Developing a runner’s app within the Ethiopian context

The Assela case

Ethiopia is one of the world’s leading nations in middle and long distance running. For young talented Ethiopian athletes, becoming a running champion is a unique career opportunity. For those who live in remote areas of Ethiopia it is still difficult to catch the attention of a talent scout and to have a chance of proving their running skills. In light of the rapid development of mobile technologies in East Africa, the Assela project carried the vision of supporting young running talents everywhere in Ethiopia through a new mobile app.

The app, which was developed from scratch through a user centered design process provides knowledge about running, support for personal training and community functions to share and compare their running performance and experience with others. Functionality and design were closely adjusted to local requirements in terms of locally available training options and equipment as well as languages and cultural attributes. The interactive prototype was developed by icebauhaus in 2013 and 2014 in close cooperation with the Usability Engineering Center of Ohm University Nuremberg (UEC) and Addis-based AhadooTec, with financial support by the Adi Dassler Foundation in Germany.

International Symposium: User Centered Software Development

With the support of CIM, icebauhaus invited IT developers to an interactive crash-course on state-of-the-art technologies and methods in the field of user centered software development in October 2014 in Addis Ababa. The aim of the workshop was for the participants to experience new state-of-the-art methods and to discuss with international and local experts, how current best practice from abroad can best be applied within and adapted to the Ethiopian context. Experiences from the Assela project development were included as knowledge transfer during the gathering.