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widget design enhancements - seeking volunteer time on useful new tools #427

davidmooreppf opened this issue Sep 16, 2015 · 0 comments


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davidmooreppf commented Sep 16, 2015

Our non-profit AskThem project was fortunate to develop free question-asking widgets with the Knight Foundation Prototype Fund.

We had the goal of enabling visitors to ask a question through to AskThem from any participating web page, while staying on that web page. After rounds of digital-media research and user testing, we found that many users sought to ask questions to the authors of articles and celebrities mentioned in posts (often more so than their own elected officials).

Our tech lead @walter developed two kinds of widgets, created by a free widget-builder, which generates embeddable Javascript widget code for any web page.

The first is a Person widget - see example - where the creator of the widget selects a specific question target: any elected official in our database, or any non-private Twitter account (does not need to be Twitter-verified with a blue check). The visitor can click through and ask her own question, or edit a pre-written default question set by the widget creator. Resulting questions also go through to the site for social sharing.

The second is an Address widget - see example - where a visitor enters her ZIP code or full street address, then sees her elected officials: definitely federal, almost always state, and sometimes city-level (depending on full address info).

Goal is to enhance the design of the widget windows themselves- open to input, some starting points:

  1. On a page with an embedded widget, when visitor clicks the "get started" button to launch the modal, resulting window is a bit thin and large. Tightening up the design and solidifying the edges might be more appealing.
  2. I could use more examples of good widget design, but a tighter version (albeit one that requires less text space for visitors to input question content) is by our siblings Fight For the Future, at BattleForTheNet. Code on GitHub.
  3. Widget-builder page itself could then use some sample images, but that's straightforward.

Help our open-source, public-benefit project with some volunteer design time? Your work could be used on major media sites for Q&A with Presidential candidates, participating city council offices, and more public figures such as the blog of Chris Hayes on MSNBC. Email me, david at ppolitics dot org, or ping me on Skype, handle is davidmooreppf, or on Freenode in IRC, where I hang out in #opengovernment. Questions & more specific design notes welcome, thanks for considering our good-questions project.

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