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This project is a long term and on-going design consulting job involving user interface design, brainstorming new concepts, and graphic design.
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Opinion Space
Berkeley Center for New Media
This project is a long term and on-going design consulting job involving user interface design, brainstorming new concepts, and graphic design.  

Opinion space
is a self-organizing system that helps communities generate and exchange ideas about important issues and policies.  It uses an intuitive graphical "map" that displays patterns, trends, and insights as they emerge and employs the wisdom of crowds to identify and highlight the most insightful ideas.

You can view the current version at: http://www.state.gov/opinionspace/
In the current version, I helped redesign the user interface in order to make interactions and correlations clearer.  The small points in the background represent the actual distribution the people in the space.  In the previous version, when a user clicked "More Responses" the new responses would be revealed in an explosion effect originating from the bottom right corner of the screen.  Now, they emerge from the background to enforce the correlation between the small points in the background and ones in the foreground.
The icon set I have designed to be implemented in the next version Opinion Space.

Textual Translations:

        "More Opinions"                  "Groups"           "People I've Rated"            "Favorites"            "People I've Commented On"

"Remove From Favorites"  "Add to Favorites"      "Lock Into Space"    "Remove From Space"           "Add to Space"

          "Inbound"                        "Outbound"         "Inbound with Color"    "Outbound with Color"
One of the main problems in the current version is the lack of control users have over the space.  While Opinion Space has been kept deliberately simple to improve usability, giving users more control over the space has the potential to greatly increase both the user's personal investment in the space and the overall quality of comments generated by Opinion Space by allowing users to tailor the space to their preferences.  

This is a mockup of the side-bar for the next version of the program.  It lists the points displayed in the space in a linear fashion in order of proximity to the user, with the user's icon always at the top of the list.  

In addition, it introduces the idea of groups and favorites (the buttons at the top), allowing the user to create custom sets of people and save them for later reference.  

Finally, the system also introduces a search function, allowing user's to filter by a keyword.

Together, these new additions give the user a more flexible, powerful environment in which they can manipulate the space.  It is now up to usability testing to reveal whether or not these new features and controls will in fact improve the user experience as well as the quality of ideas generated by Opinion Space.
The sidebar from the previous image rendered in the full Opinion Space UI.
Another feature lacking in the current system is the ability to comment on other user's ideas.  Here I have implemented a UI for a single level threaded discussion similar to commenting on facebook.  These 'sub-comments' are not in the space, however if you like what they have to say, a user can easily add them to the space by pressing the plus symbol next to each comment.
The sidebar from the previous image rendered in the full Opinion Space UI.

In addition, the red glow around one of the comments denotes a new comment that the user has not yet read.