With 21st century movements in mind and with strong interaction between the Purpose offices in Brazil and New York, I worked with the "Meu Rio" group to design the user interface of "Truth or Dare" (you can also call it "trick or treat). The project's intention was to build a platform to bring more transparency in politics by deploying the collective power of millions of citizens.
Election time is tough for voters. It’s hard to separate the signal from the noise in the barrage of the campaign from candidates. Also, the mainstream media asks the questions and controls political discourse. But how do voters know which candidate will best represent their interests? What if getting to know the candidates were as fun as a game of Truth or Dare? What if the voters were the ones who ask the questions? In this project, our team made politics looks fun. The community collected the most popular questions and together sent the questions to the candidates. With the candidate's answers uploaded to the system, the tool could match users to the candidates based on their interests and preferences.
The first phase is "ASKING" when voters post a “truth or a dare” to the candidates, invite friends to submit questions and vote on questions previously posted by the community. In the second phase, "COLLECTING ANSWERS", the tool compiles the most popular questions posted by the community. And finally "MATCHING INTERESTS": In the end, users find their ideal candidate. Both candidates and voters respond to the community questionnaire. This way voters can find out which candidates and parties most correspond to their interests and concerns.
For the users, it is a fun, social and gamified way to choose which candidates to vote for in the upcoming elections. For the candidates, it is an opportunity to position themselves as social media savvy and a channel to reach new audiences. For the product, it is a great way to grow member base, increase media engagement, visibility, and recognition in the field. This is also a way to position Mey Rio as a digital and social innovative company in the space of youth and political engagement; a step towards changing the political culture by providing the platform for new interactions between candidates and the electorate.
Having wireframes and a product definition at the beginning of the process, helped copywriters and engineers to get work done earlier.
We came up with several ways to design this project. We asked users and colleagues for feedback. We had our favorite options, but we kept the options open until the end of the project. This approach allowed us to be flexible with changes as we learned more about the problem and our users.
We had the great vision of making election campaigns more transparent, and that was ambitious. The election was coming, and that was an unchangeable deadline. We listed all the features and potential features we wanted to have on the platform, and we organized them based on our schedule.
Based on our roadmap, we used post-its to identify when would be the best time to release a new feature and a new action for the game. With highlighted milestones, our team defined together the priorities. The photo bellow shows our timeline and "our plan of attack" to introduce new features to the user.
Truth or Dare was the first platform created by the "Meu Rio" organization and was crucial to the popularity of the group in Brazil. Lee-Sean Huang, one of our designers, wrote for FastCompany a little bit about our experience. And Alessandra Orofino was one of the speakers at the first TED Global in South America hosted in Rio de Janeiro.
Other products were added to the "Meu Rio" platform after this first one. After the election, the "Truth or Dare" game became "Imagine" and people are still engaged in the platform. But something even more fascinating was about to happen: other cities started to ask to be part of this mobilization. "Meu Rio" is not anymore one-city-focus project, it is a national mobilization project.
We'll be in touch soon!
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