Webmaker Field Research Report From India

Laura de Reynal

India - Mumbai

Mozilla is working alongside GSMA to explore how individuals in developing countries use the Web. These users often come online exclusively through their smartphones — and so we’re working to ensure they discover a mobile Web that’s fully open, accessible and invites creativity.

The Webmaker research team spent much of January in India. Our approach was similar to the research we conducted in Bangladesh and Kenya: We studied the way people use their mobile devices and, more broadly, the relationship that Indian people have with the Web. This research will help us perfect our Webmaker mobile app, the independent publishing tool that boosts web literacy and allows users to generate relevant, local content.

India - Research Map

Teenagers, entrepreneurs, housewives, activists, artists, labourers, makers and teachers — we interviewed 112 people from all walks of life, ranging across seven cities, towns and villages in India.

The results of this study, outlined in our recently released report, explore how the Web is used and perceived in a country as complex, vast and culturally-rich as India. The report is structured around the concept of the Web Journey, or the different ways users engage online. This concept first emerged from observations made in Kenya and Bangladesh, and was refined in India. There are five key stages of engagement with the Web:

Unaware: Has never heard of the Web, or has no understanding of what it is.

No Use: Is aware of the existence of the Web, but does not use it.

Basic Use: Is online, mainly for social media.

Leverage: Understands how to use the Web to improve quality of life.

Creation: Is able to read and write the Web.

During our research, we encountered individuals from across this spectrum. We met Vasanthi, who does not go online because she does not see the utility; Suchita, who dreams of mastering programming in Python; Siddique, who stopped blogging because he feels that nobody cares; and many more.

This research is vital to understanding how the Webmaker app can best benefit its users in India. Our findings, and the feedback from our many participants, are the first step in teaching web literacy.  

We would love to hear your feedback or questions. Feel free to reach out to: mobileopportunity@mozilla.org

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