Jim Thatcher, Ph.D. Candidate at Clark University (Geography) is seeking mobile application designers and developers for interviews.
Please contact him directly if you're interested in scheduling an interview.
New technologies are of profound importance in shaping a better world - so we need to consider all of the aspects that go into their construction.
If nothing else, last year removed any doubt as to mobile technology’s role as a potent force for social change. From the streets of Cairo to Zuccotti Park, people used mobile technology to communicate, coordinate, and act. With over 100 million smartphone users in the United States alone, mobile navigation and communication applications will continue to play a significant role in the world around us.
At the same time, applications are always delimited by their code. Left unseen and unconsidered by end-users, code has saturated our society. Seen as technical, value-neutral solutions to end-user needs, how decisions embedded in the code itself come to affect society are left unconsidered. Microsoft’s recent patent for GPS technology that automatically routes end-users away from neighborhoods deemed “unsafe”, for example, allows a private corporation, using private databases and algorithms, to functionally select what areas of a city are rendered visible and invisible. While we might argue the intentions of Microsoft’s patent, this same process occurs in all applications: limits, choices, and contingent processes shape the final outcome of applications, for good or ill.
My research goal is to open the “black box” of code construction by talking directly to designers and developers of mobile applications. By doing so, this research links what end-users can know with the decisions that went into the application’s development. The point is not to expose “evil” or “bad” intentions, as there are none, rather it is to help both developers and end-users understand the effects of their decisions, to help technology build a better world through conscious consideration.
I am looking for mobile application designer and developers to interview for this research. The interviews will be done at your convenience on your schedule.