Observatory Online Co-Creation Workshop
Developing spaces for digital collaboration and sharing
The Results: 'Getting to Know You'
In the initial creation of the Open Observatory Platform it was important to understand and empathize with the partners’ understanding of digital tools and platforms. To do this, the Platoniq team created a ‘Getting to Know You’ survey as its first community engagement activity. This survey served multiple purposes. First, it allowed the team to on-board and design the capacity building facet of the co-creation process. Then in addition the survey would also serve as an important research tool into the possible attitudes and character of future users of the Open Observatory Platform and feed into the user design research.
The research demonstrated that most participants were comfortable and regularly participating online in conversation to work and collaborate. Moreover, it showed most participants use different online platforms to find resources, verify information or reach out for collaboration and consultation.
The research gave insight to the most commonly used online platforms such as Facebook or Linkedin as well as important pain points or difficulties with online collaborations which ranged from maintaining enthusiasm to creating clear channels of communication. Taking in this information through this survey works as a building block to begin to empathize with a user’s frustrations, what they see, what they are interested in, and how to best design for it. For example, an important aspect to design for on the platform are the possible actions and activities users will want to execute and look for. With this initial survey Platoniq sourced what partners are doing online for work to get a better understanding of what possible users might find as rewarding tasks on the platform.
Another insight from the survey includes what frustrations users might have while working online and working collaboratively. A few examples from the survey were maintaining enthusiasm during a project, having unclear communication and time management, and brainstorming but not creating products or impact. Through the survey needs, gains or positive outcomes users were reviewed and have had in their experience and would like to explore online. These results serve as a building block for a basic empathy map for creating user profiles and forming a base for developing a more positive user experience for current users or participants.
Here is an example of of an empathy map:
With this type of tool in mind we created our own maps. Below is an image of one of the iterations of empathy maps created using the ‘Getting to Know You Survey’. Empathy maps are tools to understand our participants as well as a means to organize and synthesize research. We can communicate the issues users are facing and their mindset quickly and efficiently. Our aim is to use these maps to design an online space that works with participants rather than against the grain of their day and workflows.