2 MO
APR 30 2019



Problem Define

Major audience and pain points are identified in this sprint. User research, Objective and Design principles are defined.

Design Process


Design System

Testing wireframes and build a library including typography, page structure, color palette, icon set, and other components.



In the final sprint, Apps are refined based on critiques and finalized for presentation.


Apps Design

Creating core apps based on the design principles defined in the earlier sprints including iteration and testing.

Mario Musa

Male, 41
Musician From Sierra Leone

I recently obtained an older smartphone from a local NGO. Learning to operate the phone took some time as the icons were unfamiliar, the huge learning curve on navigating the OS, and the phone didn’t support my native dialect. Additionally, because of local infrastructure constraints I only have access to WI-FI for 3 hours a day.

Current OS Problems

Usability issues

Context heavy UI design

Unfriendly gesture interactions

High power consumption

Cloud services reliability

Device unaffordability


  • Users in the emerging world are more frequent users of social networks
  • In the past 10 years Africa and South East Asia have seen a vast increase
    in percentage of online people per capita
  • World Bank estimates the number of unbanked people dropped by
    20% from 2011 to 2014 in large part due to mobile money platforms like M-Pesa
  • Median mobile phone user in Africa spend more than 15% of his/her monthly
    income on their phone bill and another 20% on power


An operating system for those in the global south and rural communities with low literacy, low technological literacy with limited access to power, and connectivity.

Design Principles




High Contrast




Flat Structure





Early Stages

Wireframes & Templates

Dark OS

The whole system is primarily designed for a dark mode, which would save a considerate amount of power for this user group together with the OLED screen. Based on research, the price of the OLED screen has become inexpensive. We can find OLED solution with a better cost performance for users considering the power saving potential. This decision solves two of the pain points at once.

Music App

The music player uses a waveform scrubbing interaction so that users can precisely find a point in a song. The radio tab is for local FM/AM stations. It uses the same scrubbing metaphor as the music player screen which allows users to switch between different radio stations.

Home Screen

The home screen is on track with the design principles. Communicating a design that is minimalist but also has icons that are identifiable to someone who may not be as technologically literate. Additionally, the use of bigger block buttons is to add more ease of use when launching Apps.


Simple but highly functional following universal and flat structure principles. The analog screen is very familiar design. Function keys are in different colors and contrasting so that important functions are easily identifiable.


A world map is integrated into the clock app, which makes it more functional. Users can understand the time differences just at a glance. Additionally, users can zoom in/out on the map to refine their time zone selection.


The dialer screen has shortcuts such as “Mom” to minimize the steps users need to take to make a phone call. The contacts tab has a slider on top to find targeted contacts in a short amount of time. Added the message and call shortcuts to increase efficiency.


It focuses on educating and making health resources more accessible to users. In addition to graphs and health data, the discover feature provides training videos, healthy recipes, and articles. When needed, It also has a chat function where users are directly connected with volunteering international medical professionals to ask general questions and get support.


Completing this project made me realize the world moves at a different pace. Today, the mobile operating systems we are accustomed to only involve around certain groups of people. I learned that it is extremely challenging to design for all due to differences in culture, language, and lifestyle. However, I also learned that there is a space for a new operating system that focuses on simplicity and functionality. That is what we tried to achieve with this project. An OS that connects people living in rural areas around the world. Further research is still required to better understand people's lifestyles from different parts of the world which would greatly help improve ConnectOS.