described the tools developed for the ethnography (the postcards, the questionnaire and the two in-depth interviews), their functions, and the results of this inquiry. We summarized the focus groups and evaluate the results of interview through tables and infographics that are explained. The discussion of the results and the knowledge emerged from data have been used for the creation of the Personas.


CARDS FOR ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH At the beginning of our ethnography research we wanted to have a general idea of usersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; relationship with technology, food and rural life. We chosed to have a playful way to generate conversations with a sample of people from the city of Shanghai. Different focus groups have been organized, trying to gather people with different backgrounds in short interactive sessions. We designed a series of postcards, each one with a question, an image or a little game. Participants to brainstorm sessions are asked to fill the card, adding personal data (name, gender, job) on the back and further comments if they feel like. This methodology allows us to collect different kid of data, both quantitative and qualitative. The cards are an alternative to a more complex questionnaire, and can be used whenever we want to collect inspirations and data without having enough time to propose a more detailed research form. At the same time, though, these cards can be used in the focus group as references to carry on an dynamic interview, on different topics selected among the ones in the cards.


Ethnography event 1: Buy42 event at Aalto Design factory The Shanghai based charity group “Buy42” invited us to present our activities during their member monthly meeting. Before the presentation break we gave everybody two postcards with images of our current project in Chongming, and short stories or descriptions on the back. This is supposed to provide the audience with some glimpses of the countryside: activities, landscape and people. At the end of the Q&A session, we asked everybody to look at the colour of the chair they are sitting on, and move to the corresponding group; we had three groups, each one with a Chinese native speaking member of our team and a foreign one. We distributed different postcards with some simple questions on food (what do you know about food chain, how to grow vegetables, concepts of organic food etc) activities (what would you do in the countryside..etc) technology (are you technologically expert? Are you interested in hi tech solutions...) The role of the assistant was to use these basic questions to lead a discussion on one (or more) of the two topics.


Focus on technology 1, the type of phone: most of them are using smart phone, and also willing to use smart phone. and they think it’s a quite common and of course behaviour. About the phone services they use, are mainly read news, sina blog, listen and simple search music, Douban and games. 2, for the info resource, it really depends. A middle age man( he is more in serious and professional style), he mainly gets informations from big website like sohu, yahoo or some other very professional news website. For other young people( mainly girls) get information from sina micro blog, google reader, and phone newsletter etc. And for the type of information, it’s quite big range, from useful professional news to some stupid things just for fun... 3, for the technology of taking care of plants, first, few people have plants home...Because they don’t have time or interests to have it...but one girls says if there is this kind of equipment or service of taking care of pats, she maybe will interested. And other reasons about this system are: not very trust this kind of technology, think the system will be very ugly with many pipes and electricity lines, and people would like to separate their plant in home,

some in living room, some in bedroom etc, and this system will be very complicated to them to have everywhere in home. And also they think to use technology to take care of plants losing the feeling of charming and happy, too many cold machine things at home. (personally I think we choose the wrong image on the card....People are more focusing about the technology itself even I try to explain to them it’s just a showing image...) But one person thinks it would be interesting if it be used to take care of plants in green house from a long distance. 4, about organic food, people(men) think it’s a hot concept but they don’t trust and care that much. Men have more knowledge about region food production and distribution chain and situations. So they still think it’s not a big and crucial problem. For women, they are more care about it. And a girls who use to book the service of delivering food home per week because she doesn’t have time to go to supermarket and market, and also she thinks the food from the organic farm will be better quality for sure! And women know more about how to treat the vegetable and fruit they brought from market and they worry about it more than men. For the idea of using technology to monitor farmers behaviour about using chemical things to plants, they think it’s a backslide of society and trust. They think we shouldn’t use technology to solve morality problem. 5, for gardening together with friends, they think instead of getting healthy and safe food, the aim is more for having fun together with friends.

Focus on activities 1/For hub: they love the idea because HUB seems could meet their demands for slow life and family weekend trip. For instant, a girl mentioned she prefer meditation. It’s hard for her to find a quiet place in crowed city. They suggest we would adopt

membership rather than advertisement. 2/Some ladies are planning to create their own small gardens. In term of the type of plants, they will choose the expensive ones. 3/Kids are the core of their life. They want to take children out of city on short weekend and touch the local community(The different type of tourism). They asked several questions about the HUB such as the business model, the budget, the time to run.

