Design Studies for a Financial Management System for Micro-credit Groups in Rural India

Information systems for micro-credit groups
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This paper describes the process of development of user interface to document each level of microfinance transactions and track the financial performance and credit of individual members and groups.

Further, the paper describes the design process and the results obtained in designing a user interface for managing community-based financial institutions. Some of the challenges that need to be overcome are:

  • Power connectivity and affordable computing devices;
  • Low literacy levels of self help group (SHG) members, as well as their unfamiliarity with technology.

The paper presents observations from the researchers' field visits to Aurangabad and Madurai in India, where they conducted more in-depth contextual studies and tested an interactive prototype. The paper describes the final design artifact and lists several important features that contributed to its success.

  • User's comfort level with tabular data and numeric literacy;
  • Usage of representational icons, iconic legends and color;
  • Minimizing of the number of tasks possible at one time makes it easier to comprehend a screen's overall purpose and structure.

The paper concludes that in the process of development of interface there is better understating of user's work processes, cognitive abilities and interaction preferences. In future there are plans to develop an interface with a paper-based template that leverages the user's familiarity and social work practices.

About this Publication

By Parikh, T., Ghosh, K. , Chavan, A.