Next Billion Users: Designing for Emerging Cities

A DIS 2018 Workshop, Hong Kong, 10th June 2018

Designing for a Rapidly Changing World

With the rapid diffusion of smartphones and increasing access to free and faster internet connectivity, emerging economies such as India, South East Asia, Africa and Brazil are seeing significant number of users come online for the first time. As the trajectory of internet use for these users follows a mobile-first experience, technical and infrastructural constraints impact the overall experience. Designing experiences for these new internet users requires careful consideration of users’ social and technological contexts.

About the Workshop

This interactive and participatory workshop will focus on a particular problem space that captures the theme of designing for next billion users.

  • Best practices: During the workshop, there will be an opportunity to discuss best practices and methodological challenges when conducting research and designing for emerging markets.
  • Build empathy: Working through a series of exercises that include user scenarios, participants in the workshop will come to together to understand challenges and identify opportunities for designing systems for the needs of users in emerging markets.
  • Apply user-centered principles: In the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to work in groups to apply user centered design approaches to ideate on potential solutions for this problem space.


The workshop is open to academic researchers, designers, practitioners and students who are currently or have an interest in conducting research and designing for users in emerging markets. We particularly encourage students and early career researchers to participate in the workshop.

Please email a statement about why you would be interested in attending the workshop to: by May 25th 2018. Reach out to us with any questions.

Key Dates

Workshop Day: 10th June 2018, Sunday

Deadline for letter of interest: 25 May 2018

Workshop Facilitators

Chandrika Cycil

UX Researcher, Google UK

Chandrika is a user experience researcher at Google, where she works on supporting the developer experience on Google Play. Her work with developers has taken her to Japan, China and India for fieldwork. Prior to Google, she completed her PhD in Information Systems and Computing at Brunel University, London which focused on video ethnographic fieldwork in UK and India for designing interactive systems to support families in cars.

Rajiv Arjan

Senior UX Researcher, Google UK

For the past 5 years, Rajiv has been working in the international research team at Google learning about how to create products and services for the next billion users. His research projects have taken him to Nairobi, Senegal, India, Indonesia and Brazil. Rajiv completed an Msc in Human Centred System at City University London in 2014, his specialist interests include emerging markets, HCI, and ethnography.

Lauren Celenza

Senior UX Designer, Google US

Lauren is a designer for Google Maps, where she focuses on shaping the map to better fit the needs of emerging cities around the world. She is also a listener, documentarian, and advocate. Her work has taken her to India, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Africa. Through her travels, she works with local communities to help shape design & technology in ways that are more inclusive and participatory. Prior to Google, she graduated from SCAD, did design strategy for The Gates Foundation, published a book about a neighborhood in Hong Kong, and worked with various companies to create exhibits and digital experiences that connect and relate with people.

Twitter / Instagram: @laurencza