deana brown

about deana

Deana Brown, PhD

I am currently a Researcher at Google. I obtained a Ph.D. from the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology where I designed, prototyped and studied social and ubiquitous technologies. My research spans Social Computing, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Ubiquitious Computing (Ubicomp), and Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD). My work has been based in emerging markets within the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa as well as within diaspora groups (immigrants and refugees) in the US.

I hold a Masters with a concentration in Human-Computer Interaction and a Bachelors degree in Computer Science.


HCI, social computing, transnational technologies, mobile and ubiquitous computing, cross-cultural research, emerging markets, ICT and Development (ICTD), domestic technologies

I am interested in the intersection of technology and global development. I design technologies with a 'heart' for emerging markets and underserved groups that address socioeconomic challenges through methods that seek to include and empower end-users.

ealry background

I am a native of Jamaica turn global citizen. I grew up in the south-central part of the island, May Pen, Clarendon. I started school at 2, fell in love with technologies at 8 and was enrolled full-time in college by 16. Because of this, I'm passionate about helping young people find and pursue their own passions from an early age. This desire fed into my dissertation work which was partly focused on creating technologies to help improve the outcomes for at-risk youth.

My passion to amass cross-cultural experiences has led me to travel to over 30 countries with longer term stays to live, work and/or study in five (including South Africa, Spain and the UK). My early life experiences and travels have made me uneasy about global disparities in information and communication technologies (ICT). Initiatives like open source software, mobile technology and free content, courses and services are a step in the right direction, making tools available to populations who otherwise could not have access to them. As ubiquitous technologies seep into non-traditional environments, this poses a challenge to our design thinking. For instance, the ability level and use of infrastructure may vary across borders providing crucial implications for the design of technologies that attempt to transcend boundaries. Worldwide we've come a far way but much still needs to be done to bridge this unfortunate gap.

world peace

South African township If you could build a system that resulted in world peace, but no one could use it ... it would be useless. Usability matters.
~ Dr. Juan E. Gilbert