Understanding Human Intervention in the Platform Economy: A case study of an indie food delivery service

Samantha Dalal, Ngan Chiem, Nikoo Karbassi, Yuhan Liu, Andrés Monroy-Hernández

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


This paper examines the sociotechnical infrastructure of an "indie"food delivery platform. The platform, Nosh, provides an alternative to mainstream services, such as Doordash and Uber Eats, in several communities in the Western United States. We interviewed 28 stakeholders including restauranteurs, couriers, consumers, and platform administrators. Drawing on infrastructure literature, we learned that the platform is a patchwork of disparate technical systems held together by human intervention. Participants join this platform because they receive greater agency, financial security, and local support. We identify human intervention's key role in making food delivery platform users feel respected. This study provides insights into the affordances, limitations, and possibilities of food delivery platforms designed to prioritize local contexts over transnational scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2023 - Proceedings of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450394215
StatePublished - Apr 19 2023
Event2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2023 - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: Apr 23 2023Apr 28 2023

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software


  • food delivery
  • gig economy
  • infrastructure
  • scalability

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