By 2025, more than a billion people will come online for the first time. Building for the Next Billion users poses exciting opportunities and enormous challenges. Global companies will need to understand the needs of these novice internet users (NIU) alongside those of experienced users (EIU).
Building global products starts with inclusive research. In this session, I reflect on what my team did to localize our research to make it meaningful and relevant to our intended users who are unfamiliar with the online medium. I will discuss how my team leaned on local and knowledgeable helpers—from in-country teammates for research preparation, to the NIU’s family or friends for interview and lab studies, and vendor support for longitudinal research. These practices are fundamentally critical to conducting inclusive research, but became especially timely during the pandemic when we pivoted to remote studies and adapted to the constraints of the Covid-19 reality.