News: Jessica Anderson collaborates with Spelman students to create Safer, a mobile app designed to encourage good Samaritan engagement in preventing sexual violence

Posted February 8, 2018

A transdisciplinary team at Spelman College's Innovation Lab, led by Jessica Anderson, will travel to Washington D.C. to feature their mobile app prototype at the HBCU Making & Innovation Showcase. Anderson is a Georgia Tech / GVU / Digital Media alumna (MS 2016) and Innovation Lab Assistant Director.

This timely app, called Safer, aims to give people a way to ask for low-stakes help in potentially dangerous social situations. The app is taking on the issue of sexual assault from a design perspective that focuses on early, easy to practice, social interventions in situations that can lead to sexual violence. It also motivates users to act on good intentions within local communities. 

It's an ambitious project, and Anderson acknowledges that "a project like this is going to take very thoughtful design, but if we proceed mindfully, and bring all of our skills and resources to bear on it, we may have a viable tool to help keep each other safer." 

The undergraduates taking on this community-serving challenge are: Kirsten Bray designing the user experience (Psychology, 2018), Amirah Husbands programming and designing the interactivity (Computer Science, 2019), and Lani Vereen as the lead engineer (Computer Science, 2020). 

The team has worked with feedback and advising from fellow GT alum and software developer AJ Kolenc and Atlanta digital agency Edgar Allan. They hope to engage GT's Digital Media faculty and students in the critique and iteration process.