Issue Mapper helps Participation Officers (POs) document their findings of social issues and learn how to identify real problems simultaneously.
Project Partner: Public Digital Innovation Space (PDIS)
PDIS, an organization under the government of Taiwan, is devoted to creating a space for the public to have a say in the government decision making process and to meet the needs of digital government transition.
Primary users: Participation Officers (POs)
Participation Officers are civil servants and their primary responsibilities are proposing discussions of cross-ministerial issues with wider stakeholders, and collaborating about solutions.
Project Overview: Every month, POs get together to choose the monthly issue. Then, the appointed PO and related ministries start collecting secondary data to gain a greater understanding of the issue before holding the public collaboration. In order to help government workers streamline the process of collecting data and sharing information with different ministries, our team started digitalizing the paper-based issue map into the digital tool, Issue Mapper.
Timeline: 8 weeks, Jan-Feb 2019
My role: Scrum Master and UI/UX designer.
Goals of my practice:
- Embed the best problem-finding practices into Issue Mapper so that POs can learn how to categorize information and identify real problems.
- Practice rapid prototyping processes to improve methods of design in the government of Taiwan.
“Participation Officers need a better tool to keep themselves on track and share their findings with a wider range of stakeholders.”
Issue Mapper is live here.
Most recent prototype
As a designer skilled at agile methodologies, I conducted several user testings and iterations of interface design. I was given seven categories in an information taxonomy by which Participation Officers might sort their content: issue category, problem description, current attempts, government response, difficulty/blocker, stakeholders and references. After five iterations of co-design and user testing with POs, I was able to simplify the taxonomy to five categories by eliminating stakeholders and references as unused content. Furthermore, the mind mapping functionality is not well performed and is too similar to Realtime Board. I proposed a new design to provide the default connection between 5 topics in the mode of mind mapping.
Proof of concepts
- Provide only five topics of information taxonomy
- Use the drop down menu to connect the related cards for the 5 topics
- The needs of terminology notes, version history, and document sharing
Work in progress functionalities
- Disconnect cards by deleting arrows (lines)
- User test the new presentation of information on the homepage and mind mapping page
USER RESEARCH OUTCOMES
At the end of my contract, I used service design diagrams to show future designers the service components and users of Issue Mapper.
After six user interviews with Participation Officers, I mapped out three types of users of Issue Mapper: Novice Participation Officers, Professional Participation Officers, and Participation Officer Leads at PDIS. From the personas, I found that the steps and depth of collecting information on social issues are very different between novice and professional POs. I identified that one of the value propositions of Issue Mapper is not only to help POs to collect the same depth and breadth of information, but also to benefit the PO lead to manage social issues.
The current service blueprint of Issue Mapper focuses on the stage before design collaboration and the internal process of preparing for public collaboration. This diagram helps future Taiwanese designers to better understand Issue Mapper and the people who menage with it. The final goal is to have Issue Mapper collecting primary in addition to secondary data, as well as writing proposals for policy and regulation changes, and validating policy goals. Therefore, when Issue Mapper is iterated to meet other needs, the service blueprint can be changed or expanded correspondingly.
I bring the concept of rapid prototyping into the process of making Issue Mapper, a huge achievement and a stepping stone to truly implement user-centric design in the Government of Taiwan. I found that practicing rapid prototyping on small scale can help to demonstrate other way of doing design and show the value of service design. By doing so I can slowly make team members become the ambassador for service design.