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Publication Detail
Sens-Us: Designing Innovative Civic Technology for the Public Good.
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  • Authors:
    Rogers Y, Golsteijn C, Capra L, Gallacher S
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How can civic technology be designed to encourage more public engagement? What new methods of data collection and sharing can be used to engender a different relationship between citizens and the state? One approach has been to design physical systems that draw people in and which they can trust, leading them to give their views, opinions or other data. So far, they have been largely used to elicit feedback or votes for one or two questions about a given topic. Here, we describe a physical system, called Sens-Us, which was designed to ask a range of questions about personal and sensitive information, within the context of rethinking the UK Census. An in-the-wild study of its deployment in a city cultural center showed how a diversity of people approached, answered and compared the data that had been collected about themselves with others. We discuss the findings in relation to the pros and cons of using this kind of innovative technology when wanting to promote civic engagement or other forms of public engagement.
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