A political education platform
An online platform providing free educational material, pursuing the goal of fostering a educational debate on current forms of Anti-Semitism.
“Anders denken. Die Onlineplattform zur politischen Bildung gegen Antisemitismus” (literally: Think differently. The online platform for political education against Anti-Semitism) was developed as part of a pilot project for KIgA e.V. (Kreuzberg Initiative against Anti-Semitism). The platform pursues the overarching goal of fostering a educational debate on current forms of Anti-Semitism and addresses multipliers in the educational sector such as teachers, social workers, educational advisors and education workers in extra-curricular and historical-political education throughout Germany.
The platform offers the opportunity to quickly access free accessible, trustworthy educational material approved by an advisory board, as well as editorially prepared information material that is intended to help to re-establish communication and initiate a discussion and new ways of thinking in dealing with current forms of Anti-Semitism.
The platform offers the opportunity to quickly access free accessible, trustworthy educational material approved by an advisory board, as well as editorially prepared information material that is intended to help to re-establish communication and initiate a discussion and new ways of thinking in dealing with current forms of Anti-Semitism. In addition, its goal is to raise long-term awareness of the topic for the target group.
The platform comprises three main areas: 1) background information, 2) educational materials, and 3) contribution to the discourse on current events for orientation. It is also possible to search for local educational partners.
KIgA e.V. entrusted us with the conceptual design of this platform. The project was presented to the public for the first time on 20.06.2018 at the Landeszentrale für Politische Bildung in Berlin and was followed by a panel discussion.
Creating a shared Product Vision
Is everybody talking about the same thing?
For a project to succeed, it is very important to develop a common vision / strategy with the whole project team. To tackle this, we gained some user insights through a qualitative questionnaire. In parallel, two strategy workshops were conducted with the project team. In the first workshop, we used various methods helping the team to develop a prioritization of the goals to be achieved with the platform.
Focus and prioritizing
What is most important?
In another more focus oriented workshop, the results were then consolidated. Based on these objectives and the results of the online questionnaire, we then started a list on prioritizing functionalities to discuss them further. We then took all the workshop results and put them into the final project brief. Also a set of design principles (= how the platform should feel) were derived from the workshop results, which can help guide decisions throughout the project.
Both – the project brief and our set of design principles – served as the basis and guided the design directions for the rough concept: the information architecture and the content strategy of the platform. Here, the wording / addressing of the three main areas (informing, orienting, contributing) was also developed together with the project team. The information architecture and content strategy then served as the basis for the detailed concept – the interaction design.
Exemplary Design Goals
What do our users need? How do they want to feel?
- #3 User centred & goal driven: Enabling multipliers to find educational materials fast according to their needs by designing combinable filter options.
- #4 Ease of use: scannable information Even though the educational professionals might be highly motivated to find suitable resources the use of images makes their job easier.
The main challenge was to enable the client to implement their vision with very limited editorial resources and little time.
Since there was zero content available at the time we created the rough concept, we had to create the information architecture and content strategy based on our small research sample and our best assumptions which could only serve as a first basis for discussion as we were dependent on the topic expertise of the team – since we did not know how much material we ultimately had to deal with and most importantly, how the content could interact.
These things were very important for the creation of the information architecture and content strategy including such things like the handling of the metadata (like defining how categories and a keyword concept could work together within the main areas, etc). But in the end, step by step, we approached the solutions concerning those questions in a combined effort with the team.
Good teamwork is simply fun. Especially all the possibilities and the enthusiasm that arise when you start from scratch allow creative thinking and your idea juices are flowing. All of us within the project team – at least we think so – had a lot of fun with that experience.
Once again, this project showed the positive effect of a close collaboration with clients and most of all, the importance of alignment within the project team concerning visions and objectives – rather than simply “just delivering” something according to a briefing.