The Dominican Republic It's the second biggest island in the Caribbean, with 10,648,791 people. According to the last census, wealth in D.R. is distributed across four social classes; high class 6%, middle-high class 17%, middle class 20%, Low class 47%, and poverty 10% this means that more than half the population (57%) live below human standards.
Nowadays, the internet is part of our society, and it seems that it doesn't matter how much you earn; everyone appears to need a source of connection to the internet. But, internet plans are expensive and, in the Dominican Republic, you don't find any open Wi-Fi-connections.
Claro, which is the biggest telecommunications company in the Dominican Republic, sized up a business opportunity by creating an inexpensive internet plan, so their team designed an Internet Plan with a download speed of 512kbps for a USD 5.99 monthly contract.
My role in this project was UX Researcher along with Bedalinda M. Peguero in a team of 11 talents.
Our first impression was that 512kbps seemed to be ridiculously slow; today's websites demand a higher bandwidth speed to make the most straightforward tasks.
We observed cultural behavior and noticed that low-class users, despite their income, were hugely influenced socially by the internet. The internet has a significant impact on how they see entertainment and education.
"We want to improve people's lives, not slow them down."
But a slow cheap internet connection is better than nothing?
Top products they use:
We found out that 76% of users do not have internet at their homes. So, how do they use the internet at all?
Well, in low-class communities, there are a few businesses called "Cybercafe," they are businesses that rent the internet and charge users per hour of usage. It's usually filled with game consoles, T.V.'s, and computers, the price may vary from USD 0.30 to USD 0.50 per hour depending on if you're renting a console or just a computer.
And yes, they are paying rent per hour to play online video games.
Considering that the average speed on the Cybercafe is 30mbps, is 512kbps enough? We made a controlled experiment with 12 users and asked them to do things they usually do on a computer but, without telling them we throttled the speed to 512kbps.
512kbps is not enough; it will be better to keep using the Cybercafe.
"512kbps is the minimum speed for the internet to do something. And it is a frustrating experience in a world that goes at the speed of light."
Because of the "Cybercafe" experience, their mental model demands a higher internet speed.
So, if 512kbps is not enough, what will be enough? Let's enlist the numerous websites the users visit and talk to the big brothers. What is the minimum speed for an optimal experience for them?
We were sad to found that these kids and young adults saw the internet as an entertainment tool. The internet can be a powerful learning tool and even creates job opportunities.
The internet can be an opportunity for a better life. We should not only bring a higher internet speed at an affordable price to our users but to repurpose its meaning in the head of our user.
"I want my children to succeed" -Parent Quote
"I want my children to have the education that I could not give to myself" -Parent Quote
"Internet is about doing the homework and entertainment" -Parent Quote
I believe that the internet can change life for the better, the internet brings a window of opportunities, opportunities that everyone should be able to take, it's a door of online education, earning opportunities and knowledge.
Let's do this. It's time for the communication team to join us. These were the results:
We manage to convince Claro to lower the price of Mbps when the speed was below a certain point, and we end up building an internet of 2mbps for USD 2.
Also, the communications team worked from our investigation and insights and built a campaign educating fathers and children about how the internet can improve their lives.
We received a lot of positive feedback with the campaign and the internet plans, ranking up the reputation of the brand. We educated more than 3 million users, and converted more than five hundred thousand sales.Go Back to: Work