Ethnography event 2: Small Session at Tektao. After the first event we decided to have a second smaller session among people from Tektao design studio. We had … participants, all of them from design and architecture field, between 23 and 35 years old. We distributed the cards and asked to fill them; then we projected some of them on the screen, asked who took each card and commenting the answers. This format stimulated an intense participation from the audience; almost everyone contributed multiple times to the discussion. Since the participants all now each others, and are used to work together an discuss about different topics, this interactive methodology appears to be very suitable. 49

ONLINE SURVEY & IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS Aside from the postcards, we developed an online survey with the aim of reach a wider target from a quantitative point of view but also looking for a more unexpected citizens groups and representatives. The questionnaire has been spread around networks and potential users among the acquittance lists; the results of the questionnaire has been included in the infographics at the end of the chapter.


Map of interviews

Chongming Island

Hayong xiang

Shu Xin Zhen en n Chongming Town

Hou Jia Zhen Bao Zhen Xiang Hua Zhen Xi X

Hongkou ou Qu ou Q

Aalto Design Center Baoshan Lu B



Zhong Xin Zhen Zh Chen Jia Zhen

The last section of the ethnography concentrates instead on the rural target. We develop two tracks for in-depth interview that we went to inquiry in designed places both in the city then the countryside. The first track is intended to understand how the mobile markets works and what it produces among the social context of farmers, migrants workers, low educated people. The interview has been made in different location in Chongming Island, among mobile shops of different kind and typologies. The second tracks is aimed to directly interact and understand the user behave about mobile phone, how they use it, how they conceive mobile communication, how it interferes with daily life. We went in several locations in the island (town, small village, open fields) as well as in city neighbourhood with high density of migrants, workers, blue collar, temporary employees. The selection of the place has been part of the design of the ethnographic plan as well the choosing of the specific audience, with the main aim of observe an as wide as possible range of specific attitude and behaves, to discover or anticipate emerging needs; we were mainly looking beyond core users, and observe what extreme users can be. In the following map we report a sample table (a screenshot from a working data spreadsheet ) to understand the kind of data collected and afterwards analysed.






Post-it baoshan lu #1



lady with old nurse man 40+

Post-it baoshan lu #2

Lady 50+

Post-it baoshan lu #3

lady in the house neighborood wife +40

Post-it baoshan lu #4

Post-it baoshan lu #5

Post-it baoshan lu #6

Post-it baoshan lu #7

Post-it baoshan lu #8a

39, male

Male 30+

Male 30+

Male, 35

Worker 30+


Qiujiang road


garbage collector



each person in the family have one


farmland is rent out, house is empty



no brand / live closed made in to the family china

yes, connected she do not with the have it with same here contract





english speaker

lg KG 703 C

chang Hong 长虹


no pocket, yes, in the keep in a house candy bag




PRICE (cell & calls)

no loud voice, gift/promotion/sug diffiicult to 50 yuan gested brand hear



just calls, can't type






too expensive; she do not have, she borows when she needs


Nokia / yes resistant to pocket (business) fall down






trading business man




shop owner

shop barber


rarely changed

last month

often change


when it breaks

life time too short

3 years ago (may 2008)


just call no text

reccomend by a friend

Call + text – wants to download ebook 50 rmb/month but dont' know how // call sms qq

buy at telephon bureau

100-300 rmb + every month 130-160 rmb because he uses a lot the chat

Wants Iphne becaue gift from the everybody mobile has it, company // a free up to 4000 is suggested offer from telecm okay from friendS; office when I choose this to install boradband show is a at home cool cell

yes, in the along with shop, for me work

pocket or yes, in the bag (not office clear) (check)

present by family // free offer 6 yuan from telecom office

search information, surf internet, chat with friend

call, sms, qq

private, contact with family members (kids, sister)

short distance call / rarely used




no interest in aesthetic / change when breaks

Undero 2000 if not is better to buy a computer // sms gives evidence and same price: 1.3 call 1.5 sms


when is broken

60 yuan/mont /long distance sms, get news, call are surf expensive

private / calls back the mainly long family in Anhui distance / friends and calls relatives


text with strokes is too slow

2/3 computer desk for ikids + laptop

easy to not that use and internet and good it often cheap (not ww crashes easy to break)



