Co-Design/PPTV Fail Hard Session: Barriers to Success

On March 16, the Civic Media Co-Design Studio conducted a “Fail Hard” session for all projects. This Fail Hard session was essentially a brainstorming session where people proposed possible scenarios of failure for each project. Each project was given a space within the course for feedback on potential “fails,” which consisted of individuals writing their fail scenarios on sticky notes and placing them on a dry-erase white board. Once scenarios were written down and placed on the white-board, the brainstorming focus would immediately shift to another group. When all groups were finished, they broke into caucuses and discussed how to sort their fails into areas and categories. This sorting process could potentially guide focus to specific aspects of the design process, and consequently, encourage simpler creation of solutions.

I have included a photograph of the “cloud of stickies” for the Respect in Reporting Campaign, and also a bulleted list of fails and a Word Cloud Map of fails by frequency of themes.

*NOTE: The list provided is hypothetical and is intended as an educational resource.

Co Team Management Fails:

Planning Fails:

  • Scheduling issues.
  • Scheduling.
  • Goals too diffuse.
  • Fail to find a specific project to complete.
  • Focus of campaign too broadly defined.
  • Badly planned campaign strategy and timeline.
  • Scattered, no focus.
  • Too many tasks, lack of ability to prioritize.

Teamwork Fails:

  • Workload not equally distributed.
  • Lack of consistent communication among participants.
  • Group doesn’t collaborate.
  • Balancing responsibilities.
  • Bogged down coordinating 4 team members.
  • Lack of division of tasks.
  • Roles not clear.
  • Too many hands on board, very little accomplished, and too much dialogue.
  • Difficulty managing small team and Press Pass TV team.
  • Not enough internal constructive criticism.
  • Team dynamics fail.

Respect in Reporting Campaign Fails

Participation Fails:

  • How to better bring in community participants.
  • Lack of participation.
  • Co-Design only extends to generating content instead of strategy.
  • No Latinos participate.
  • No youth on strategy team.
  • Privileged grad students overshadows and hi-jack project from youth.
  • Not reaching the represented communities well enough.
  • Local community has no interest to the project.
  • Cannot attract enough volunteers.
  • Ignored by the youth that is is trying to help.

Political Fails:

  • Results in Slacktivism and Clicktivism.
  • Spur riots, gang violence, and death.
  • Replications of social inequality in governing process.
  • Small voice in relation to big corporate interests.
  • Campaigning has the opposite effect.
  • Fox news attacks project.
  • By taking too few actions, Press Pass TV becomes a watchdog that makes media production so hard and academic that it is disregarded.
  • Criticized by other movements for unengaged approach instead of direct action.

Design Skills Fails:

  • Crappy graphic design.
  • Workshops are boring and don’t stimulate creativity.
  • Minimal coding experience.

Community Partner Fails:

  • PPTV can’t decide what they want.
  • Press Pass TV loses all funding.
  • Partner wants you to just fix their website.
  • Press Pass TV loses power…again.
  • Miscommunication on deliverables.
  • Local partners (PPTV) has no interest to the project.

Usability Fails:

  • Students prefer something else.
  • Cannot find the right tools for the project.
  • Digital inequality.
  • By promoting the campaign, media biases are made into jokes like other promoted topics of social advocacy.

Impact Interests Fails:

  • Reporters don’t sign up.
  • News agents don’t want to participate.
  • No one goes to website.
  • Campaign has no effect.
  • No outreach done for workshops.
  • Mass media has no interest to report the event.

Poor Impact Fails:

  • Campaign fails to make impact.
  • Rhetorically sound, yet inconsistent in outcome and practice.
  • Project dies, yet grad students benefit from citations, publications, and conferences.
  • Social media have little response to action.
  • Does not find life on its own.
  • How to measure impact.

Memorandum of Understanding Fails:

  • Legal battle regarding News Jack.

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