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¿¡TENEMOS VOZ!?
Measuring citizen engagement in Argentina
Martín Szyszlican
@martinszy
www.martinszyszlican.com
Congreso I...
1. Introduction and political context
2. Will NGOs use our PMO?
3. Did we just make 200.000 argentinians
question their vo...
So what is this Argentina you're
talking about? A personal perspective.
● 45M people
● Independence from
Spain in 1810/6.
...
What was happening when I started
thinking?
● 76' to 83' military
coup 30k dead.
● '84 "never more"
trials.
● 91' military...
Do I have a future?
● I had 15. Biggest
economic crisis in 2001.
● I saw the president resign
and run away in a
helicopter...
The congress around 2009
Interesting projects and debates.
● Media reform. Licenses handled by military.
● Gay rights. Inc...
Will NGOs use our PMO?
Can user research help us improve the
parliamentary process?
Redesigning the legislative UX
Or is it citizen experience?
Positive points
● Valuable information for all citizens.
● Pro...
Website for the national congress (2009)
Index of voting records, by period, using a flash movie.
Index of vote events for a period
Voting record in PDF
Defining key concepts: Mental Model
"The models people have of
themselves, others, the
environment. People form mental
mod...
Defining key concepts: Persona
"User models, or personas,
are detailed, composite user
archetypes that represent
distinct ...
Understanding users
Quotations from our interviews
● Talk directly to users (7 interviews)
● Observe them use the site
Tom...
Conclusions: First research round
● We enjoyed the research method and
thought it was useful.
● We had a hard time getting...
Second research round
On getting it right
● New personas hypothesis
● Five more interviews
Ricardo "the researcher" Juliet...
Interface design and usability
What tools do we need to build?
● Understanding activity
● Understanding actionability
How ...
View of a bill and voting
The "what can I do?" section for every bill
We performed
● 5 usability tests with NGOs
● 2 co-design sessions with designers and
journalists.
Results:
● Improved lang...
Conclusions
How do we know we are delivering what
they need?
Ensuring the match between the interface
model and the user m...
Did we just make 200.000
people question their vote?
With just a simple game.
Elegilegi or Pick-a-rep
How many people did we affect?
Stats for July 24th, 2013 - August 18th, 2013. Primaries where on August 11th.
Trends can be hidden by granularity
<- Weekly
Interest decreases as
election day
approaches.
<- Daily
Google Analytic's
de...
And how can I say it made them
question their vote?
"When it comes to deciding a
vote, a useful and fun instrument
is the ...
Is the city council
opening up?
Experimenting with DemocracyOS
in Buenos Aires
Demos, based in DemocracyOS
New forms of citizen participation in city council
How was the experiment?
Phase 1
Citizens ranked 16 projects by how interested
they were in voting them. 3 were selected.
P...
Measures of citizen participation
● 20.000 users.
● 2.400 votes cast.
● 700 comments.
● Project authors engaged in
social ...
Current status
● The most voted project reached committee
debate after being frozen for two years.
● Users suggestions are...
Final words
● UX research and evaluation is a good way of
ensuring user acceptance of tools.
● Web analytics are a good wa...
Thanks.
@martinszy
@CongresoInterac
Let's have a conversation.
Congreso Interactivo, Elegilegi and DEMOS  - Presentation at TICTeC
Congreso Interactivo, Elegilegi and DEMOS  - Presentation at TICTeC
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Congreso Interactivo, Elegilegi and DEMOS - Presentation at TICTeC

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Three cases of citizen participation through technology and three different research methods used to understand impact.

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Congreso Interactivo, Elegilegi and DEMOS - Presentation at TICTeC

