Open source TOOLBOX

Want a platform where people can discuss social issues anonymously online? Here's how we made ours.


Step one: a purpose

Our Inter-professional Projects class begun with a discussion about urban activation. We decided that we wanted a website that people could talk about something personal that had happened to them in the city of Chicago in order to personify its neighborhoods. Our recommended first step is to write a thesis.


step two: decide on a platform

As a team, we discussed how to gather people's stories about their neighborhoods. We spent a lot of time debating between a physical object that people could submit stories to and a digital platform that would be accessible at any time. Eventually, we decided on both. The physical story collector would be deployed at events throughout the city that we attended where hot button issues were being discussed. People could submit their stories and opinions anonymously. For our digital platform, we decided on Square Space because of its simplicity. You simply create an account and pick a template.

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step three: develop a physical object

For developing a physical object, we needed something that could be easily interacted with and identified. We developed and deployed a cardboard sign that doubled as a box. People could either pin their submissions to the sign or submit them through a slot. At the end of an event that we attended, we would go through


step four: getting attention

For the physical object, it was simple, we just needed the sign in a visible location that people could engage. The digital platform was more difficult. We used QR codes and digital beacons to try to get people's attention. The iBeacons sent out notifications to anyone who had their Bluetooth turned on in the area, but only Androids had the technology to accept those notifications.