Design Values

What is the piece about? How does the the piece present this to the audience? Through a story? Metaphor? Model of a larger system?

Blacklisted is about informing the Millennial consumer/voter about the bridge between business and politics in the United States. It does so in the form of an interactive website (Model of a larger system, aka OpenSecrets, OntheIssues) that allows users to dig into details about a specific candidate or company. They can choose to blacklist a company and share their reasons for doing so on Facebook in order to spread the word. 

What concepts, perspectives or experiences might the player encounter during play? How are these delivered? Through story? Systems modeling? Metaphor?

They can see the amount of money given to each party, as well as the bills they lobbied in 2014. each bill links to the bill's summary page on The information about bills lobbied and parties contributed to comes from Information about the stances of each candidate comes from a collaboration between and Graphiq. This website is in essence a mashup of the important information young people should know before making a decision this coming November on a candidate, as well as information about the top 50 brands they spend most of their money at, so they know where their consumer dollars are going and they can make a decision about whether they are okay with that or not.

Point of view
What does the user see? Through what kind of perspective? From what cultural reference point or political position?

My user sees information relevant to their interests and related to the context of the upcoming elections in a way that appeals to them with the use of a clean and simple interface as well as some humor in the form of funny GIFs of the candidates. My generation appreciates and expects simple, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to navigate websites. I think the perspective uses a culture reference point of Millennial culture to create an interest in a political position, if one does not already exist. 

If the piece is meant to provoke or challenge: Is it critical? Speculative? Pushing the boundaries of form? If it’s something meant to accomplish a goal and solve a challenge: What kind of challenges does the piece resolve? Mental challenge? Physical challenge?

It is certainly trying to accomplish a mental challenge. As of right now, Millennials wield 1.3 trillion dollars in buying power in this country, but only 21.3% of us voted in the last round of elections. This is a gap I am trying to fill. My goal is to help create more conscious buying and voting within my generation by informing them of their immense power to bring about change in this country, as well as presenting the facts in an appealing and simple way.

How is the piece and the information within it represented? What visual and aural styles will be used? Why?

The information is presented on the website in a way that does not look overcrowded, ugly, or overwhelming as all of my precedents do. In the case of the candidates, users are presented with a manageable list of stances for each candidate and more information is presented once they decide to click. My thought is that if you try to force information on people by making everything visible at once, it will most definitely drive them away. There is a need for providing options. The user will click on what appeals to them and they are more likely to get something out of that information.

How and where do users make decisions? How are decisions presented? Is the information space perfect or imperfect?

They make a decision on the company profile pages with the use of a "Blacklist" button. They can choose to blacklist a company and once they make that decision they are presented with the option of making another decision: whether to share their first decision on Facebook and whether they want to explain the reasons for their decision in order to educate others as well and spread the word. The information space is certainly imperfect as the bills lobbied section requires digging deeper, which unfortunately users tend not to enjoy doing. They can click on a bill to receive a summary about it, but that tends to be a lot of work and ideally I would know how to give the cliff-notes-easy-to-understand version of each and point out which bills might be of particular interest to users, especially in the cases where some companies have lobbied many bills.

Who is the audience? Where are they encountering the piece and how did they find out about it? When are they interacting with it? Why are they interacting with it?

The audience are American Millennial voters and consumers in charge of their own finances who already feel a certain, small sense of responsibility and interest in the government, which I believe many do. They are interacting with it in the context of the upcoming 2016 election cycle in order to gain the knowledge to make the right decisions for them in terms of both voting and buying.

What emotions are you hoping to generate in your audience?

I am hoping to generate anger, shock, a sense of responsibility, and an understanding of the large influence Millennials have.