  1. 1. ¿¡TENEMOS VOZ!? Measuring citizen engagement in Argentina Martín Szyszlican @martinszy www.martinszyszlican.com Congreso Interactivo @CongresoInterac www.congresointeractivo.org
  2. 2. 1. Introduction and political context 2. Will NGOs use our PMO? 3. Did we just make 200.000 argentinians question their vote? 4. Is the Buenos Aires city council opening up? 5 minutes for each topic, and then a conversation. What are we going to cover?
  3. 3. So what is this Argentina you're talking about? A personal perspective. ● 45M people ● Independence from Spain in 1810/6. ● Small amount of native americans. ● 24 democratically elected presidents. ● 5 military coups in 20th century. ● Currently 32 years of democracy.
  4. 4. What was happening when I started thinking? ● 76' to 83' military coup 30k dead. ● '84 "never more" trials. ● 91' military pardoned. ● Privatized state companies. ● Double digit poverty. ● IMF rules the country.
  5. 5. Do I have a future? ● I had 15. Biggest economic crisis in 2001. ● I saw the president resign and run away in a helicopter. ● I start working for the web, I wanted to follow web standards. ● It took me until 2009 to realize I'm a citizen and I had my share of responsibility.
  6. 6. The congress around 2009 Interesting projects and debates. ● Media reform. Licenses handled by military. ● Gay rights. Inclusion should be for everyone. ● Nationalizations. Privatizations failed. ● Progressive taxes and retirement. People started to take notice.
  7. 7. Will NGOs use our PMO? Can user research help us improve the parliamentary process?
  8. 8. Redesigning the legislative UX Or is it citizen experience? Positive points ● Valuable information for all citizens. ● Processes that claim to represent all citizens. Opportunities ● Accessibility ● Mediated and biased access. ● Paths of action are hard to discover.
  9. 9. Website for the national congress (2009)
  10. 10. Index of voting records, by period, using a flash movie.
  11. 11. Index of vote events for a period
  12. 12. Voting record in PDF
  13. 13. Defining key concepts: Mental Model "The models people have of themselves, others, the environment. People form mental models through experience, training, and instruction." - Don Norman
  14. 14. Defining key concepts: Persona "User models, or personas, are detailed, composite user archetypes that represent distinct groupings of behaviors, attitudes, aptitudes, goals, and motivations observed during the Research phase." Alan Cooper
  15. 15. Understanding users Quotations from our interviews ● Talk directly to users (7 interviews) ● Observe them use the site Tomás "the party member" Luly "the citizen" ● "I already know how to vote and who to follow" ● "My party informs me of the new laws they are planning to pass" ● "I listen to the radio" tv or newspapers also. ● "I don't look for information about the congress"
  16. 16. Conclusions: First research round ● We enjoyed the research method and thought it was useful. ● We had a hard time getting the volunteers to actually perform the interviews. ● Our hypothetical personas were wrong. ● All citizens are not interested. ● Politized citizens already their communication channels.
  17. 17. Second research round On getting it right ● New personas hypothesis ● Five more interviews Ricardo "the researcher" Julieta "the committed citizen" ● "we want to show the congress is empty, that no one is there fighting for your rights" ● "they make it confusing so its hard to access" ● "I went to the radio and formed an association to change the law" ● "It took me five years to understand how to do it"
  18. 18. Interface design and usability What tools do we need to build? ● Understanding activity ● Understanding actionability How do we know they work? ● User testing in controlled settings ● Task-oriented measuring of failures
  19. 19. View of a bill and voting
  20. 20. The "what can I do?" section for every bill
  21. 21. We performed ● 5 usability tests with NGOs ● 2 co-design sessions with designers and journalists. Results: ● Improved language in many areas ● Added information based on requests ● Clarified the homepage introduction Usability of the PMO
  22. 22. Conclusions How do we know we are delivering what they need? Ensuring the match between the interface model and the user mental model is the key. Will they use it? They said they would, and we have 100 users a day.
  23. 23. Did we just make 200.000 people question their vote? With just a simple game.
  24. 24. Elegilegi or Pick-a-rep
  25. 25. How many people did we affect? Stats for July 24th, 2013 - August 18th, 2013. Primaries where on August 11th.
  26. 26. Trends can be hidden by granularity <- Weekly Interest decreases as election day approaches. <- Daily Google Analytic's default view can hide some information. <- Hourly Peak of 4600 sessions in one hour occurred at midnight, 9 days before the elections
  27. 27. And how can I say it made them question their vote? "When it comes to deciding a vote, a useful and fun instrument is the Elegilegi.org game" - Horacio Verbitsky, human rights activist, director of the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS)
  28. 28. Is the city council opening up? Experimenting with DemocracyOS in Buenos Aires
  29. 29. Demos, based in DemocracyOS New forms of citizen participation in city council
  30. 30. How was the experiment? Phase 1 Citizens ranked 16 projects by how interested they were in voting them. 3 were selected. Phase 2 Citizens debated and voted 3 projects. Phase 3? The reps haven't voted on the projects yet.
  31. 31. Measures of citizen participation ● 20.000 users. ● 2.400 votes cast. ● 700 comments. ● Project authors engaged in social networks.
  32. 32. Current status ● The most voted project reached committee debate after being frozen for two years. ● Users suggestions are compiled and will be sent to the reps. ● Year ended before other projects could be debated. ● None of the citizen-ranked projects reach the chamber yet.
  33. 33. Final words ● UX research and evaluation is a good way of ensuring user acceptance of tools. ● Web analytics are a good way of evaluating reach and engagement. ● Following parliamentary activity is needed for evaluating whether participation experiments effectively impact policy.
  34. 34. Thanks. @martinszy @CongresoInterac Let's have a conversation.

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