Ubuntu: Designing for a good purpose

Canonical

on 27 January 2012

Tags: Design

Ubuntu is the world’s most popular open-source operating system for phones, tablets, PCs, and TVs. It is used by more than 20 million people in over 240 countries  – and it has been translated into more than 80 languages. From schools in Andalusia to the French police force and rural communities in India, everyone who uses it loves it.

The main goals of the Ubuntu design team are to make Ubuntu appealing, usable and accessible on PCs, mobile devices and, both through these devices and through our web and cloud solutions, to make technology available for everybody.

Access to technology is a human right

On September 22, 2012, respected British newspaper The Guardian warned that, due to bank closures, many people in the UK will soon struggle to access basic financial services. Altogether, around 1,200 communities are likely to be affected by the coming closures, with many more expected to follow in the next five years. As their populations grow older, travelling to the next town will become impractical for many of these people. Instead, they will have  to go online.

Communication technologies play crucial roles elsewhere, too. In 2010, the Arab Spring led to revolutions in several North African countries, the protests spreading fast, as ordinary people were mobilised through social networks. And mobile phones play an important role in rural Africa, providing basic services like healthcare information and weather forecasts.

We believe access to technology is not just a luxury. It is, as these examples demonstrate, essential for satisfying basic human needs today. That’s why we consider it a human right.

Designing amazing experiences

Working in or with the Ubuntu design team means creating engaging and impactful products. We design experiences for mobile devices, desktop PCs, laptops and TVs, alongside web and cloud-based services. Fundamentally, we believe that these technologies do not need to be expensive to be useful, usable, beautiful and accessible.

Designing for Ubuntu involves  many things. But above all, designing for Ubuntu means enabling basic human rights. Designing for Ubuntu is designing for a good purpose.

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