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DISCORDIA

A project on political polarization.

Discordia is a project that was completed in my fourth year of university. The project was based on a brief given to groups of students from the RSA. The group I was apart of chose a brief called "Bridging the Divide" and we specifically chose the political divide in the United States. My role in this team was a couple things, researcher on the topic and the market, and a co-UX designer. The project was completed over the duration of a semester and was broken down into 5 different sprints:

1. Understand

2. Define

3. Diverge

4. Decide

5. Prototype

Scroll down to learn a little more.

 

1. Understand

The first step in our process was understanding what the issue we were trying to tackle was. We looked for evidence of the existence of the political divide (the 2020 US Election was coming up, big help), we searched through various social medias and articles to look for numbers to help our case. We also conducted field interviews with people who identify from various areas of the political spectrum to get different perspectives on the situation. After conducting all of our research, we were able to move onto the next step.

 

2. Define

The next stage in our process was narrowing down our research and assessing what the exact problem we wanted to address was. The first we did was set a long term goal that we wanted to achieve and that was to "create something that utilizes social media that helps lessen the divide between people on either end of the political spectrum (subject to change). Having an idea of what our long term goal was allowed us to start asking questions on how we could achieve that goal. We looked at viability of certain ideas that we came up with and then we voted on our favourite ideas that were addressed.
(a brief look at the thought process below)

 

3. Diverge

Our next step was figuring out which direction we wanted to go in for our final product. We all individually brainstormed ideas that we wanted to pursue. We started with a method called "Crazy 8's" where we all take 8 minutes to think of as many ideas as we can. Following that you choose which ideas are the best or viable to do and flesh them out a bit more. After brainstorming we all presented our ideas to each other. We all realized we had similar ideas and decided to vote on our favourite aspects of each persons idea. Below are some ideas I generated during the ideation process.

 
 

4. Decide

This portion of the project involved finalizing on what we wanted to do to solve our solution. Using the ideas from the previous stage, we voted on the aspects we liked and created our final idea which was to create an educational app that provides video content on political topics that provide perspectives from different areas on the political spectrum and allowing people to learn empathy with others who think differently. Now that we had our solution we needed to do additional research on forms of competitors and target audiences, we also needed to determine how much money would be needed to actually create this app and how we would make money off of it. We did this by researching other types of educational video platforms and various educational platforms to see how much they charge their users to base our prices on. Once we had determined what we needed, it was time to move onto the final stage.

 

5. Prototype

This was one of the most crucial stages out of the 5. An actual working prototype that users would genuinely like and have a want to use it. We couldn't just jump into a prototype however. Similar to the diverge stage we each individually brainstormed various mockups of what we wanted our app to look like. After creating our mockups we did the same thing and presented our ideas to each other and voted on our favourite aspects of each idea. Amazingly enough, we all had similar visions of what we wanted so it was rather easy to put together something that we all liked. Finally, we were able to start on the high fidelity prototype in trusty group software, Figma. Long days and hours were spent in Figma perfecting certain things, realizing things could be done differently and just messing around and experimenting as well. Once we something that was decently functional, we went to the people we originally interviewed for user testing on our prototype, and it was great! We got amazing feedback on the visuals of the app and just had to fix a couple minor things that we hadn't even considered when designing. After we implemented the feedback, we were done and had something we were all proud to have worked on. Check out some sample screens below and you can try it out at the button at the top of the page!

 
 
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©2020 by Jeet Suratwala

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