Team CURE: DiscoTech and Progress!

This past weekend’s DiscoTech was an amazing event at which we had the opportunity to meet an incredibly interesting and diverse group of people. For our project specific workshop, Team CURE came to the DiscoTech armed with a questionnaire and statistics that we hoped would both stir conversation and help us develop a more accurate end user profile. We are hoping to develop an online awareness platform for CURE’s sex offender advocacy work (read more about it here!). Because the topic is potentially controversial, we thought that developing a firm understanding of prospective user initial assumptions/value systems would be particularly useful. We expected that the answers would shed some light on possible perspectives and, in turn, inform the crafting of our project. Although we started with the questionnaire, our workshop participants were much more interested in the discussion that our introduction presentations and questions spurred. We were surprised that many of our visitors had deeply personal stories to tell about how their lives have been affected by the sex offender registry and/or associated legal processes. Although we didn’t get as much data as expected, we had a very rich discussion about the complexity of the US detention system, rehabilitation, and sex offender rights. As we continue to develop the project, we are becoming more and more aware of how important it is that we are sensitive to language and the significance of a positive framework.

Earlier this week we also had quite a bit of fun with our partners at CURE crafting and choosing user personas. The user personas, like the DiscoTech activity, are meant to help us hone into the profiles of our end users – so that we will have a ficticious but very discerning audience to guide some of our design decisions. The group settled on two different/similar end users:

Daniel Young

  • 25 yr. old, recent college graduate
  • Unaware of and uninformed about issues surrounding the Sex Offender Registry
  • Has heard of potential risks of dating a minor during high school/through his college fraternity
  • Checks Internet news, Email, Facebook at least once a day
  • Interested in social issues, but hasn’t taken any actions

Amelia Smith

  • 27 yr. old, working at an NGO
  • Generally aware of social justice issues but not about the sexual offenders’ registry specifically
  • Relatively active online: Twitter, Blog, FB, Email
  • Previously participated in student government while in college
  • Enjoys participating in demos and other events
  • Has influence in her friend circle (well respected by her friends and peers)

Here’s to hoping that Daniel and Amelia are pleased with our future product! Until next time, some food for thought: