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@cattsmall@cattsmall
Designing Socially Impactful
Digital Experiences
Beyond Tellerrand Düsseldorf 2016
Catt Small
@cattsmall@cattsmall
◇Product Designer, SoundCloud
◇Co-founder, Brooklyn Gamery
◇Co-founder, Code Liberation
◇Maker of var...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Technology, culture, design, and
improving society.
Today we’ll discuss:
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Technology:
the silver bullet?
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Technology has improved
quickly in the past century.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
8GB now vs. 5MB in 1956
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Technology changed
many things for us.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Travel
Credit: Paul Prescott via Shutterstock
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Communication
Credit: blog.mysms.com
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Healthcare & abilities
brykmantra on Flickr sherpaa.com
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Can it solve every problem?
@cattsmall@cattsmall
...Not really.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
It doesn’t work alone.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
People
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Why?
@cattsmall@cattsmall
We are problem solvers.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Makers
//random integer method.
Lorem.prototype.randomInt = function (min, max) {
return Math.floor(M...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Platitudes
The smartest in the
world!
The best work of
our lives!
The power to
change!
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Ego++
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Instant gratification
Now That's What I Call Music LLP
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Privilege
Yay!
@cattsmall@cattsmall
This is a bad combination.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Social media
Twitter
#OccupyWallStreet
#BlackLivesMatter
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Project Loon
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Healthkit
Apple
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Homeless Wifi hotspots
www.dailymail.co.uk
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Siri
Apple
@cattsmall@cattsmall
We all love technology and we all believe in its power. But we
are reminded by Putin’s domestic crack...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
We must modify the way we
think about tech.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
“change” “augment”
@cattsmall@cattsmall
“edge case” “failsafe”
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Designing for
social good
@cattsmall@cattsmall
The task
Create a project that affects the way
people think about and discuss an
important societal i...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Mean Girls (2004)
US sex ed
@cattsmall@cattsmall
The question
How can I give people comprehensive sex
education outside the school system?
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Books & curricula
@cattsmall@cattsmall
What I learned
Sex has many benefits – possibly more
than we know about right now.
The state of sex e...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Survey
@cattsmall@cattsmall
“Christian/Western guilt was
an issue.”
Survey respondent
@cattsmall@cattsmall
“I learned most things from
the internet.”
Survey respondent
@cattsmall@cattsmall
“Sex ed was a joke in
public school”
Survey respondent
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Goals
◇Reach people in college between ages
18 and 25
◇Allow audience to learn and
experiment without...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Mobile sex ed game
◇Phones are used for everything
◇Only source of internet access for
some
◇Less lik...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Competitive research
HappyPlayTime, Show Me Yours, and Sex Positive
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Curriculum
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Ideation
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Prototyping
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Story
@cattsmall@cattsmall
I did even more research.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Resident assistant survey
@cattsmall@cattsmall
@cattsmall@cattsmall
I started building.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Design goals
◇Friendly colors
◇App-like feeling
◇Realistic interaction design
@cattsmall@cattsmall
The result
SenseU, senseugame.com
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Testing
@cattsmall@cattsmall
“I like the texting interface.
It’s super cool and new!”
Playtester
@cattsmall@cattsmall
“The color scheme is very
soothing.”
Playtester
@cattsmall@cattsmall
“It felt like I was actually
interacting with someone.”
Playtester
@cattsmall@cattsmall
What’s next for SenseU
◇Continue building
◇More testing
◇Partnerships
@cattsmall@cattsmall
What I learned
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Be humble.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Assume nothing.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Do your research.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Design using data.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Embed yourself.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Listen to others.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Ask for help.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Test often.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Focus on augmentation.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Accept the slower pace.
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Wrap-up
@cattsmall@cattsmall
◇Tech can help, but it can't solve
problems by itself.
◇If a solution isn’t solved well, it can
have ...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
◇Do an ample amount of research
before, during, and afterward.
◇Embed yourself to gain context.
◇List...
@cattsmall@cattsmall
Thank you.
Questions?
Tweet @cattsmall
Email catt@cattsmall.com
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Designing Socially Impactful Digital Experiences

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Countless people in technology want to use their skills to help others. However, creating a digital product that improves society is harder than it sounds. The successful use of technology in new contexts requires more research, testing, and time than most would like to admit. Countless social good hackathons have been organized, yet many products created during these events fail to become anything more than a mention in a recap article.

