... creating for those who need the most

Have you ever asked yourself how many people in the world don’t have access to technology? To knowledge? To books? To a pen?

I hadn’t until I watched “On the Way to School”. For a second forget all you know about traditional school. Forget your experience with school. Forget your “hard” days at school. Now imagine that you are in the middle of nowhere. You wake up at 4 a.m. You wear your threadbare uniform. You gather a gallon of water from the nearest oasis, your bag with school supplies, and a stick. You are ready to walk … for three hours … one way … to your school. You are eager to get knowledge - any knowledge.

I don’t remember being very excited to go to school when I was a kid, even though my school was only ten minutes from my home. Now I understand that I was taking it for granted. I didn’t know that there are millions of children who would risk their lives to be able to go to school!

Did you know that around 121 million children across the world don’t have even a chance to go to school?

Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.

We all live in our “cages”. We know as much as we want to know. But there are so many unknown, wild, and unreal things in the world. We, as UX designers, almost always create something for people who already have a stable base. We don’t need to teach them how to read, write, search online, etc. We are so lucky and so spoiled!

In fact, there are 4.4 billion people out of 7 billion people alive today that don’t have access to the Internet.

Would you like to design for them? I would! It sounds like a huge challenge and huge success already! If you think about it, by creating for those who really need, we change their lives. By creating for people who spend hours a day online, we usually improve something. But this improvement usually is not that dramatic.

Can you imagine what would happen if we directed all of our efforts into something that would change people’s lives? What kind of impact would it make?

I think it’s time for us to take it personal and return our gratitude for what we have, but others don’t.