Alo is the affordable, mobile education platform for illiterate adults.
I initated the project and am responsible for research, user experience and business planning.
Tools and methods
From the beginning, Alo's development has been lean and human-centered. We started with paper prototypes and testing, and then moved to clickable prototypes and later on to coded versions of the application. We have developed the app close to the curricula of European standard literacy classes. The methods, topics and contents will have to be adapted to the African context.
So far we conducted qualitative research in literacy schools in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and refugee centers in Munich (Germany), including:
> Regular discussions and co-creation sessions with literacy teachers
> User testing with individuals, small and large groups
> Participation in literacy classes
> Tools: Paper Prototyping, Sketch, Flinto Prototyping, Marvel Prototyping, Adobe AfterEffects.
Learning to read and write is expensive and inaccessible to most 775 million illiterate adults worldwide (Source). This group of people cannot simply improve their skills through trainings and move to new employment sectors, because they cannot understand any teaching or learning material. Basic literacy is one of the core skills which empower individuals to engage in formal economic activities, to participate to skill development programs and to move up the economic ladder. It is a bridge between poverty and a world of new opportunities.
While working in Abidjan, I noticed the creativity and ability of illiterate adults to use their smartphones. They were 'hacking' these apps, which have all been design with literacy as a premise. It is in this context that a mobile education platform made sense.
An affordable, mobile education platform for illiterate adults. Alo is a gamified, interactive learning experience which moves at the user's pace and can be used largely offline.
I belive the only way to create a long-term solution for education is by having Alo operate as a social enterprise. By doing so, we prevent one-time solutions, dependency on donors and allow for continous development and improvement. Being a highly scalable solution, the teaching methods will improve through the millions of data points which the app is registering. We will be charging the user a very low fee per week, deducted from their mobile money account. The profits will be reinvested in the company.