What we learned…from showing the NETmundial Solutions Map prototype

Over the past few months, we have posted regularly on progress made in creating an Internet Governance map called the NETmundial Solutions Map,  a tool that seeks to provide an overview what solutions – such as laws and standards – exist to address what Internet Goverance issue – such as IPv6 or on-line child pornography –  and who are the main actors involved.  During our first phase of engagement, the information collection phase, we conducted one-on-one user interviews and an online survey to determine user needs in collecting information related to Internet governance.

We are currently in the second phase of development, in which we are building a prototype of the tool. To do this, we have continued to gather user feedback through a two-pronged method of engagement. First, we invited experts in the Internet governance space to participate in guided demonstrations of the initial design. Through these interviews, our goal was to gain input on the prototype, content, and functionalities. We also extended an open invitation on the NETmundial Initiative website inviting the general public to sign up for a guided demonstration. Our goal here was to open up the development process to a greater audience and ensure that all interested parties had a chance to participate and provide feedback.  Our public guided demos were held throughout the month of February. We continue welcome input as we develop and refine the tool, and you can sign up for a demo here.

The findings below reflect feedback to date from a diverse set of global stakeholders including academia, civil society, industry, government, the technical community, from a range of geographies including Asia, Africa, North America, South America, and Oceania.

Findings

Some of our key learnings are outlined below (non-exhaustive), and we thank all those who were able to contribute till date.

Content

  • Explore providing access to peer-reviewed scientific research;
  • Seek ways to make content available in multiple languages;
  • Develop incentive models for people with expertise to contribute information;
  • Content needs to be geographically relevant and diverse.

Usability

  • Include an animated video that guides users through how to use the website;
  • Include more graphics and less text to help user comprehension;
  • Develop a way to show how some issues fall into a family of issues that are related to each other;
  • Since users are accustomed to using search engines, make the search bar the most prominent feature for finding information.

Functionality

  • Develop a way for users to rate or validate content;
  • Ensure interoperability among taxonomies;
  • Include a framework to encourage online discussions around issues;
  • Use web analytics to determine how the map is being used and by whom;
  • Explore ways to add alerts to notify users when new content is added.

Next Steps

We will continue to receive and incorporate feedback in the iterative design process until March 31, 2015 which is the first meeting of the NETmundial Coordinating Council.

We would welcome any further input as well as suggestions to address the suggested needs and recommendations described above.

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