Use Your Designer Superpowers for Good

It turns out that some of the most awesome uses of design and technology are things that many of us have never heard of, and will probably never need ourselves. For example, there’s an app that allows blind people to identify denominations of paper money by taking a photo. There’s an online service for inmates that lets them save up to 90% off the outrageously priced long distance calls from prison phones. And there’s even an organization that helps indigenous communities in Guyana track and report illegal logging and mining on their land using satellites and Google Earth. These are just a few examples of how design can be used to make people’s lives better. Designers naturally tend to focus on our own problems, because those are the ones we know (how many different apps are there to get food delivered to our front door?). But there are many problems in the world other than our own, and a little bit of design could go a long way toward making someone’s life easier.

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