Building accessible technology

Social media has become one of the most broadly used technologies today, meeting two basic needs of humankind: staying connected with the people we love and sharing information without the screening of traditional media outlets. Like most things, these virtues can easily become a negative aspect, but leaving aside this debate, I believe that the greatest benefit of Twitter, Facebook or Instagram is how easy they are to use.

Twitter, Facebook or Instagram greatest virtue is how user-friendly they are.

A few years ago, technology innovation equaled hardware, and democratization could only be achieved when someone could buy a music player, a computer, a mobile phone or a tablet. We have moved from that phase and now almost any citizen has access to one of these smart devices, and technology progress now comes in the form of software, apps or platforms.

This has made people live with hundreds of web solutions every day, to help them achieve a specific task faster, but what should become an advantage to manage tasks, becomes a headache when someone does not know how to use it. This means that many companies cannot trade their products massively, because it can only be used by a specific type of people.

Social media

The people in Latin America uses social media to share their day-to-day with the world, but the use of corporate banking apps is not as widely spread, partly because of fear of data theft, and also because of how difficult it seems to be for a person to use online banking. It is easier for a grandfather from Colombia or Peru to make a direct live in Instagram than to request a government benefit in some official web platform.

This problem originated because apps did not have multidisciplinary teams, and innovation is built only from the IT staff point of view, who fails to see that the rest of the world does not have the technical knowledge that possess. Today, there are models where developers can work side by side with business “Thinkers”, as only by enabling NON IT people within a company to build applications, user-friendly technology for anyone can become a reality.

Having innovation that can only be used by a certain profile creates a gap, a delay just as important as an economic downturn. We cannot claim to be a modern and innovative society if what we build cannot be used by everyone. We cannot make the mistake of turning innovation into an element that can only be understood by an elite, when the opposite should be the norm: use technology to balance society and empower everyone with technological knowledge.

I look forward to the technology industry’s becoming a democratizing flagship, just like when it all started. If this does not happen, we will never be able to build a true digital society and we will keep having first- and second-class citizens. For my front, I will continue to build web solutions with my allied entrepreneurs that anyone can use or even create.

By: Pete Pizarro




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