What Is? Needs Finding
California’s Latino population aged 25-35 have the lowest voting turnout of 23.4%, compared to the national average of 40%. We dedicated our effort to identifying the pain point of this demographic more precisely.
After conducting three-level user research interviews, we gathered feedback from influencers (politicians or experts with relevant knowledge), office workers, and street workers. By using an ethnographic approach, we revealed that the biggest pain points for our demographic was an absent sense of belonging and an uncertainty that their voice would be heard. We identified the fundamental behavioral changes that had to occur to rebuild trust between citizens and politicians, leading us to develop our outreach strategy.
What If? Value Proposition
Obama’s We The People
In 2011, The White House started “We The People,” a web initiative that allows Americans to draft digital petitions on a range of issues. President Obama promised to consider any petition that garnered 5000 or more signatures within thirty days of being posted.
Iceland's Crowdsourced Its New Constitution
Following the massive social unrest from Iceland’s 2008 banking collapse, the country's political landscape changed drastically. In the fall of 2012, Iceland elected a 25-member Constitutional Advisory Council from more than 500 candidates, sought feedback through social media sites, and drafted a new constitution based on that input. The document was approved by a national vote in November of 2012.
LATINOS ARE ACTIVE ON ONLINE COMMUNITY
• 34% of Instagram users are Hispanic, a much higher percentage than their white counterparts at 21%
• Hispanic 18-34 year-olds spent an average of twelve hours per week playing online video games, while non-Hispanics spent an average of nine hours per week
What Wows? Testing & Validation
Through continual ideation and assumption testing, we realized the key to voter engagement within the Latino community was building a trustworthy platform, thus allowing transparent conversations between users and influencers. The following is a sample of our process documentation:
From our research, we learned the cultural significance of a community within our target demographic. The key was to design a platform that triggered the emotions of our end users and empowered them to feel their participation on this platform could really benefit their community, reinforcing that their collective voice could be heard by influencers and politicians. In order to achieve such an ambitious goal, our team went through eight rounds of prototyping process and repeat user testing procedure with end users.
What Works? Solution
We introduced Fote, a thirty-day digital experience that allows direct conversation between users and politicians.
This experience utilizes the civic engagement methodology. The application will launch exactly 30 days prior to election day. Every day, the user is assigned a specific task that is relevant to the daily Latino living experience: housing, immigration, education, minimum wage, etc. Users are encouraged to respond to the task through photo, caption, and current policies survey. Upon uploading the daily image, the user is then able to see his/her image on the communal image wall, and see how others in the community have responded to this particular issue. By exposing users to the responses of their whole community, the platform not only triggers the daily action of taking a photo, but also promotes discussion among friends and family afterward. Such transparent political conversation is exactly what we hoped to achieve.
As the user returns to the app each day, he or she will land on an "influencers' response" page, which features a curated response from either a politician or a local well-respected community leader addressing the issues trending in the public’s voice, thus highlighting the important element of civic engagement.
The following is the information architecture chart for Fote. The highlighted yellow sections, response and result, are where we intended to deliver strong community bonding and an empowering experience.
And? Next Step
Based on the five-month interdisciplinary, in-depth research, design, prototype, and user testing program, the Fote project focuses its solution on user desirability and technological feasibility. We are confident that the solution is scalable and has made an impact within our target group.
In the meantime, if the team continues development of this project, we will be analyzing the viability of their solutions, and will measure whether or not the current model is financially sustainable in the market.