In this presentation Stephanie Rieger talks about how the web is accessed and used in emerging economies in Africa and Asia and why mobile plays a dominant role in developing countries:
From a developed economy point of view this is very intriguing. Though mobile devices already dominate the market in developed economies and mobile-first is the dominant design approach for new websites and apps in industrialised countries as well, we still basically assume that sitting in front of a desktop device is the most common usage setting for our carefully crafted apps. The way things work in emerging economies is in stark contrast to that. In these environments mobile is not just the most dominant but often the only way of accessing the web and this leads to apps and websites that are vastly different from services offered in developed countries.
Moreover, approaches for retrieving information and getting things done in emerging markets seem to be much more makeshift and ad-hoc, which gives rise to more flexible and more agile usage patterns. This is definitely something businesses, designers and developers in industrial countries can learn a lesson from.