While connectivity and mobile coverage are improving rapidly every day, millions of people around the world still live outside the range of mobile internet networks.
Millions more bounce in and out of network connectivity when on the go. Wi-Fi access may also be scarce or the cost of mobile data prohibitive. In Uganda, for example, internet access can cost nearly 11% of monthly expenses. People living in areas with high-priced networks regularly turn off mobile data to control costs. From our research, we see that people around the world regularly go offline, whether in Lagos or Los Angeles, intentionally or unintentionally.
During our many immersion travels in NBU countries, we were able to experience firsthand the pain many NBUs face when contending with unreliable or unavailable internet while using devices and apps. (See Immersion). This led us to develop a set of material guidelines and strategies to help the ecosystem build apps that function seamlessly in intermittent and offline states so that the NBUs can continue to tap the benefits of the internet without needing near-constant connectivity.