Design Experience Mobile People

The mobile way

Kajal Dutta, is a colleague who cooks food in my office. He also works in a house as a house hold assistant and cook. His boss recently presented him with a used FUjitso Netbook and he wanted me to check if the laptop had any problems. There was no audio but we quickly fixed with installing the audio driver.

But later, Kajal wanted to learn the basics from me. so we started yesterday.
Chapter 1: What are folders? I found it difficult to define a folder for him. But, he got the idea of what a folder is. Later i gave him excercise to create folder, copy and paste files from pendrive to hard drive. There were few hiccups and took a little time to get the idea. Later he said

“Hahh, this is just like the files in mobile naa??” – Kajal Dutta.

Then, i realized the impact of mobile phones and its interface.

I realized also that Mobile phones have destroyed the inhibitions of many people who were thinking that computing were for the educated.

One of my closet friend, Senthil E who is a cab driver in chennai, doesn’t read or write in any language, but has never had problems with using any new phone. When he got his Nokie N72, the initial days he used to come with a lot of questions and always ended up lost in the menu. But, after a few days he was a champ with the phone.

Mobile has truly changed the way we look at things.

Design Design Research Emerging Economies Ghana Mobile People User Research

A little about me

Visual Story | Sathyan Velumani from Sathyan Velumani on Vimeo.

Ghana People Stories

Why Indian Football team got disqualified?

A Tale from Ghana

There was epic football match between India and Ghana. The Indians were well known to have specialized voodoo magic and tricks. The match began and everytime, the Indian hit the ball towards the ghanian post, the ghanians saw the ball as coal pot and didn’t stop it. India was leading the game to 100-0 goals against the team of Ghana.
A Ghanian hero rised, and decided that he would not let this happen and hit the coal pot and scored a goal. A sad fate, after scoring the goal he died.
Indian team was disqualified by FIFA.

This tale has been floating around with school children of Ghana for more than 40 years now. No one knows why it was India and how it all started? But it sure is interesting.
Let me know if you know anything about it.

Design Experience Ghana People Stories Travel

Shama and the boats

The day started with a ride from the hotel to Shama along the coast line for the first protocol, a marketing guy from Shama Credit Union of my field work in Ghana.

It was also the day of my first boat ride in the sea with a friend fisherman who offered a short trip into the sea and to the port from the place where he put the days catch; The fishermen venture into the sea for 4 days and return with their catch; its mostly sword fish that they catch, but dolphins do get into their nets. A dolphin would be sold GHC 60(INR 1800) and the meat is considered a delicacy. Women are not taken to the sea and they help the men with weaving nets; The children mostly boys help unload the catch when their family reach the shore; It is inauspicious to bring a turtle to the shore. The fishermen call their regular customers to the harbor when nearing the coast and the men and women from the nearby town gather before they reach the shore. The size of the fish is measured and the rates are fixed. Light fishing is quite a common practice; it is the practice of putting a glowing light into the ocean. The fishes are attracted to the bright light and they gather around the light and become an easy catch for the fishermen. I have had a similar experience of fishing in the night in one of the rivers in summer when the water level is low in Tamil Nadu, India.


  • Tyre tube
  • A cylindrical basket which is open in both sides.


The men light up the tyres; the fish stops moving and they put the basket around it and put their hand into the basket and catch the fish. In Ghana, its the glorified version where the fishermen use battery powered lights off the shore.

More coming on the Ghanian food, its people and my experience in the rich African soil!!