Team CURE – Final Update


Team CURE is proud to announce our project, I am Not a Dot.

I Am Not a Dot is a multi-media platform where users can access not only the statistics and quantitative evidences of why the registry should be eliminated in order to reduce the recidivism rate and to protect the rights of registrants, but also the personal testimonials and stories of the registrants, their families, and other persons concerned.

Read more details in our Case Study.

Or, check out our Final Presentation.

We are also looking for a web programmer to join our team. If you are interested in, please contact notadot[at] !


Thank you for the great semester!

Susanna + Miho

Team CURE: Prototypes + Design Development!

This past week, Team CURE made substantial headway with prototyping our project. While we are still working on finding a way to get a working prototype off the ground (neither Miho nor I are very adept at website design — hopefully we will get some help from NEO soon!), we have been trying to work through the graphic language + user experience of our project by creating mock up boards.

The website is meant to be a visual subversion of the existing red dot sex offender registry map. Instead of seeing registrant information when you click on the dots, you get super useful information from CURE about why the registry might be more damaging than productive. We anticipate that one of the main problems that we will be encountering going forward is the management of all of our dots (the multimedia content embedded in the site). As of now, we want the dots to have…. embedded video, essays, research pieces, facts, personal narratives, news articles and links to organizations. Depending on which dot you click, you will get a tiny morsel of information. The more you click the more you know!

Based on the feedback that we got from CURE, we will be working to make the graphic language less cute and more serious so expect a few more iterations of this shortly!

Website Draft_041414

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Team CURE Project Update

We didn’t blot any updates for a while, but it doesn’t mean we were lazy – in fact, we had double # of meetings/working times while we were not blogging!

2 weeks ago, CURE was one of the presenters in the class – and we spent a good amount of time preparing for the class activity. First half was led by Galen and Josh from CURE – they gave us talks about their work, their experiences and the advocacy. The second half was led by Susanna and me – more specifically about the project. Class (and participants on Hangout) was divided into 3 groups, brainstorming new ideas for our project. Each group had a theme of different platforms; map, game, or anything else.

Turned out pretty well, not because of the ideas but because of the discussion led from the exercise – that helped us a lot to define our project/product design requirements more in details.

Originally, we were considering three ideas:

1. Map that visualizes the data of residency restrictions , or other restrictions that registrants face in day-to-day life

2. Game that illustrates the difficulty that they face

3. Map that was tied with personal stories of registrants

We revisited these three ideas, and talked a lot about what should be our main focus, and redefined that our product should convey the argument of why the registry should be eliminated, through narrative personal stories and through statistics (quantitative evidence) – while keeping the “map with dots” as a symbol because that’s what people are familiar with when they think of the registry, and that’s what we want to change their perspectives of.


We call this idea “Stories Behind The Map” – and we are now designing three different platforms of Storied Behind the Map

1. Website

  • Users see the map with dots
  • Each dot they roll over, they get either: a personal story, or, a quote, or, a key fact (w/link to source/study) debunking the arguments for the registry.
  •  Assuming each user will only click on x dots, show them only stories and facts they haven’t yet seen. (so that we can convey our argument in the most convincing way)

2. Mobile App

  • General feature is same as Website, but additional features unique to the phone app.
  • History View and List of Actions to Take
  • Latest News Notification

3. Infographics

  • This would be one file, conveying the same contents as website (but smaller amount, of course), that can be printed, shared on, Buzzfeed, Twitter and other media easily


We will reveal our progress in the presentation on Wednesday, so stay tuned! Here’s a small peak of it …


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:

Team CURE: Project Update #1

Susanna and I (Miho) are in Team CURE, and we had our first Google hangout meeting today with Josh, Galen and Andrew – it was great to finally talk with them after a bunch of email exchange!


CURE works on criminal justice system from the perspective of human rights – and for this CoDesign class, they would like to work on the issue around sexual offenders who are highly marginalized community.

Josh, Galen and Andrew have been very helpful providing Susanna and me a lot of article and other medias – because it is such a new topic for both of us – and we began to have some ideas of projects. All of the ideas cover either/both of two main things.

1. Legal definitions of sexual offenders include a very large spectrum of people – from those who did public urination to those who committed serious rapes – and they will be all put in Registry and usually cannot get out of it.

2. How the Registry affects very  the sexual offenders’s lives after they are released from the prison (restriction on where to live, where to be, activities, etc.) which is very different from any kinds of restrictions on other serious criminals


We are gearing towards creating an interactive multimedia that increase the general awareness of people on these two points above. The keywords for us are map, personal stories and statistics. More detailed information would come later. 🙂


We’ve had a very dense (and very fun) talk today, and Susanna and I are now digesting the contents while brainstorming some ideas for DiscoTech workshop. Some ideas we have are

1. Mapping where sexual offenders can’t live/have other restrictions in Boston (with colored pencils etc.)

2. Asking people what alternative laws to be made, and compare the results to the currents ones

3. Illustraton Charrete of laws

4. Question generations for storytelling

5. Roleplay (testify as a sexual offender) and compare with the actual testimonies

6. Reaction recording while people watch videos related

7. Some sort of discussion generating workshop: “can you list what offences will land you on the registry?” “what do you think the restrictions are on offenders?” “what do you think the consequences are of being on the registry?”

and more! These ideas above are mostly what we brainstormed before having the hangout meeting, so later this week, we will have a more detailed/polished workshop idea for DiscoTech.