UX as a Storyteller in Mission-Driven Organizations
February 22nd, 2018
WeWork Charging Bull
Doors open at: 6PM
About the Event
This panel will explore how User Experience and User Interface help mission-driven organizations such as media outlets, non-profits, and economic development agencies tell their stories and reach their goals through non-textual means.
In this event, we’ll talk with startup founders, technologists, data journalists, and non-profit CMOs who have actively worked to redesign the medium for the message and ask them what they’ve learned in the process. Our speakers are all committed to telling important stories that have a lasting impact on audiences, and they’re doing it by challenging the design conventions that many of us have taken for granted.
Speakers from the Associated Press, Children's Aid and other organizations will offer their unique perspectives on why a high-quality user interface and an innovative take on user experience is crucial to transforming a passive consumer into an active promoter.
What We've Been Talking About in 2017
2017 saw Startup Socials NYC respond to massive community feedback regarding the crisis of journalism, the erosion of truth and the rapid rise of suspect political trends arising from mass personalization of social media.
All of these stem from the inevitable negative economic effects of an online advertising duopoly shared by Google and Facebook.
In a series of "Future of" themed events, we explored the topics of:
The inherent weaknesses of the modern online publishing business model.
The role of blogging, brand publishing and branded storytelling in driving a responsible and ethical editorial agenda.
Building on the knowledge that emotion is a huge driver of content consumption, we also explored what role artificial intelligence could play in our emotional lives and the likely impact of automation tools on journalism itself at our previous event in September.
During these open ended discussions, we’ve scratched the surface of an information overload crisis and tried to grapple with all the dynamics of the business models and strategies that are under pressure from mass-personalization, but we haven't had a chance to address exactly how our new media formats contribute to the reader’s (or more correctly, the user’s) cognitive bias.
Our discussions have left us with questions like, are readers just lazy? Does anyone really want news or just entertainment? Can we even tell the difference between real and fake news? As content creators, do we have any responsibilities to readers and users?
What We're Going to Discuss In This February Event
Many long-in-the -tooth internet startup pioneers have started to publicly reject the systems they helped create. There's broad recognition that algorithms that interfaces are “hijacking our brains,” and algorithms are no longer our friend.
Nevertheless, while it would be easy to “blame the user” or “blame audiences” for a potentially dangerous and irresponsible attention deficit disorder that threatens to unravel many long standing democratic and meritocratic institutions, there is plenty of evidence that millennials are seeking responsible news information on their own.
Similarly, while messaging apps and social media seem to have suddenly divided us politically, many of us would still assert that our lives have been substantially improved by easier access to information, new perspectives and connectivity offered by social sharing and search engines.
So, perhaps, we’re just not designing the right message for the medium? Maybe, there are better interface designs that are more suited for purpose?
With that in mind, the broad question we’d like to explore in our next event is whether the design of the systems we use need a rethink, too. Are the interfaces we use on a daily basis doing our intelligence an injustice?"
What if those stories we're called to tell, whether to promote a cause, highlight an issue or educate an audience, could still make an impact if we radically rethought the way we design an article, blog post, website or video?"
If more thoughtful and edifying engagement with the user is possible, what would those interfaces look like? What are the design choices we would make?
Here are the types of questions that we’d like to noodle on.
* Are current interface designs doing our intelligence an injustice? * Can you say anything of value in 140 characters? * Are search engine algorithms editorialized? * Do suggested search queries create ethical issues? * Are suggested videos leading people into rabbit holes of misinformation? * Do social feeds work like slot machines? * Are notifications destroying our attention spans? * Is swiping right making us more superficial? * Does screen brightness ruin our ability to concentrate while reading? * Are we measuring engagement with the wrong web analytics metrics?