What drives members of our Apptivist community to create an educational apps? The lack of existing apps educating the public about niche topics and causes is often a motivating factor. Sarah Prager, a 28-year-old lesbian, is the Founder & Director of Quist, a tool providing daily updates that summarize major landmarks and milestones of the queer community using a "this day in LGBTQ history" framework. We reached out to Sarah to take a look behind the creation and current use of the app. There are currently 800 historical events in the app and new events are being added every day.
TB: Did you create this tool to increase awareness? What drove you to create it?
SP: I wanted to do more than raise awareness. I want users to notice the trends they discover day after day in how things have gotten better. I want users to look up more information outside of the app and learn from strategies other activists used in the past. I want users to understand they are part of something bigger than themselves, something with a centuries-long tradition. I want users to feel part of a community by seeing themselves in the historical figures.
TB: Were there no other apps like it on the market?
SP: There was one app out at the time that was about LGBT history. It was a bunch of static text to read and there wasn't any way to interact. At first I wasn't going to make Quist because I saw there already was an app on the topic, but months later I realized I was trying to create something totally different and went ahead with it.
TB: What user feedback have you received, and what kind of impact have you had so far?
SP: Participant feedback forms show an increase in LGBT history knowledge and enthusiasm after the presentation. We've had over 21,000 downloads on Apple and Android across 100 countries in under two years. According to an in-app user survey, 82% of our users are in the US and Canada, while 97% identify as LGBT. Forty percent are age 24 and under. Twenty-six percent are 25-45, and 34% are over age 45.
TB: Did you work with a team of developers? If so, who?
SP: I worked with two developers from Web Adaptive in Baltimore, MD.
As part of the Quist initiative, Quist workshops have been given at the True Colors conference for LGBT youth in Connecticut and the Rural LGBT Youth Conference in Pennsylvania. Examples of Quist stories can be found here.