Pairity

ideation → programming  |  app  |  purposeful design  |  physical computing

Pairity is a mobile application designed to help new couples move towards more equal distribution of time spent on household chores, while also establishing stronger, happier and more balanced relationships through mediated communication and awareness.

The app walks couples through conversations to clarify what is important in their home, understand their current allocation of household responsibilities, and establish goals. It then helps them remain cognizant with the aid of a physical module which functions in conjunction with their app.

Pairity is one instantiation of a technology designed with the promotion of gender equality integrated into the design process, seeking to prove that designing for gender equality is an inherently good design practice.




About the project:


THE PROBLEM

In couples in which both the man and the woman work full-time, on average, the woman does 17 hours of household chores each week while the man does fewer than 6.*

THE SIGNIFICANCE

It is difficult to imagine women being truly equal in the work place or in the world if they are not first equal at home.

THE CHALLENGES

This is not just a societal problem but also an interpersonal one. By interviewing couples I identified three main challenges:

VISIBILITY

Some chores are essentially invisible because you can't visually see when they have been done. This makes them hard to recognize unless you are actively looking for them.

PERCEPTION

Couples across the board underestimate the contribution their partner is making compared to what their partner thinks he or she is doing.

MOTIVATION

No one wants to do more chores and no one wants to be told they are not contributing. What will help couples see the value in forming a stronger, more equal relationship?

THE APPROACH

GRADUAL CHANGE

Habits aren't formed overnight. This process of change must be supported by an interface that encourages ongoing use.

COLLABORATION

Becoming more equal should not be a competition. Wherever possible the interface supports collaboration by deemphasizing comparison and promoting teamwork.

IMMEDIACY

The system must be easy and convenient to use in the time and place where it is needed.

FEEDBACK

Users are given personalized and positive feedback for accomplishing their goals through notifications, Easter eggs and their own partner.

* Robin Yapp, "Working women 'still do housework,'" Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ article-206381/Working-women-housework.html.



For more information and documentation of my process and research please visit my thesis blog.