Storytime

Dania Awin
May 22 · 4 min read

Team Anecdata is back and is feeling better than ever. Our last sprint went really well. To refresh everyone’s mind, during sprint 3, we revisited our project brief and made two prototypes based on all our previous research. We made one prototype with its main focus on policymakers and the other was designed for the general public. During our last sprint review, the partners and the team decided which elements to keep from these two models. Since both prototypes had different elements that can be valuable for the project, it seemed like our next prototype was going to be a combined version of these two models. Additionally, we decided to focus on multidimensional visualizations and scaling policies. Consequently, we formed the question of this sprint as following

“How can we bridge the point of view of the policymakers and GGD with the perceptions of the public through the medium of story formatted reports?”

To form a complete picture, we decided that we need not only big data sets but also thick data. Big data represents large quantitative data whereas thick data relies on human learning that shows the social context of connections in numbers. These two forces should be combined in order to provide an in-depth insight. Since the beginning, we wanted to include storytelling in our prototype and this was the perfect opportunity for us. A story has more effect on people than any numbers. So, we decided to create the combination of big data and thick data by telling stories. This sprint, we included the elements of data storytelling in our prototype where we tell the context of the current situations. We created an example story about the imaginary 78-year-old Margret aiming to create awareness in elderly mobility. We began with the introduction of the problem to build urgency in fear of falling. Then, we continued with actions to solve the problem that leads to a resolution. Our prototype also included gathering insights and perceptions from the general public. This was done by asking different questions like “I have an idea” or “If I was a policymaker I would”.

To have a better understanding of the current journey of a policy maker/advisor, we had an interview with a GGD policy advisor who focusses on public health. Together, we made a user journey map, which is a visualization of the user’s interaction with the product from their point of view, in this case, it’s GGD’s health monitor. We had four categories that we discussed which were their action, their thinking, their emotional journey and their ideas for improvement. She gets her data by looking up the health monitor but mostly she calls her colleagues from the health monitor department to have an in depth understanding about a certain subject. She emphasized how it would be beneficial to be able to look up the data herself instead of calling her colleagues. This would save her time which is crucial in policy making process. Finally, she mentioned that it would be good to monitor the public opinion about the policies they are advising. The information she provided was very helpful for us and our prototype.

Furthermore, we wanted to re-examine the user experience of data exploration. We looked at the existing frameworks and tried to design it in such a way that it is easier for policymakers to look up the data. We continued working on a system that makes it possible to combine different data visualizations. We included two related features on the same website. The first one is using the multidimensional storytelling format along with the data visualizations. The second one allows the users to give feedback or share their own stories. By designing a flowchart, we were able to have a global overview of the functioning of these features. The first feature is the initial idea we had in the previous sprint, consisting of a system for selecting the main metric that would be represented by colored cubes for every city district, and a list of comparative metrics to be represented with percentages in a table. For the data visualization, we used chart.js, which is a JavaScript library. We also started working on a map visualization, where the comparative metrics will be shown in infobubbles.

In the next sprint, we will interview a second policy advisor and an urban planning professor. Our main goal is to combine all our work in one complete prototype. The showcase is in 6 weeks and we are very excited. See you next sprint chicas.

Warm greeting from team AnecData


The Digital Society School is a growing community of learners, creators and designers who create meaningful impact on society and its global digital transformation. Check us out at digitalsocietyschool.org.

digitalsocietyschool

The Digital Society School is a growing community of learners, creators and designers who create meaningful impact on society and its global digital transformation.

Dania Awin

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digitalsocietyschool

The Digital Society School is a growing community of learners, creators and designers who create meaningful impact on society and its global digital transformation.