Page 1



8,2% fishing


8% bird watching 13% socializing 11% cultural activities










hiking 11% riding horse


leisure activity 13%





biking 10%

leisure activity 3,9%




















10% hand crafting







riding horse 5,2%





relaxing 7,2% hiking 9,5%

t en high involvem

9,8% riding bike

cooking 5,2%

10% gardening nvolvemen wi t lo

3,3% cultural activities

medium invol ve me

3% socializing

reading 11,2%

involveme nt gh hi

2,6% bird watching

ent vem ol

3,3% hand crafting


sleeping 6,6%


7,2% gardening

low in v











fresh products



a day














3-5h a day

20% gifts







packaged products






1-3h a day





basic “abc” 5%


1-2h a day





kai xin



touch screen

sina blog



1h a day

17% 53% 30%

cell cell smart phone phone phone 58







3% 59
























78,6% 56%










5. TARGET OUTCOMES / PERSONAS In the framework of inquiry of urban/rural relationships our target clearly comprises both the side of the citizens and the people from countryside. Nevertheless, the so called rural target could include a variety of social type that extend further beyond the character of the farmer. Through the interactive tools of ethnography we were able to better define this rural target and to clarify its role and specificities in orienting next design steps. From the understanding derived from the target analysis we defined five Personas, as the most concise output of this research phase of the whole projects, and represent the starting point of the next phases. These Personas are the future actors of our scenarios and eventually the users of the designed artefacts we will develop during next months.


Target outlines The data collected show a gap between the technical literacy of the city-based and the countrysidebased target that reflects also in the lack of information and data related to the rural segments. With the more in-depth examination by the ethnography, we looked for better definition of what is generally conceived as rural target. Documenting their tools, tracking their uses of technological devices, conversating about needs and limits of technology, we were looking for a better understanding of who is rural, and we figure out profiles that include farmers, blue collars, temporary employees, street workers, migrants, low-educated young people. They commonly shown communication networks among family and relatives, short ties relationships and small business related networks. Very few cases of satisfactory culture or interests based communication have been reported. From the point of view of the technical literacy the main aspects emerged are a diffuse lack of self-confidence in a mature and aware use of technology communication devices, as well as the absence of relevant interaction with the community of interests that transform devices in impossibile-touse tools.

Criteria for Personas selection * salary/working status * hometown * literacy level * family type and status * technical literacy


#1. LU FUN GUI I would like to improve the daily life in the village, both for work and leisure time in an easy way. Also, I am sad that so many young people are leaving the countryside, and I would like the village to be a more attractive place where our kids would live.

Social Status:

He is a 58 years old farmers, who lives in a village on Chongming Island. He works in the village cooperative; with other members he coordinates the farming activities and takes care of the field. He is also an active member of the local community.

Family Description:

He is married, and he has two sons, one is 35 and the other is 26 years old. The older kid lives and work in shanghai; he is married and has a kid. He comes back home almost every weekend. The younger is a student in Beijing, so he can come back just during vacations. His wife is a farmer as well, but she just work in the field during busy periods. When she is not busy working, she takes care of the house and the garden.

Daily Schedule:

He usually get up at 5.00 am and works from 7.00 to 10.00 am. He eats lunch at home, and then normally goes back to work in the afternoon for other two hours, according to the season. Sometimes (normally once a week) he has to attend meeting in the morning with other members of the cooperative, to organize the activities. When is not farming season he has some spare time, that he spends with friends, chatting or playing mah-jiang. In the evening he watch some TV and goes to bed around 8.30.

Technology literacy

He has a basic mobile phone that he bought in the telecom office. He doesn't use any function but calling, because it is hard for him to understand how the mobile phone works. Also, he can read very easily small text because he has some sight problems. He doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t write text messages because writing with strokes is too slow. He doesn't know how to use a computer and he never saw other digital devices.

