Software Design For Mobile Devices A Fundamentally Humanist Endeavor

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Women have become a significant driver of the trend towards mobile. By Chia Hwu (Co-Founder & CEO, Qubop)

It is a busy time to work in mobile; a dramatic shift is underway. Some predict that mobile usage will eclipse the desktop by 2014. This new world dominated by small, portable and always-connected screens is merging the humanities and sciences like never before.

Like the original Renaissance, the mobile revolution is bringing together artists and designers with leaders in business and technology. We owe much of this movement to Apple, who blended powerful machines with intuitive interfaces. The result was a family of devices and applications that appealed to diverse audiences, including many people previously not targeted by technology companies. For the first time, design - the way an application looks, feels and moves - has become a primary attribute of software, rather than merely an afterthought. User expectations for interaction experiences have increased tremendously, and this demands a different way of thinking about applications.

Women have become a significant driver of the trend towards mobile. As of August, a third of mothers in the U.S. own a connected device, and 97% of those shopped from their tablets in the previous month. Mothers have become an especially focused mobile group; 51% of moms currently have at least one iOS device.

The Renaissance conference is designed to bridge design, development and business worlds in an inclusive atmosphere, giving rise to different conversations than would normally occur at technology events. Described as a "single-track firehose", the conference is structured as a series of panels, with each panel focusing on a single topic from multiple perspectives: creators, developers, artists and technologists.

I am one of the organizers of Renaissance, a mobile development conference with a very nontraditional format coming January 2013. My duty as part of the team is to moderate a panel of mobile experts as a mobile insider. And by bringing these different voices together, we hope to synthesize new perspectives on app development, and encourage new cross-disciplinary relationships.

As a female founder of a company in the technology industry, it is refreshing to be part of a group that sees software design as a fundamentally humanist endeavor. We'll be featuring some fascinating women speakers, like Brenda Chapman, director of Pixar's Brave. Advance tickets for Renaissance are on sale now, and I hope you'll come and be part of the conversation!

Women 2.0 readers: Are you dabbling at the intersection of mobile and technology? Let us know in the comments.

Photo credit: Sean Hobson on Flickr. About the guest blogger: Chia Hwu is co-founder of Qubop. Before Qubop, she was Director of Marketing and Developer Outreach at Ansca Mobile. Chia previously worked at the Google-funded 23andMe, where she built the company's user communities, using a network of enthusiastic users to successfully launch a new product. In addition, she created a new business line with niche customers of the service, and managed some of the earliest efforts in marketing genetics to consumers. Follow her on Twitter at @chiah.