Su voz, su decisión : data-driven system to support day laborers in making informed employment decisions

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2016-08

Authors

Narya, Shrankhla

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Abstract

Wage theft and worksite injury is a significant issue for day workers in Texas and across the nation. In Texas, where a majority of day laborers are undocumented and therefore more vulnerable, the most urgent issue that needs to be addressed is exploitation, which is often compounded by laborers’ lack of access to information about worker rights and employers’ reputations. In 2014 alone, 524 workers were documented to have been killed on their job site in Texas, while many deaths went unreported. And between 2010 and 2014, more than 40,000 Texan workers were victims of wage theft amounting to a total of more than $70 million.

Operating in the field of ICT (Information and Communication Technology), I hypothesize that access to both English- and Spanish-language information about worker rights and potential employers’ labor violation-related records can empower workers to make informed employment decisions that will increase their safety and prosperity. At a time when the field of design and advanced digital technologies can skew toward serving the privileged and elite of the society, I am using technology to help members of marginalized/disadvantaged communities use information to improve their economic condition and quality of life: in short, to effect social justice from the bottom up.

In my thesis project, Su Voz, Su Decisión, meaning your voice, your decision, I use the methodology of user-centered design to design a mobile app that provides a system of information access for day laborers in Austin. In this report, I will discuss the process of user experience (UX) design that I followed to design the solution, which is a mobile app for Android and iOS, and how I used physical data visualization to represent the data that helped me create the app.

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