VideoKheti: Making Video Content Accessible to Low-Literate and Novice Users
Designing ICT systems for rural users in the developing world is difficult for a variety of reasons ranging from problems with infrastructure to financial constraints. But beyond these difficulties, there are serious challenges associated with the potential users. Developing regions may include huge variability in spoken languages (India alone is home to hundreds of languages), and users are often low- or non-literate, with very little experience interacting with digital technologies. Researchers have explored the use of text-free graphical interfaces as well as speech-based applications to overcome some of the issues related to language and literacy. While there are benefits and drawbacks to each of these approaches, they can be complementary when used together. In this work, we present VideoKheti, a mobile system using speech, graphics, and touch interaction for low-literate farmers in rural India. VideoKheti helps farmers to find and watch agricultural extension videos in their own language and dialect. In this paper, we detail the design and development of VideoKheti and report on a field study with 20 farmers in rural India who were asked to find videos based on a scenario. The results show that farmers could use VideoKheti, but their success still greatly depended on their education level. While participants were enthusiastic about using the system, the multimodal interface did not overcome many obstacles for low-literate users.