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Contestant Centered Design: creative approaches to designing competitions


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Creativity is critical to solving complex problems, developing new strategies, facilitating innovation, and driving organizational change. NIST’s Public Safety Communications Research Division’s open innovation efforts focuses on advancing wireless communications for America’s first responders by leveraging expertise and innovative solutions through crowdsourcing and collaboration. Success relies on creating competitions that achieve NIST’s organizational goals, incentivize world class science, remove barriers to entry, and maximize participation. Not an easy equation to balance. This session will discuss how design tradeoffs are considered for a variety of competition elements as concepts develop into a competition and as competitions are implemented. The goal of this interactive session is to provide a behind-the-scenes view of our process, engage audience ideas, and dive into a discussion about crowdsourcing and contestant-centered design.

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Contestant Centered Design: creative approaches to designing competitions

  1. 1. Contestant Centered Design: creative approaches to designing competitions Crowd Sourcing Week October 2018
  2. 2. Balancing PointOrganizational Needs Contestant or Participant Needs Barriers to Participation Implementation Time & Resources Risks Others Elements
  3. 3. User Centered Design
  4. 4. Contestant Centered Design Contestant’s point of view Needs / desires of the contestants Design a solution Implement, assess, document, and validate
  5. 5. Challenge Life Cycle
  6. 6. Context & Examples • Overview of recent challenges hosted by NIST Public Safety Communications Research Division as context • Discuss an example of contestant centered design within this context
  7. 7. 7 Context #1 Public Safety Code: <X> • A public private partnership focusing coding and software expertise on the communications and technology challenges facing first responders and public safety professionals • Includes 10 specific technology contests, 10 unique regional events, with activities interspersed to engage and recruit contestants • Leads up to national final event • Estimated launch March 2019
  8. 8. • Contestant’s point of view • Ambiguous challenge • Needs / desires of the contestants • Clear, concise, approachable, broadly relatable • Design a solution • Expand multi disciplinary design teams to include sample contestants or other external SMEs • Implement, assess, document and validate • Focus group, workshop, collecting rankings, data, strengths, weaknesses, etc. Contestant Centered Design Example #1
  9. 9. 9 Context #2 Differential Privacy Synthetic Data Challenge • This 2-stage challenge is designed to create new or improve existing methods of data de-identification, in a way that makes de-identification of privacy- sensitive datasets practical and useful to the research community. • Prizes totaling $190k for 2-stages • Estimated stage 2 launch in October 2018
  10. 10. • Contestant’s point of view • How would our approach benefit from a multi – disciplinary partnership? • Needs / desires of the contestants • Existing community wants to partner with other communities with complimentary skills • Design a solution • Purposefully connect tangential communities, create opportunities for contestants to coordinate and collaborate • Implement, assess, document, and validate • Strategic assessment of communities, outreach and implementation approaches to encourage partnerships Contestant Centered Design Example #2
  11. 11. Context #3 & #4 Unmanned Aerial Systems Flight Time & Payload Challenge • This 3-stage challenge was designed to keep wireless communications equipment airborne at a set location for the longest time possible to support first responder missions. • 11 winners with prizes totaling $250,000 and $38,000 travel funds • The competition ran from 1/8/18 – 5/24/18 11
  12. 12. • Contestant’s point of view • Am I on track? • Needs / desires of the contestants • Interim feedback, Q&A, etc. • Design a solution • Regular check ins and standardized format • Implement assess, document, and validate • Keep track of contestants, document issues, close out pending requests Contestant Centered Design Example #3
  13. 13. • Contestant’s point of view • Barrier to participation – can I afford to join this? • Needs / desires of the contestants • Seed funding to get started • Design a solution • Cash prizes and other awards provided at each stage • Implement, assess, document, and validate • Steady stream of incentives, some pressure, and information on how to redesign in the future Contestant Centered Design Example #4
  14. 14. Context #5 Virtual Reality Heads-Up Display Navigation Challenge • This 4-stage challenge was designed to advance UI for first responders to complete navigational tasks. Contestants created a prototype heads-up display in a PSCR VR environment to evaluate the UI/UX and navigation capabilities. • 6 winners with prizes totaling $87,500 and $24,000 travel funds • The competition ran from 1/2/18 - 6/6/18 14
  15. 15. • Contestant’s point of view • What could I have done to perform better? • What can I do next? • Needs / desires of the contestants • Customized Feedback • Design a solution • Post challenge discussions • Implement, assess, document, and validate • Ideas, recommendations, etc. Contestant Centered Design Example #5
  16. 16. Craig Connelly Prize & Challenge Specialist • Reflect on your own process • How and when is the prospective of the contestant or participant integrated into your approach? • Does your process have the ability to use feedback from contestants or participants? • What are some ways that you are using that feedback? • How do you define your balancing point between contestant and organizational needs? • Share your experiences with us, we’re committed to continual improvement Conclusions