Conducting remote session in Africa

10 Dec 2008 - 11:28am
5 years ago
2 replies
372 reads
Mary Deaton
2008

Does anyone have experience conducting remote usability sessions from
the US via the Web with participants in Africa? I am using UserVue,
which cannot handle telephone connections outside the US and Canada.
However, none of the web conferencing vendors we have researched offer
toll-free call-in numbers in Africa, very few in South America, and
India is spotty.

I tried to use Skype as a means for me to call out to the participants
with the notion I could then record the conversation on my end, but I
do not have a phone that can accept a recording device and so I have
not found a really good way to record the Skype call off my computer.

I would appreciate any suggestions people have, and as soon as
possible. Please email me directly and then I will summarize and post
back to these lists what I learn.

And perhaps the user experience community should begin some sort of
movement to make the availability of toll-free numbers in the
developing world something not so dependent on whether someone can
make a profit by offering them. End of rant.

Mary Deaton
Deaton Interactive Design,
Manager, STC Usability and User Experience Community

Comments

10 Dec 2008 - 12:21pm
Gustavo Gawry
2006

Mary,

If using skype you can try one of those skype recording plugins. You can
find some in the link below.

http://labnol.blogspot.com/2006/06/how-to-record-skype-conversations.html

--
Gustavo Gawry
Interaction Designer
Mobile: +55 21 9498-7923
Email: gustavogawry at gmail.com
Blog: http://gawry.com (in portuguese)
Twitter: gawry

On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 2:28 PM, Mary Deaton <mmdeaton em mmdeaton.com> wrote:

> Does anyone have experience conducting remote usability sessions from
> the US via the Web with participants in Africa? I am using UserVue,
> which cannot handle telephone connections outside the US and Canada.
> However, none of the web conferencing vendors we have researched offer
> toll-free call-in numbers in Africa, very few in South America, and
> India is spotty.
>
> I tried to use Skype as a means for me to call out to the participants
> with the notion I could then record the conversation on my end, but I
> do not have a phone that can accept a recording device and so I have
> not found a really good way to record the Skype call off my computer.
>
> I would appreciate any suggestions people have, and as soon as
> possible. Please email me directly and then I will summarize and post
> back to these lists what I learn.
>
> And perhaps the user experience community should begin some sort of
> movement to make the availability of toll-free numbers in the
> developing world something not so dependent on whether someone can
> make a profit by offering them. End of rant.
>
> Mary Deaton
> Deaton Interactive Design,
> Manager, STC Usability and User Experience Community
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss em ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

10 Dec 2008 - 3:48pm
James Page
2008

Mary,

At Feralabs using our Webnographer Remote usability software we have carried
out a number of Remote Usability tests in Africa. I also used to work for
one of the largest Sub Saharan African owned software companies.

Your idea of using Skype with Africa runs into a number of challenges, both
legal and ethical :-

1) Legal and Ethical. By using Skype you could be making your Participant
break the law in their country. Using software like Skype that uses Voice
Over IP(VOIP) is still mainly illegal in most African countries. See:
http://www.itweb.co.za/sections/telecoms/2008/0805231036.asp?S=All%20Africa%20News&A=AFN&O=FRGN(Russell
Southwood
is a consultant to the organisations such as the World Bank and runs the
main news letter on African Telephony - ballancingact.)

2) Legal. Recording the telephone conversation call in some African
countries is illegal, even with the participants permission.

3) Ethical. The last issue is that Voice over IP uses allot of bandwidth.It
costs African ISP's over $8.00 usd per kb of bandwidth per year (that is
about 40 times it costs in the States).
http://ethanzuckerman.com/ericatberkman.pdf
It is the African ISP that pays for the connection from Europe or America,
not your ISP, so by using VOIP you are increasing the cost to the African
ISP and therefore making Internet Access more expensive in Africa. Also
Africa still has limited Bandwidth to the rest of the world, so you are
slowing everybodies connection. My connection at the office is more than
some ISP's in Africa have!

Solutions. Either use Webnograpther, or another Asynchronous system. Or use
Critical Incident Reporting over Email, or we can also help with finding
people that can conduct tests on the ground. There may not be many usability
people there, but there are many trained ethnographers in Africa, with very
high standards.

All the best

James
http://blog.feralabs.com

2008/12/10 Gustavo Gawry <gustavogawry at gmail.com>

> Mary,
>
> If using skype you can try one of those skype recording plugins. You can
> find some in the link below.
>
> http://labnol.blogspot.com/2006/06/how-to-record-skype-conversations.html
>
>
> --
> Gustavo Gawry
> Interaction Designer
> Mobile: +55 21 9498-7923
> Email: gustavogawry at gmail.com
> Blog: http://gawry.com (in portuguese)
> Twitter: gawry
>
>
>
> On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 2:28 PM, Mary Deaton <mmdeaton at mmdeaton.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Does anyone have experience conducting remote usability sessions from
> > the US via the Web with participants in Africa? I am using UserVue,
> > which cannot handle telephone connections outside the US and Canada.
> > However, none of the web conferencing vendors we have researched offer
> > toll-free call-in numbers in Africa, very few in South America, and
> > India is spotty.
> >
> > I tried to use Skype as a means for me to call out to the participants
> > with the notion I could then record the conversation on my end, but I
> > do not have a phone that can accept a recording device and so I have
> > not found a really good way to record the Skype call off my computer.
> >
> > I would appreciate any suggestions people have, and as soon as
> > possible. Please email me directly and then I will summarize and post
> > back to these lists what I learn.
> >
> > And perhaps the user experience community should begin some sort of
> > movement to make the availability of toll-free numbers in the
> > developing world something not so dependent on whether someone can
> > make a profit by offering them. End of rant.
> >
> > Mary Deaton
> > Deaton Interactive Design,
> > Manager, STC Usability and User Experience Community
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

Syndicate content Get the feed