We promise

Well, hello there! Long time no see. Yeah. Sorry about the year-long hiatus, I had to get some stuff sorted out.

Anyway, I’m now living in Lancaster in the UK’s frozen North (winter is coming), and I have a job as an actual designer! How excit­ing. I’ll update you on some of the projects I’ve been work­ing on in due course, but right now I want to tell you about another thing I’m doing.

If you’re not a huge nerd like what I am, you may not even know what a hack day is. It may conjure strange images of darkened rooms (true), and shady people (occa­sion­ally also true), attempt­ing to crack secret data­bases wide open (also true) in some sort of semi-illegal manner (hah! wrong!).

Sadly for those of you who crave danger, they’re completely above board. In the case of #hack4good, which must be my favour­ite ‘cos my last post a year ago was about them too, they’re dedic­ated to solv­ing some of the world’s most diffi­cult prob­lems. Last year for me it was refugee camps — sadly still with us and grow­ing in number every day — and this year was a real doozy. Climate change.

Whew. Talk about a big ask. As with any other prob­lem, though, it’s easier to look at it you break it down a bit. The chal­lenge I joined was called Learn, Pledge, Challenge. Their idea was threefold (as you can prob­ably tell).

  • Point 1) People in general don’t know enough about climate change — so we need a way to teach them (Learn)
  • Point 2) We need to get really seri­ous about this. So let’s have people make solemn prom­ises — though ones they can actu­ally keep. (Pledge)
  • Point 3) People also don’t have any idea what prac­tical things they can indi­vidu­ally do to help climate change. So lets Challenge them to find some­thing they can do and stick to, and donate to char­ity while they’re at it.

All very worthy. But, as we thought about it, maybe a bit *too* worthy. After all, when people get fired up about thing like a lot of people did over the ALS Icebucket chal­lenge, then gener­ally, the learn­ing comes after the fact (I’m sure some people who donated still don’t know anything about ALS), and the prom­ising bit.. well it isn’t any fun unless you a) involve your friends and b) are doing some­thing ridiculous.

So we changed it — to a chal­lenge and forfeit game. It’s currently called We Promise, but we think that’s prob­ably still a bit worthy, so we’re going to change it. To what? Well, watch this space. First, watch this video I made:

And here’s the website we made — We Promise — in 48 and a bit hours straight — and some screen­shots of my proto­type designs. What do you think? The judges seemed to think it was a bit of all right — we got into the Grand Final! How excit­ing. We didn’t win, but it was one hell of an exper­i­ence. And the team who brought me in — Tom, Marvin and Greg — were all amaz­ing coders. And James, our scientific advisor, has a great grasp of climate change psycho­logy which really helps with craft­ing the user experience.




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Corinne Pritchard

Information Designer at Simply Understand
I believe design and design­ers can and should make the world a better place. I love design­ing things that help people under­stand complex ideas.

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