Government Experience Design: Listening

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This is the second in a series of blog posts expanding on the four ideas I consider central to government experience design: transparency, listening, adaptability, and open-source. In all four posts, I aim to provide concrete ideas for how governments can use each of these items to respond to and engage citizens. Listening As someone who wears hearing aids, this is ... Read More »

Endless Love: The Illusion of Unlimited Choice in Online Dating

Thousands of love locks which sweethearts placed on the Hohenzollern Bridge  in Koln, Germany

With the advent of the internet, people can find a partner on the other side of the globe with a click of a button and can have an entire romance online. Interest and rejection are conveyed nearly instantaneously, and with the addition of smart phones to their technological arsenal, people can constantly check their profile views and messages on the ... Read More »

Government Experience Design: Transparency

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This article expands somewhat on each of the four points listed originally in positing the idea of government experience design: transparency, listening, adaptability, and open source. We aim to provide concrete ideas for how each of these items might be implemented within government to improve its ability to respond to and engage citizens. Defining Transparency What is transparency? According to Wikipedia1, Transparency, as used ... Read More »

Scraping Facebook: An Awesome Tool for Grabbing Data from Posts

Scraping ice or data

I am sure many of you would like some help scraping. By scraping, I mean the technique of extracting information from websites. Specifically, the posts of a Facebook group. When I was working on one of my early projects entitled Youth, ICTs, and Democracy in Egypt with the Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA) at the iSchool, we needed to undergo a qualitative ... Read More »

When Copyright Met Privacy

Secret Identity

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, I have broken copyright law and probably will do so again. I’ve made copies of books and articles–sometimes using the crude tools of the late 20th century (aka: the copy machine), and other times using far-easier tools like the “right click.” I’ve also copied “records” onto cassette tapes, burned CDs from store-bought ones, ... Read More »

Government Experience Design: How Do We Make Gov Work?

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User experience is one of those fields where it’s easy to have things overhyped. There are enough buzzwords floating around the business world that losing track of what the discipline actually focuses on is a trap easily tripped. There are those that even argue that a laser-like focus on the user neglects other, just as important, aspects of business. But ... Read More »

Taking the Teen Summer Reading Challenge to Virtual Heights

Two girls reading outdoors in summer

Teen Summer Challenge began in 2012 when dedicated Pierce County Library System (PCLS, Washington) staff identified the need for an approach to summer reading that moved beyond a traditional one-size-fits-all model to reach and engage diverse teens across the county. Low participation numbers and low engagement prompted staff to think outside the box to provide a meaningful summer reading experience ... Read More »

‘R’ You Ready to Analyze Big Data?

Programmer

What is R? If you guessed, “a letter in the alphabet,” you’re only halfway right. The letter R also represents a programming language typically used by people to compile statistics as well as analyze or create visual representations of a data set. In many ways it is similar to products like Microsoft Excel, SPSS and STATA but free to download ... Read More »

Gidget: A 21st Century Approach to Programming Literacy

Gidget

Over the past two years, iSchool Ph.D. stu­dent Mike Lee has been work­ing on Gid­get, a game designed to teach computer programming concepts to kids and teens through debugging puzzles. Gid­get is now avail­able for any­one to play at www.helpgidget.com. Give it a try! The game takes a very dif­fer­ent approach than exist­ing learn­ing tech­nolo­gies for pro­gram­ming. Rather than try­ing to moti­vate kids through cre­ativ­ity (as ... Read More »

Do We Need Public Access to Information & Communication Technologies?

IT-for-Social-Change1

It’s been just over a year since the iSchool’s Technology and Social Change (TASCHA) research group released the Global Impact Study‘s final report, “Connecting people for development: Why public access ICTs matter.” TASCHA has created various tools and resources based on the study’s findings and data. The resources they developed to help answer the question, “Do we need public access to information & ... Read More »