Engaging students in public policy conversations
Interaction Design, Design Research
North Carolina State University
Can we use the commons to discover and explore alternative ways to connect with citizens?
This investigation was in response to a request from the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) to rethink the IEI Commons, a public engagement space and information portal in Hunt Library on NC State’s campus. IEI is a non-partisan public policy organization whose mission is to “identify new ways to educate and engage our citizens and to help them solve problems and recognize the importance and necessity of their participation.”
As a class we conducted research into topics relevant to IEI such as hybrid spaces, portals, storytelling, community, and emerging technologies. We also explored ways to incorporate play, presence and participation in the IEI Commons through a series of low-fi prototypes. Pairing this information with my own user research, I developed a design proposal with the overall objective to discover new ways to connect with citizens, especially the 18-30yo demographic.
My proposal was two-fold: 1) establish new access points for citizens by creating a mobile-friendly website and a low-fi, “pop-up” gallery in the Commons; and 2) explore the potential for simple language and alternative medias, such as memes or emojis, to encourage participation. These strategies would help IEI understood new ways to engage a younger demographic, and potentially inform the future redesign of the physical space and digital infrastructure.
Observations / AEIOU
Research through design
Task flow analysis
User experience mapping