Network and Tasks:

He spends the most part of the day with the people he works with. He uses the mobile for his work, while he calls his kids twice a week with the telephone he has at home. His wife doesn't have a mobile phone because she is always around and they both know where to find each other.


It is pretty hard for him to read characters on the mobile, partially because they are normally too small, but also because his education is pretty basic, so he doesn't know some of them. Also, he doesn't use pinyin, so writing with strokes is for him slow and complicated. He doesn't want to learn new things, because he doesn't see the value of that. Also, he is not willing to pay a premium price for a new device or services.


#2. ZHANG FENG I would like to live in a cosier place, where he could have personal space and basic comfort. A computer with internet access could help me to spend differently his free time and keep in touch with my family. Life in the city could be improved and become more convenient with new services and job opportunities; new social relations could change my life in town and reduce homesickness.

Social Status:

He is from Shandong and works temporarily in Shanghai as bricklayer. Usually he goes back to his hometown two or three times a year, during the harvesting season or when he does not find any job opportunity in town.

Family Description:

He is married and his unique daughter is 19 years old. His wife lives in their hometown, where she takes care of their child and parents.

Daily Schedule:

He lives in a temporary dormitory at the construction site. He gets up at 7.00 am and works from 8.00 to 6.00 pm. Sometimes he needs to reach another construction site, so he uses public transports. His day is long, tiresome and busy, so he never has time to prepare food by himself and is forced to eat street food. Often he works also during the weekends, doing random odd jobs and he spends his spare time in the dormitory, chatting and playing cards with the other workers. His salary is between 100 and 150 yuan a day.

Technology literacy

He has a mobile phone from a domestic brand. He mainly uses it to call his family, seldom he texts 66

them, but just simple sentences. When he is at home, he loves to spend some time using the PC to surf on the web; unfortunately he can not do that in Shanghai. He is able to use basic touch screen interfaces like ATM, but he does not have a clear idea about what is a tablet or how to use a smart phone.

Network and Tasks:

He keeps in touch with his family calling them at telephone. In his free time his is always with his coworkers and he does not need to use his mobile phone to talk with them. Instead his mobile rings when he receive calls or text messages from people who want to offer him a job.


He does not speak the local dialect and has some problem to interact with colleagues and strangers. He would to spend less money calling his family, because he is short on budget and prefers to save money to send them. Living in a temporary house is not very easy: he does not have any kind of comfort, neither a corner when he can stay alone when he needs. He thinks that a computer could help him to enjoy better his short free time and keep in touch with his relatives, may be video-calling them.

#3. LIU FANG I do everything for my kid so I want him to have a better life. I would like to enjoy more social activities, and be more integrated in the new community. I also hope in the future I can find a better job and have a better life quality.

Social Status:

She lives in a village in Chongming island. She is a migrant, she had to leave her hometown after a government relocation for dam construction project; she lives in the village and the family has a two rooms house.

Family Description:

She is married. Her son is 13 and just started his high school. The husband is a taxi driver in Shanghai,where he lives during the week; he just come back to her on weekends. Her mother moved with them after the relocation, and now lives in the same house.

Daily Schedule:

She works 10 hours a day in the factory. Sometimes she gets home very late. She doesn't eat at home but everyday she prepares food, for her and the kid. She has a scooter that she uses to go to the market or to the town to shop for the family.

Technology literacy

She has a Shanzhai mobile phone, with a big screen and MP3 and IM functions, that she sometimes use, especially with her son and few friends. Her son has a desk pc, she uses it sometimes to access internet to check local news or when she needs information or documents.


She need to check on the kid but he doesn't have a cellphone. She can not understand local dialect, that is commonly used by people in the village to communicate. She wants to be more involved in the community but is hard to build connections She is definitely very busy, and she doesn't have enough time for herself.

Network and Tasks:

She is used to talk over the telephone with the husband but not everyday, and she uses her mobile for that. She calls the telephone in the house to check on her kid when he gets back from school, and in the evening when she works until late. She is also in contact with other women in the village; she used to ask someone from the neighbourhood to take care of her son when she was not there. 67

#4. WANG FANG / ç&#x17D;&#x2039;ć&#x201D;ž I want to keep a friendly relationship with the village, feel that I am useful and still have an active role in the community. I want to feel I am not alone, and somehow I want to be sure that when I get older someone will take good care of me.