In this talk, I described my process of creating SenseU, a mobile sex education game that utilizes a popular form of communication: instant messaging. Using my project as a case study, I highlighted ways that the current state of designing for social good can be improved. Attendees learned ways that technology can successfully help others as well as tips for launching an interactive experience created for social good.

Published in: Technology
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Designing Socially Impactful Digital Experiences

  1. 1. @cattsmall@cattsmall Designing Socially Impactful Digital Experiences Beyond Tellerrand Düsseldorf 2016 Catt Small
  2. 2. @cattsmall@cattsmall ◇Product Designer, SoundCloud ◇Co-founder, Brooklyn Gamery ◇Co-founder, Code Liberation ◇Maker of various things! A little about me:
  3. 3. @cattsmall@cattsmall Technology, culture, design, and improving society. Today we’ll discuss:
  4. 4. @cattsmall@cattsmall Technology: the silver bullet?
  5. 5. @cattsmall@cattsmall Technology has improved quickly in the past century.
  6. 6. @cattsmall@cattsmall 8GB now vs. 5MB in 1956
  7. 7. @cattsmall@cattsmall Technology changed many things for us.
  8. 8. @cattsmall@cattsmall Travel Credit: Paul Prescott via Shutterstock
  9. 9. @cattsmall@cattsmall Communication Credit: blog.mysms.com
  10. 10. @cattsmall@cattsmall Healthcare & abilities brykmantra on Flickr sherpaa.com
  11. 11. @cattsmall@cattsmall Can it solve every problem?
  12. 12. @cattsmall@cattsmall ...Not really.
  13. 13. @cattsmall@cattsmall It doesn’t work alone.
  14. 14. @cattsmall@cattsmall People
  15. 15. @cattsmall@cattsmall Why?
  16. 16. @cattsmall@cattsmall We are problem solvers.
  17. 17. @cattsmall@cattsmall Makers //random integer method. Lorem.prototype.randomInt = function (min, max) { return Math.floor(Math.random() * (max - min + 1)) + min; }; //text creator method with parameters: how many, what Lorem.prototype.createText = function(count, type) { switch (type) { //paragraphs are loads of sentences. case Lorem.TYPE.PARAGRAPH: var paragraphs = new Array; for (var i = 0; i < count; i++) { var paragraphLength =
  18. 18. @cattsmall@cattsmall Platitudes The smartest in the world! The best work of our lives! The power to change!
  19. 19. @cattsmall@cattsmall Ego++
  20. 20. @cattsmall@cattsmall Instant gratification Now That's What I Call Music LLP
  21. 21. @cattsmall@cattsmall Privilege Yay!
  22. 22. @cattsmall@cattsmall This is a bad combination.
  23. 23. @cattsmall@cattsmall Social media Twitter #OccupyWallStreet #BlackLivesMatter
  24. 24. @cattsmall@cattsmall Project Loon
  25. 25. @cattsmall@cattsmall Healthkit Apple
  26. 26. @cattsmall@cattsmall Homeless Wifi hotspots www.dailymail.co.uk
  27. 27. @cattsmall@cattsmall Siri Apple
  28. 28. @cattsmall@cattsmall We all love technology and we all believe in its power. But we are reminded by Putin’s domestic crackdown, the annexation of Crimea and the perpetual horrors in Syria, that technology is not a silver bullet answer to the world’s problems. It generates awareness, it gives us visibility, it offers enormous opportunity – but at the end of the day, the world is still run by states and their military apparatus. - Jared Cohen
  29. 29. @cattsmall@cattsmall We must modify the way we think about tech.
  30. 30. @cattsmall@cattsmall “change” “augment”
  31. 31. @cattsmall@cattsmall “edge case” “failsafe”
