IGF 2019 WS #335 Assessing & Designing Web & Mobile Tech for Inclusivity

Subtheme(s): 

Organizer 1: Raashi Saxena, The Bachchao Project
Organizer 2: Rohini Lakshane, The Bachchao Project
Organizer 3: Marie Kochsiek, Bloody Health collective
Organizer 4: Regina Sipos, Technical Universit of Berlin / Social-Digital Innovation

Speaker 1: Raashi Saxena, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Rohini Lakshane, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Marie Kochsiek, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Regina Sipos, Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Speaker 5: Judith Muehlenhoff, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Policy Question(s): 

1) What technical and non-technical resources are necessary to design web and mobile technologies for inclusivity in terms of gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, age, language, and socio-economic class?

2) What needs to be done to increase or develop capacity of different actors so that they be able to design and/ or standardise web and mobile technology conscious of diversity and inclusion, especially in developing and least-developed countries?

3) What factors should be considered when designing web and mobile products, applications, software and services that are part of pervasive technology? What factors should be considered when funding, evaluating or assessing such products, applications, software and services?

4) How do we ensure that various stages of the designing, testing, standardisation and commercial introduction of web and mobile products and services are inclusive?

Relevance to Theme: The session is aimed as a tutorial on developing, accessing and assessing products, applications, software and services for web and mobile platforms for their equitability and inclusivity. In terms of inclusion, we would focus on these characteristics: language, disability, gender, sexuality, technical skills (or lack thereof), and socio-economic class (purchasing power and affordability).

Relevance to Internet Governance: Designing for inclusion is necessary to ensure that inclusion of various groups and demographics is baked into the vision, policies, standards and protocols that determine the design and/ or infrastructure of web and mobile products, applications, software and services. Our session hopes to spur and/ or add necessary dimensions to existing discourse among technologists, developers, funders and policy-makers regardless of their technical experience or ability.

Format: 

Other - 90 Min
Format description: Tutorial - Classroom - 90 minutes

Description: The workshop session would begin with a demonstration of some technologies that are/ were popular but exclusionary towards certain demographics or groups. Based on the demonstration, the moderator would initiate a moderated and interactive tutorial on designing, developing and assessing web and mobile products, applications, software and services that are inclusive. The tutorial would be based on the reference manual entitled “Building technology for diversity and inclusion 101” and the expertise and experiences of the individual speakers.

Important topics in the tutorial:
a)Design processes
b)Ideation and prototyping
c)Usability testing
d)Consent policies
e)Good/ best practices
f)Algorithmic bias
g)Security audit

The questions in the moderated and interactive discussion would be those listed in the section entitled “5. Policy Questions” in this proposal.

Expected Outcomes: a) Equipping grant-makers, funders and software developers with the basic knowledge to determine the criteria for inclusivity while evaluating a technical project or grant proposal.

b) Members of a technology-based project in a development or civil rights organisation could use the information and knowledge gained in the session to promote the use of technology in their works.

c) A skeletal list of policy steps and measures necessary to promote the adoption of a reference manual/ best practices advisory or guidebook for designing and evaluating technology products and services for their inclusivity.

Onsite Moderator: 

Raashi Saxena, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator: 

Marie Kochsiek, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Rapporteur: 

Rohini Lakshane, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Discussion Facilitation: 

The session is intended to be be interactive from the start. The speakers are researchers in the field of UX, design and technology policy, among others. As the session is planned to be a tutorial, we do not require the participants to possess specific technical skills, knowledge or ability. We would require the participants to suggest and ideate answers to the questions mentioned in section 5 (“Policy questions) of this proposal.

Online Participation: 

Usage of IGF Tool

SDGs: 

GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities