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How do we know that it works? Designing a digital democratic innovation with the help of user-centered design

How do we know that it works? Designing a digital democratic innovation with the help of... Civic technology is used to improve not only policies but to reinforce politics and has the potential to strengthen democracy. A search for new ways of involving citizens in decision-making processes combined with a growing smartphone penetration rate has generated expectations around smartphones as democratic tools. However, if civic applications do not meet citizens’ expectations and function poorly, they might remain unused and fail to increase interest in public issues. Therefore, there is a need to apply a citizen’s perspective on civic technology. The aim of this study is to gain knowledge about how citizens’ wishes and needs can be included in the design and evaluation process of a civic application. The study has an explorative approach and uses mixed methods. We analyze which democratic criteria citizens emphasize in a user-centered design process of a civic application by conducting focus groups and interviews. Moreover, a laboratory usability study measures how well two democratic criteria, inclusiveness and publicity, are met in an application. The results show that citizens do emphasize democratic criteria when participating in the design of a civic application. A user-centered design process will increase the likelihood of a usable application and can help fulfill the democratic criteria designers aim for. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Information Polity IOS Press

How do we know that it works? Designing a digital democratic innovation with the help of user-centered design

Information Polity , Volume 26 (3): 15 – Aug 17, 2021

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Publisher
IOS Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2021 © 2021 – IOS Press. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1570-1255
eISSN
1875-8754
DOI
10.3233/IP-200282
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Civic technology is used to improve not only policies but to reinforce politics and has the potential to strengthen democracy. A search for new ways of involving citizens in decision-making processes combined with a growing smartphone penetration rate has generated expectations around smartphones as democratic tools. However, if civic applications do not meet citizens’ expectations and function poorly, they might remain unused and fail to increase interest in public issues. Therefore, there is a need to apply a citizen’s perspective on civic technology. The aim of this study is to gain knowledge about how citizens’ wishes and needs can be included in the design and evaluation process of a civic application. The study has an explorative approach and uses mixed methods. We analyze which democratic criteria citizens emphasize in a user-centered design process of a civic application by conducting focus groups and interviews. Moreover, a laboratory usability study measures how well two democratic criteria, inclusiveness and publicity, are met in an application. The results show that citizens do emphasize democratic criteria when participating in the design of a civic application. A user-centered design process will increase the likelihood of a usable application and can help fulfill the democratic criteria designers aim for.

Journal

Information PolityIOS Press

Published: Aug 17, 2021

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