About Jan

Bio

I'm Executive Creative Director of Global Insights at frog, a global innovation consultancy, where I run the qualitative research practice, helping clients understand what makes people (and occasionally customers) tick in order to better meet their wants and needs. The research is truly global - from New York to New Delhi via Kabul and some of the world's more off the the beaten track locations.

Languages

English, German, Japanese

TED Conferences

TED2012, TED2011, TED2009, TED2007

Areas of Expertise

Design Research, Cell Phones, Technology Adoption, Revolution (political or technological), Globalization, Photographer, human behavior

Comments & conversations

31617
Jan Chipchase
Posted about 5 years ago
Jan Chipchase: The anthropology of mobile phones
Many people react strongly to the research exploring how best to design for illiterate consumers - the default assumption is that a BigCorp is 'pushing useless trinkets to people who don't know better'. From first hand research I've seen the impact that access to affordable, usable and robust mobile phones can have on individuals, businesses and their communities; they don't want your pity - they include some of the world's most critical consumers; and they value that a large multinational is willing to listen and learn about what they want and need. It's important to have a healthy scepticism of all research whether commissioned by driven by a profit seeking corporation or otherwise. It's by putting the research out there for discussion and criticism that we are able to move forward. Related research, including designing for illiterate consumers is published http://janchipchase.com/publications.
31617
Jan Chipchase
Posted about 5 years ago
Jan Chipchase: The anthropology of mobile phones
The research helps us rethink what we are doing, can suggest a better way. For example following (in part) this research - colleagues in the Nokia design studio built a prototype mobile phone made entirely from recycled and upcycled materials, including recycled electronic circuit boards - a very challenging process. (some of this work is documented http://www.nearfuturelaboratory.com/2008/04/28/nokia-homegrown/.) Making such a phone is only one challenge - the real question is whether consumers are willing to pay the premium required to manufacture and sell such a device? Your behaviour as a consumer helps shape the answer. To better understanding of the depth of the research consider the thread on mobile banking: for example the disproportionate impact of access to mobile phones on 'the poor' http://technology.cgap.org/author/Jan-Chipchase/; a longer paper http://www.janchipchase.com/designing-services-for-financial-inclusion.
31617
Jan Chipchase
Posted about 5 years ago
Jan Chipchase: The anthropology of mobile phones
Thanks to the TED community for the feedback on the talk, appreciated. A couple of comments, It isn't about the invention of fixing things - its about the massive sub-culture that has built around the customisation and fixing of mass-produced electronics. Many people assume that these objects are not fixable, and the default behaviour in places like the USA or Europe is that when broken they are thrown away or sit in the back of a drawer. You might consider this trivial - but when the volume of products sold is ~1.2 billion per year, the impact of these behaviours is huge. As a perspective ~400,000 mobile phones are 'retired' from us in the USA every day, only a small percentage of these are recycled. How does it change what we make? How they are sold? What business model would lead to 90%+ mobile phone recycling, rather than the sub-10% today? What is the role of manufacturers in this process? Governments? You?