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The Viewpoint Project:
Engaging a Disenfranchised
Community with Street Tech
Nick Taylor
University of Dundee
Lightweight Physical and
Situated Civic Engagement
Technology
Nick Taylor
University of Dundee
Enabling Civic
Engagement
• Motivation: why get
involved?
– Self-Efficacy
• Opportunity:
facilitating conditions
• Ability...
Online Civic
Engagement
• More opportunities than
ever before
• Issues around ability
– digital exclusion, bad design
• Mo...
Physical
Technology
• Familiar forms and
obvious interaction
• Smarter environments
(ubiquitous computing
etc.)
• Creative...
Situated
Technology
• Can be encountered
serendipitously
• Reach non-tech savvy
audience
• Public space is a
traditional v...
How can lightweight, physical
interventions in public spaces
engage members of the public?
Bespoke Project
• Residents regularly
consulted on
community initiatives
• Suffering from
‘consultation fatigue’
• Low sen...
Viewpoint
• Lower barriers to
participation
– Approx. 200 votes per week
• Weekly polls from
councilors and
community lead...
Challenges
• Trade-off between
quality and quantity of
data
• Creating a positive
feedback loop
• Top-down intervention
– ...
Viewpoint 2.0
• Second generation
worked with activists
• Collecting objective
data rather than
opinions
• Informing/suppo...
Viewpoint 2.0
• Data matches a
separate street survey
• Proposals put forward
to council based on
results (April 2013)
• O...
PosterVote
• Attempting to make
Viewpoint cheap
• Cheap electronics
combined with auto-
generated poster
• Tying in to exi...
PosterVote
• Concept proved to be
highly evocative
• Levels of use slightly
lower
• Lack of feedback for
voters
• Design s...
DIY and Activism
• Strong existing
relationship between the
two
• Developing unique or
customised tools that
address speci...
Citizen Science
• Members of the public
collecting/analysing data
• Mobiles etc. playing large
role
• Potential for eviden...
Thank you!
• Taylor et al. (2012). Viewpoint: empowering
communities with situated voting devices. CHI
2012.
• Vlachokyria...
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The Viewpoint Project: Engaging a Disenfranchised Community with Street Tech by Nick Taylor (University of Dundee)

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Nick presented this session at The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference (TICTeC 2015) on 25 March 2015 in London.

Published in: Technology
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The Viewpoint Project: Engaging a Disenfranchised Community with Street Tech by Nick Taylor (University of Dundee)

  1. 1. The Viewpoint Project: Engaging a Disenfranchised Community with Street Tech Nick Taylor University of Dundee
  2. 2. Lightweight Physical and Situated Civic Engagement Technology Nick Taylor University of Dundee
  3. 3. Enabling Civic Engagement • Motivation: why get involved? – Self-Efficacy • Opportunity: facilitating conditions • Ability: make the most of opportunities
  4. 4. Online Civic Engagement • More opportunities than ever before • Issues around ability – digital exclusion, bad design • Motivation can still be lacking – Self-efficacy again – Myth of Digital Democracy
  5. 5. Physical Technology • Familiar forms and obvious interaction • Smarter environments (ubiquitous computing etc.) • Creative technology – Technology, design and art
  6. 6. Situated Technology • Can be encountered serendipitously • Reach non-tech savvy audience • Public space is a traditional venue for civic activity
  7. 7. How can lightweight, physical interventions in public spaces engage members of the public?
  8. 8. Bespoke Project • Residents regularly consulted on community initiatives • Suffering from ‘consultation fatigue’ • Low sense of efficacy due to lack of change
  9. 9. Viewpoint • Lower barriers to participation – Approx. 200 votes per week • Weekly polls from councilors and community leaders • Feedback mechanism for reporting actions
  10. 10. Challenges • Trade-off between quality and quantity of data • Creating a positive feedback loop • Top-down intervention – No ability for citizens to drive agenda • High cost
  11. 11. Viewpoint 2.0 • Second generation worked with activists • Collecting objective data rather than opinions • Informing/supporting campaign for pedestrianisation
  12. 12. Viewpoint 2.0 • Data matches a separate street survey • Proposals put forward to council based on results (April 2013) • Official plans announced (October 2014)
  13. 13. PosterVote • Attempting to make Viewpoint cheap • Cheap electronics combined with auto- generated poster • Tying in to existing practices around planning notices etc.
  14. 14. PosterVote • Concept proved to be highly evocative • Levels of use slightly lower • Lack of feedback for voters • Design still largely fixed Image: Microsoft Researc
  15. 15. DIY and Activism • Strong existing relationship between the two • Developing unique or customised tools that address specific, local needs • Connecting problem holders with problem solvers
  16. 16. Citizen Science • Members of the public collecting/analysing data • Mobiles etc. playing large role • Potential for evidence- based policy-making
  17. 17. Thank you! • Taylor et al. (2012). Viewpoint: empowering communities with situated voting devices. CHI 2012. • Vlachokyriakos et al. (2014). PosterVote: expanding the action repertoire for local political activism. DIS 2014. nick-taylor.co.uk @nicktaylor3

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