The application that I want to design is intended to promote food justice, more specifically to allow the group of low-income people to eat fresh and nutritive food more often, thereby improving the health of American people. On the other hand, reducing the food waste problem in grocery stores. So the app allows users to buy promotional food directly from their nearby grocery stores with a cheaper price. For grocery stores, the app helps them to dispose the intraday perishable fresh products instead of tossing them away. In this essay, I’d like to talk about the mobility, social interaction, privacy and accessibility concerns in my deign.
One of the main concerns of a smartphone app is its mobility. Masao Kakihara and Carsten Sorensen defined mobility is “a transformation of our social lives combining new and old technologies” (2001, p33) Because of the app is a mobile phone based app, I believe that a smartphone is the most typical mobile item in people’s lives. The mobile phone technology couldn’t be addressed as a new technology nowadays. However, a smartphone based app could be a new technology. Like Kakihara and Sorensen defined mobility, the app I designed combined new and old technologies and transformed people’s social lives. It allows more people to live in health and saved food at the same time.
The app also provides users a connection with social interaction. First of all, again, the app is running on a smartphone, and has to be work with social media network, anything related to network equals directly related to thousands of other network users. Online interactions have less limitation than offline interactions, thereby the online interactions promotes social interaction happens. Like Lee Humphreys claimed in the article “Connecting, Coordinating, Cataloguing: Communicative Practices on Mobile Social Networks” that “mobile interactions with social networks are those social interactions centered on connecting or communing with people through mobile media” (2012, p.495). My app users could leave comments and rate under each grocery stores, new customers would know the advantages and disadvantages according to the higher credibility customer’s comments. Also users can link and share any promotion information page to their friends on different contact apps.
In addition to privacy concerns, in the case of the app has to use with network and GPS function, the privacy concerns could be a serious problem for this app. people might have the part of concerns about the app that it will acquire users location and credit card information in order to buying online. New users have to create a username and password to access the app, and later on the credit card information to make the payment, user also are welcome to use their other social account to log on, such as Facebook and Twitter, etc. Thus, the app will be able to get more customers information. In the article “The Public Domain: Social Surveillance in Everyday Life”, author Alice E. Marwick mentioned that “Most social media users are less concerned with government or corporations watching their online activities than key members of their extended social network, such as bosses or parents” (Marwick and boyd 2011, p379). True, I agree with what Marwick’s point, so when I designed this app, even though there could be users information disclosed to company, social surveillance problem doesn’t exist in this app. In order to avoid the social surveillance, I didn’t design the “friends” function, users are not allowed to friend each other and trace people they are connected to through the app. on the one hand it is because of the privacy concerns; on the other hand, I don’t think it is necessary to set up a “friends” function on a saving money shopping app. An ordinary people wouldn’t be interested in which grocery stores their friends went and what promotion their friends involved in.
The app will be download for free and could run on both IOS and Android system, also has website to allowed non-smartphone users to access. But there is still accessibility limitation of the app, the app only works with smartphone users and computer users, even though these are two huge groups of people but there are still exceptions. About the accessibility of the function of the app, I believe it is easy accessible. “It is common practice for Websites that have separate desktop and mobile versions to detect and redirect mobile visitors to the desktop site to the mobile site (and visa versa). This is good practice- it makes the mobile visitor aware the existence of a mobile site, but visitors needs to be given a choice” (Soederquist 2012). My app does have both desktop and mobile version which enables users to choose their favorite. Soederquist also argued that “As a best- practice accessibility-enhance website, the content should usually short and to the point” (2012). When using the app, for each product listed on the app will first contains the price and left quantities and for “more detail” link will show users nutrition the food contains. There wouldn’t be many confusing information and images to show.
All in all, it is an easy accessible smartphone app helps address the food justice issue in the society. It benefits both customers and grocery stores. It has inevitable privacy problem, but it is in the acceptable range. The app contains online social interaction but not like some social communicate app has social surveillance issue.
Kakihara, Masao & Sorensen, Carsten. (2001). Expanding the ‘Mobility’ Concept. SIGGROUP Bulletin, 22(3), 33-37.
Humphreys, Lee. (2012). “Connecting, Coordinating, Cataloguing: Communicative Practices on Mobile Social Networks,” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 56:4, 494-510
Marwick, Alice. (2012). “Public Domain: Surveillance in everyday life.” Surveillance & Society. 9(4): 378-393
Soederquist. (2012). “Why mobile Web accessibility matters- best practices to make your mobile site accessible” from mobiForge