“Charm,” a Personal Safety Smartphone App (iOS) for Young Women that Meiji Gakuin Students Helped Plan and Develop, is Now Available for Download

“Charm” is an app that contains recommended sources of advice for young women, along with information that will help them live safely and securely. The information includes easily understood summaries of methods for solving interpersonal problems, tips on surviving disasters or crimes, and places to obtain advice about all of these.

Based on a request from the Yokohama Association for the Promotion of Gender Equality, four students in department of International Studies who are taking associate Professor Yuriko Saito’s course in the department of Global and Transcultural Studies participated in the creation of this app as interns. They were involved in the project from June 2016, during the content-planning stage, to the app’s release in June 2017.

The student interns were each assigned to work on one category to be included in the app: disasters, crime, interpersonal relationships, and self-care. Their activities included formulating the target models for the app and writing newspaper articles.

Manami Hara, a third-year student in department of International Studies, explained, “We didn’t just put together content and functions simply for developing the app. We worked from the ground up, asking ourselves what kind of content our target users would need.”

For example, the “crime alarm” included in the app posits the risk that a female student walking home late at night might encounter a sexual predator.

Since this alarm is included in the app, it is much easier to carry around than a regular alarm.

Moeka Nakagawa, a third-year student in department of International Studies, said, “Developing the app improved my knowledge about disasters and crime, of course, but I also learned that it is necessary to acquire this kind of knowledge.”

Having learned the necessity through their involvement in its development, the students took special care with its design, so that as many young women as possible would want to download the app.

The students’ friends are supposed to have remarked that “The app looks really cute.”

“Charm,” a Personal Safety App for Young Women, is available as a free download from the following URL.

http://www.women.city.yokohama.jp/topics/4598.php(Japanese only)

From left: Moeka Nakagawa, Manami Hara, and Professor Yuriko Saito

The home screen of the app. The layout’s clarity makes information easy to find.