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Building Inclusive and Accessible Tools for Workers in Developing Regions

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Through WOVO, our flagship technology, we provide an ecosystem of tools for factory workers, suppliers, and brands. We provide a mobile application for workers to learn, share feedback, report problems, and get company updates easily. WOVO is currently in the hands of over 1.5 million workers across 36 countries.

In this blog post, we will explain how WOVO is making a difference by providing inclusive and accessible technology to factory workers in developing regions.

The Reality: The great majority of workers have access to smartphones + the internet

One of the concerns we regularly hear is: "Do workers in developing regions have access to the internet and a smartphone?" Here are some facts about Southeast and South Asia, the regions where most of the world's manufacturing units are located;

· More than 3 in 4 people [Source] in Southeast Asia have access to the Internet and over 88% have access to smartphones [Source].

· South Asia has a mobile cellular subscription rate of 85% [Source] and is expected to be at 80% smartphone penetration by 2025 [Source].

For most manufacturing workers in the region, the real accessibility problems stem from slow internet speed, the affordability of data, and digital literacy.

Building Inclusive and Accessible Technology

To make our technology more accessible to factory workers, our design team has built a mobile application that requires limited data and phone memory, while our implementation team works with employers to ensure access to Wi-Fi. We prioritize managing the size of data and use data compression techniques to reduce data usage and cost for users.

WOVO is also not limited to Android and iOS mobile applications, but also accessible via QR codes and web links. Many functions are also accessible via SMS, Voice messaging, offline, onsite kiosks, and through third-party applications such as WeChat and WhatsApp. This helps reach as many workers as possible and be inclusive.

Simplifying the user interface + content

We use a minimalist and intuitive design for workers to understand and navigate easily. We design WOVO's interface and contents using icons, images, colors, and animations to convey information and guide users. WOVO also provides audio, video, and interactive options in its engagement so that we can serve illiterate workers and those with accessibility difficulties.

Our eLearning content for workers uses simple and clear language avoiding jargon and technical terms. We created culturally ambiguous characters that help users and guide them through their learning journey.

Supporting multiple languages for inclusion

In countries with high numbers of migrant workers, we have also seen that not all workers are comfortable or proficient in the official language of the country they are in. WOVO and our eLearning lessons are available in over 26 languages, including major languages in Asia such as Tamil, Chinese, Indonesian, and Vietnamese. Users can easily switch language preferences within the app.

Providing relevant and personalized information and services

Depending on location, gender, age, industry, and skill sets, factories and workers all have unique needs. As regulatory requirements and risks are dependent on these myriads of factors, it is important to provide updated, relevant and targeted information to workers.

Labor Solutions couples its technology with an experienced advisory team that helps brands and suppliers customize the eLearning lessons and information that is available on WOVO. Through WOVO, the targeted information and personalized lessons can be sent to the targeted workers based on their profiles - ensuring workers are well engaged.

A tool that is in the hands of more workers than any other tool in the industry

By making our technology inclusive and accessible, we have been able to reach more workers than any other tool in the industry. We understand that not all workers have access to the internet or smartphones, which is why we also believe in on-the-ground interaction for the ‘last-mile’ users.

Our commitment to making technology easy for workers has enabled us to push the number of workers who can access WOVO to improve their lives. This takes us a step further in achieving our mission of improving the lives of workers.


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