University of Michigan
India is currently at the precipice of immense social and technological change. The proliferation of smartphones and growth of the nation's app economy raise questions about how digital platforms might influence the contours of love, sex, and desire in the region in the coming decades. This paper engages with these concerns by examining what it means to design intimate connection for LGBTQ communities in non-western spaces. Drawing on fieldnotes, app walkthroughs, interviews with mid-level and upper-level professionals in the dating app space as well as audiovisual material from advertising archives, this paper provides readers with a critical analysis of the “problem” of designing queer connection in a digital world of abundant data and transient identities. Carefully examining the production practices of Delta, India's first locally produced LGBTQ dating app I argue that there is a pressing need for scholarship on industry dynamics beyond western technology centers....
ELIZABETH A. KELLEY
ILLUME Advising, LLC
AMANDA E. DWELLEY
ILLUME Advising, LLC
Case Study—This case draws on work in the energy efficiency industry where many utilities rely on data-driven insights and decision-making to encourage consumers to adopt energy-saving products and behaviors. In this highly regulated industry, utility staff must show value through big data, and studies often rely exclusively on quantitative data analytics to create behavioral models to explain or predict behavior. However, purely data-driven research often fails to answer questions about why customers behave a certain way, and what product or program managers and marketers can do about it. In this case study, the team from ILLUME Advising LLC (ILLUME), a research consultancy in the clean energy industry, illustrates how their cross-functional team paired qualitative and quantitative research on residential home energy use. The case study draws on an exploratory market and segmentation study for an electric utility interested in engaging customers...
by DAN PODJED, University of Ljubljana
Sustainability & Ethnography in Business Series, Mike Youngblood, Editor
When we think of technology and innovation responses to global warming, we tend to imagine grand solutions that address the problem on a massive scale. For many ethnographers, designers in industry and other solution seekers, this makes the challenge of sustainability daunting, something we can't imagine pursuing in our day-to-day practice.
However, we can make a significant impact with relatively simple solutions, especially if they are tailored to local lifestyles and take into account habits, routines, practices, requirements and expectations of the people. This was the approach of the DriveGreen project, which was launched in 2014.
The initial plan for DriveGreen was to prepare a simple and affordable smartphone app for drivers of passenger cars. It was supposed to operate much like Toyota’s iPhone app A Glass of Water, which determines and visually communicates how economical, safe, and environmentally...