Participedia Executive Committee

Participedia is an open global knowledge community for researchers and practitioners in the field of democratic innovation and public engagement. It’s guided by an Executive Committee made up of leading academics from around the world who promote democratic governance globally.

Challenge

Participedia’s current site used MediaWiki, however the sharing and collaboration tools on it were not meeting the needs of the Executive Committee. The workflows were cumbersome, and searching was inconsistent. AB was brought in to create a better user experience on the site, for both English and German versions. 

Upgraded design through the SIM Center @ Emily Carr (Social and Interactive Media) 

Solution

Collaborating with students at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design’s Social and Interactive Media Centre, we developed a more searchable and downloadable dataset for statistical analysis by the Committee. This included improvements to the underlying architecture as well as the user experience. Taking guidance from Participedia’s Advisory Board to determine the right data model for the system, we introduced a faceted search capability using the SOLR platform. This also let us incorporate multilingual capabilities into the site. Finally, we determined the best way to support the ongoing statistical research Participedia wanted.

Results

The new architecture and search functionality significantly improved the quality and accessibility of the data on the site, and also helped ready the site for multilingual use starting with German. The site’s workflow is easier for the client to manage, enabling both better search capabilities and better support of ongoing research needs.