Social Status:

She is 67 years old, she comes from the rural area, and lives in one of the villages, in an old traditional house. She never leaves the hometown. She takes care of the vegetable garden around her house. She has not a proper job anymore but she keeps herself busy with her activities.

Family Description:

She lives alone. She has no kids. She is well known in the community and when she was younger she used to take care of other people kids. That's why everybody treats her like an aunt. She is illitterated.

Daily Schedule:

She wakes up early and after breakfast she takes care of the house and the garden. Sometimes she goes to the market where she sells her homegrown vegetables. In this way she can earn some money for her besides the allowance she receives from the government. When she is not too busy with her routine she meets other women from the village for some leisure activities (knitting, play majhong, sewing).

Technology literacy

She doesn't have a mobile, she has a telephone but she rarely uses it. Some guys from the village gave 68

her a second hand TV as a gift. TV and radio are the only device she can use. She even never tried to use a PC.

Network and Tasks:

She has a very good reputation in the community, and she has been always very active in its regards. She is alone but not lonely. She is always available to give tips and share wisdom.


She cannot use any technological device. She doesn't have a budget. Her daily activities are always the same, she feels old and she is afraid of experiencing something new.

#5. LIN GANG I'd love to have my own space for workshop where I can also sell my products. I also want to have a more safe and stable future while getting older.

Social Status:

He is 53 years old. He works in the market area of a small rural town and he makes bamboo baskets and other objects useful for farming activities. He doesn't make a lot of money but he can sustain himself. He started this business long time ago and he is very well known in the local villages for his expertise.

Family Description:

He is not married but he has one bother and one sister that have families not in the village, but they live in the same province. He moved to visit them several times a year. He lives alone in a little house in the town, he doesn't have a lot of space but is enough and comfortable.

Daily Schedule:

He wakes up at 7 o' clock and goes to the stall at the market to do his activities. He has a sanlunche to move materials, tools and baskets from home to the market. E eats at the market and goes back at the end of the day. He plays majong and have friends that work at the market as well.

Technology literacy

He has a mobile phone but do not have the telephone at home. He has a basic Nokia that he mainly uses to connect with the family. He doesn't use a computer but he knows how to use basic functions. Has middle school education and sometime participate to the community centre activities; that's how he learnt basic computer skills.

He calls his brother and sister but not regularly. Sometimes he goes visit them and brings candies or little gifts to the kids.


His life has a very regular routine, even if he is a motivated person and have interests. He loves his job but he would also like to expand it. The demand of product in the local area is saturated, but he doesn't know how to change the market. He has a lot of connections but few of them are relevant. He cannot buy big stuff because the space is limited and moreover he misses a proper place where to work.

Network and Tasks:

He knows a lot of people in the local areas because he moves a lot for work. He meets different people during his working activities but he doesn't necessarily use the mobile phone to keep connections with them. Sometimes he is asked to make custom products but this do not necessarily requires him to have digital or remote connections. 69

6. CONCLUSIONS & DISCUSSION The first phase of this research project by Nokia and Studio TAO has been addressed to the understanding of the target that have to be considered in the wider framework of the project. During the two months of field research we explored the users behaviours and mapped out their characteristics. The design outcome of this research phase are five Personas, that represent in a more clear and specific way the different segments of our target. Indeed in the next steps these personas will represent critical users of our future design. In the next deliverable we will include scenarios in which these personas can act, interact with each other through technical devices that help them to perform better and more meaningful communication exchanges. In the concept generation phase the personas will help us in designing solid user-centered solution. Major limitations to the research that has been conducted are mainly related to time constrains and cultural barriers, and the practical impact is a limited scope of the research extent. Nevertheless the research part will contribute further on the next design activity and while we acquire expertise about the context we will be able to review and improve the insights coming from the research.


NEXT REPORT: AUGUST 31, 2011. grazie al cazzo.

MobileMarketplace - report 2  

This is the report of the second part of the research project carried out by Studio TAO, Tongji University and Nokia. At the moment of writi...

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