Orange Telecom: Data4Development Télécole
I had the chance to work for the Data for Development for Senegal, a program by Orange, France Telecom.
According to Unicef  over half the population in Senegal is illiterate; at the same time in 2012, the 85.7% of the population in total owned a mobile phone.
Although only the 19% of people have internet access. Smartphones exists but they are a very small percentage since they are usually imported from other countries.
Within this situation, we have started thinking and identifying some design possibilities.
For centuries, limited access to text has been a barrier to literacy. Reading required books. Without them, literacy remained out of reach. Today, however, this barrier is receding thanks to the spread of inexpensive mobile technology. Basic mobile phones offer a new, affordable and easy-to-use platform educational reading platform.
We entered actively into this design conversation, starting thinking and prototyping new ways of how these devices could be used in order to express their full potentials.
Our aim was to introduce the first levels of literacy to people who have limited or no access to internet and television, living where the right of education is not delivered.
We developed ways in which information can be exchanged and knowledge communicated through different visual languages. Our target audience is the illiterate, semi-illiterate and advanced semi-illiterate.
By exploring the potential of text messaging and voicemail services we started designing a platform to give people the access to offline search engines and education that we called Télécole.