Heard: Engaging with Democracy [Read more]
Heard is an app that promotes the views of young people, giving them a voice in political debate.
Heard is for young people who want positive change on issues they care about, but feel under-confident participating in politics, by providing a product that listens to them and promotes their views to people and organisations in power.
Public engagement with politics has declined with young people having the lowest election turnout. This leads to young people without a voice in political debate and their interests being underrepresented in a democratic society.
Primary and secondary research was used to fully understand the problem space. Methodologies included:
- Sampling Survey using a novel "Political Engagement Score".
- Eight interviews with participants from the target user group exploring their current behaviour, attitudes and pain points when engaging with politics
- An Online Graffiti Wall, collecting anonymous views on politics and voting.
- A Diary Study (see photo) with eight participants recording their experience around the 2021 local elections.
- A Service Safari of voting to get first-hand experience.
Key Insights and Opportunities
Research data was gathered, analysed and mapped using affinity maps, empathy maps and experience maps. Key Insights included:
- Many young people feel uninformed about politics and this contributes to an under-confidence and avoidance of engaging or talking about it.
- Young people do have issues they care about but feel unheard in politics and doubt they can influence real change.
- Young people are disappointed by the experience of voting that feels anti-climactic and unrewarding.
- Practical barriers and friction exist with young people perceiving registration and voting as unfamiliar, complex and inconvenient.
The UX vision statement articulated the opportunity:
There’s an opportunity for a product for politically disengaged young people who want to have agency on the political issues they care about but are unmotivated by anti-climactic voting experiences and feel like their lack of political knowledge invalidates them from participating.
Designing and Prototyping: The Experience
Key insights were used to generate multiple How Might We Statements; turning problems into opportunities. Design solutions were ideated through rapid individual and co-design sessions.
Concepts were developed and tested by experience prototyping them with participants. The experience was refined and iterated through role play.
The final experience was tested and validated in the creation of a low fidelity video prototype (see photo), depicting the full story of the user journey.
Designing and Prototyping: The Product
With a developed experience and user journey map established, site maps and user flows were created and iterated. Low fidelity paper wireframes (see photo) were created and tested with participants. To expand upon the content and functionality a low fidelity digital prototype was created and tested with seven participants.
Upon designing the high fidelity version, a visual identity was established, rooting the aesthetic decisions such as colour and typography in psychology and linking them to the experience design principles. A design system was created to speed up app design and allow easy iterative changes.
Throughout app design, usability heuristics and accessibility guidelines were referenced and followed.
Final Concept and Features
Heard is an app that allows young people to answer polls on issues they are passionate about. Results are aggregated and proactively sent to politicians and organisations relevant to the issue. The user feels like their views are being heard and those in power have regular statistical information regarding what young people value. Features include:
- Share your views in Polls, updated daily.
- Learn where others stand in Poll Results.
- Be heard; results sent to politicians and organisations.
- Follow the reactions and impact of Polls.
- Get informed with simple, balanced explainers for each issue.
User-centred designer with strong visual design skills and collaborative mindset
My background is in visual design; I have a first-class degree in Illustration where I developed strong visual communication and storytelling skills which I have applied to my practice ever since. Subsequently, I was a designer with 6 years of experience working in magazine publishing. Along with technical skills I have extensive experience collaborating in multi-disciplinary teams, remote working and meeting real-world deadlines.
Studying UX on this masters has given me so many new skills around research, analysis, ideation and prototyping. Most importantly, it's given me the opportunity to collaborate with other designers, all passionate about UX! A key achievement for me was being part of a team that was awarded a Graphite Pencil award in the D&AD New Blood awards.
I'm looking forward to continuing to learn more about UX and work within the industry with a focus on product design.
Heard: Engaging with Democracy
D&AD awarded our team a Graphite Pencil for our entry into the New Blood 2021 Spotify Brief, "Spotify Space".
A winning team in the Ford Fund Smart Mobility Challenge 2021 for our service design "Care Miles".
Shortlisted in Hubbub's Design by Nature Awards 2021 for my birdwatching app, "Avia".
Shortlisted in GenGame's smart meter data brief for my green home renovation app, "Dwell".
Team awarded runner-up Best Branding in the UXathon 2020.