Chile vs User Centered Design


Chile is a culturally diverse and rapidly growing country – especially when it comes to technology. This growth creates demands and expectations not only from businesses, but also from the people living in Chile. Carolina Sandoval gave us an interesting insight into Chile’s development and made us aware of the challenge Chile is currently facing:

‘The design of technology in a fast moving, culturally diverse country, with an education system that has not yet recognized the importance of multidisciplinary education and careers.’ 

Carolina puts it like this: If you educated to become a teacher, you become a teacher; if you are educated to become an engineer, you become an engineer. In any case it is a one-way career. And if you do need multidisciplinary skills, you better be smart and adaptive enough to develop the skills yourself.

During her talk, Carolina presented some of the projects she has worked on, where she learned and improved her multidisciplinary skills:

In the private sector: BNamericas (Video) In this organization Carolina worked with different departments (e.g. Sales, Marketing, IT) to develop an online strategy for the company. In order to do that, she use methods from different disciplines like information architecture and interaction design.

On independent ventures: Poderopedia (Video) She also worked on the two sides of this platform (the one for journalists in which they fill the data, and the front end in which people can see the whole information). It was developed to make business and politics in Chile more transparent to the people.

At NIC Chile Research Labs (http://www.niclabs.cl/):
“mHealth prototype to support integrated health care for elderly in Chilean Patagonia” In this case study, Carolina analyzed the internal dynamic of a Chilean home care facility, which leaded to a model that incorporates a mobile application for caregivers and health professionals in order to improve their communication and the availability of the health information of the patients.

“Replicating a Study of Collaborative Use of Mobile Phones for Photo Sharing in a Different Cultural Context” (Finland and Chile) Carolina replicated the study that was previously conducted in Finland to find out if the results could be confirmed and generalized across cultures. The results did confirm the previous results from the study in Finland concerning the interaction design, but they found cultural differences concerning participants using the application.


At Área de Infotecnologías, Universidad de Chile (http://ingenieria.uchile.cl/):
Academic curriculum (U-Campus Platform) Here Carolina proposes a new and more accessible user interface to encourage researchers to share their information on the universities website. This is a work in progress.

Contact Carolina Sandoval (E-Mail)