A Case Study for Sensitising Egyptian Engineering Students to User-Experience in Technology Design

Shaimaa Lazem
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are considered one of the promising pillars for Egypt's economic growth. Recent social responsibility initiatives aim at leveraging the potentials of ICT industry to achieve inclusive development. The current workforce is technically-oriented due to the rise of global outsourcing. There is a need for a workforce that is willing to engage with the bottom the pyramid as a potential market. Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) discipline puts the user in the heart of the design process, and thus it is argued that teaching HCI could build a capacity necessary to fulfil the workforce gap. HCI education is underrated by engineering students due to the way by which its courses are integrated in the Egyptian curriculum along with other inherited pedagogical challenges. Following the best practices of introductory HCI courses, an interactive two-weeks Winter School activity was designed for sensitising 31 engineering undergraduates to user-experience in technology design. The students' feedback, the instructor's reflections, and the implications on future offerings are presented.