  32. 32. @cattsmall@cattsmall Designing for social good
  33. 33. @cattsmall@cattsmall The task Create a project that affects the way people think about and discuss an important societal issue.
  34. 34. @cattsmall@cattsmall Mean Girls (2004) US sex ed
  35. 35. @cattsmall@cattsmall The question How can I give people comprehensive sex education outside the school system?
  36. 36. @cattsmall@cattsmall Books & curricula
  37. 37. @cattsmall@cattsmall What I learned Sex has many benefits – possibly more than we know about right now. The state of sex education was caused by various influences over centuries.
  38. 38. @cattsmall@cattsmall Survey
  39. 39. @cattsmall@cattsmall “Christian/Western guilt was an issue.” Survey respondent
  40. 40. @cattsmall@cattsmall “I learned most things from the internet.” Survey respondent
  41. 41. @cattsmall@cattsmall “Sex ed was a joke in public school” Survey respondent
  42. 42. @cattsmall@cattsmall Goals ◇Reach people in college between ages 18 and 25 ◇Allow audience to learn and experiment without real consequences
  43. 43. @cattsmall@cattsmall Mobile sex ed game ◇Phones are used for everything ◇Only source of internet access for some ◇Less likely that families will interfere
  44. 44. @cattsmall@cattsmall Competitive research HappyPlayTime, Show Me Yours, and Sex Positive
  45. 45. @cattsmall@cattsmall Curriculum
  46. 46. @cattsmall@cattsmall Ideation
  47. 47. @cattsmall@cattsmall Prototyping
  48. 48. @cattsmall@cattsmall Story
  49. 49. @cattsmall@cattsmall I did even more research.
  50. 50. @cattsmall@cattsmall Resident assistant survey
  51. 51. @cattsmall@cattsmall
  52. 52. @cattsmall@cattsmall I started building.
  53. 53. @cattsmall@cattsmall Design goals ◇Friendly colors ◇App-like feeling ◇Realistic interaction design
  54. 54. @cattsmall@cattsmall The result SenseU, senseugame.com
  55. 55. @cattsmall@cattsmall Testing
  56. 56. @cattsmall@cattsmall “I like the texting interface. It’s super cool and new!” Playtester
  57. 57. @cattsmall@cattsmall “The color scheme is very soothing.” Playtester
  58. 58. @cattsmall@cattsmall “It felt like I was actually interacting with someone.” Playtester
  59. 59. @cattsmall@cattsmall What’s next for SenseU ◇Continue building ◇More testing ◇Partnerships
  60. 60. @cattsmall@cattsmall What I learned
  61. 61. @cattsmall@cattsmall Be humble.
  62. 62. @cattsmall@cattsmall Assume nothing.
  63. 63. @cattsmall@cattsmall Do your research.
  64. 64. @cattsmall@cattsmall Design using data.
  65. 65. @cattsmall@cattsmall Embed yourself.
  66. 66. @cattsmall@cattsmall Listen to others.
  67. 67. @cattsmall@cattsmall Ask for help.
  68. 68. @cattsmall@cattsmall Test often.
  69. 69. @cattsmall@cattsmall Focus on augmentation.
  70. 70. @cattsmall@cattsmall Accept the slower pace.
  71. 71. @cattsmall@cattsmall Wrap-up
  72. 72. @cattsmall@cattsmall ◇Tech can help, but it can't solve problems by itself. ◇If a solution isn’t solved well, it can have negative effects. ◇Privilege affects technology. In summary:
  73. 73. @cattsmall@cattsmall ◇Do an ample amount of research before, during, and afterward. ◇Embed yourself to gain context. ◇Listen to your target audience. ◇Accept that social change is slow. Advice:
  74. 74. @cattsmall@cattsmall Thank you. Questions? Tweet @cattsmall Email catt@cattsmall.com

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