Concept Design for: “Anders denken. Die Onlineplattform zur politischen Bildung gegen Antisemitismus”
Basic research of targeted user group
Strategy, Information Architecture & Content Strategy
Concept Design / Interaction design
ABOUT THE PROJECT
“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 KIgA’s (Kreuzberg Initiative against Anti-Semitism) pilot project of the same name. 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. 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.
Developing a common product vision
For a project to succeed, it is very important to develop a common vision / strategy with the whole project team – this is especially true when you start from scratch and with information-focused projects. To tackle this, as a first step a quantitative survey – which had its focus on aspects of general online behavior and the handling of Anti-Semitic incidents – was set up for the targeted user group to provide the first basis for insights. 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.
1/7 Filling out mad libs elevator pitches as a team exercice helped to get a shared understanding of the product, its goals and what is special about it. It also helps to figure out what matters most in delivering on the core value proposition.
2/7 Getting the team to think beyond specific product features and functions by creating a vision what the product will be like in the future.
In the second 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.
3/7 First steps in plotting features on the cost versus impact axes which helped prioritizing functionalities
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.
4/7 Detailed Information Architecture, which served as a basis for the interaction design
5/7 The homepage
6/7 Overview page of the educational material, with filters set
7/7 Detail page of the educational material
MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT
The main challenge here was clearly that this vision could also be implemented with very limited editorial resources and therefore very little time. Since there was zero content available at all at the time we created the rough concept, we first had to create the information architecture / content strategy based on our best assumptions which served as a first basis for discussion – but we realized at the same time that we were actually very 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. The whole project team was involved in the project with a lot of enthusiasm and was full of motivation, which was tangible throughout the project – and we think that this simply had a positive effect on the whole project.