This project is a qualitative study of non-textual mobile communication practices in Southern China. Examining the rapid proliferation of emoji in WeChat use, we attend to the lessening dependence on a text. We use interview and observation data from 30 participants to investigate how rural, small town and urban Chinese adults creatively and innovatively balance the use of emoji and text in their communication, as we envision the evolution of emoji into a modality of its own. We look into various possibilities for future work to explore circumventing the prerequisite of print literacy for mobile communication, especially for low-literate populations.
In the TanDEm lab, we focus on matters relating to the design, deployment, adoption, and use of technologies towards empowerment - of underserved and under-represented communities in resource-constrained regions across the world.