I’m a French web student from the school HETIC (Digital communication engineer’s Program) and I live in Paris. I’m doing a 6-month internship as a Design Intern at MakeReign in Cape Town, South Africa. Recently, I’ve had the chance to do some user testing in the field for a mobile application project.

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Khayelitsha — August 01, 2019

The project

Let’s talk about the project. Our mission was to redesign an application which already had more than 100 000 users. The application is dedicated to traders running little shops predominantly in South African townships, allowing them to sell basic services like electricity, airtime, data etc. using a digital device that prints tickets with barcodes. Our main goal was to improve the features, as well as the usability of the product to design a more intuitive interface for the traders.

Life in townships

Until the early 1990s, when South Africa became an inclusive democracy, non-white workers were forced to live outside the cities in residential areas known as townships. Townships were usually built on the periphery of towns and cities. Many people still live in those areas, lacking basic facilities such as running water or electricity. Whole families live together in tiny houses made of containers. They’ve had electricity and airtime in townships for a long time, so not such a new thing. It is only now that it gets easier to buy it at Spaza shops etc. Electricity, data, airtime etc. are available and can be bought prepaid at different shops in the area. The way these services are used and paid for is really different from the system I know, where we, for the most part, use a subscription model — I wouldn’t think of going to a store to buy a few kilowatt-hours of electricity for the evening. …


Maud Rochel

Digital Designer — Web student at HETIC & Design Intern at Make Reign.

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