Use of Effective Information Design Principles to Encourage Social Media Activism: Designing a Website for Global Social Issues to Enlist Change and Avoid Slacktivism
Lizardi, Ryan; First Reader
Kahn, Russell; Second Reader
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Subjectsocial media activism; slacktivism; information design; universal principles of design; gamification; design theory; global awareness; social issues; website design for activism
The scope of this paper examines the inherent issues that exist within the current constructs of social media activism, with the intent to better understand how to encourage proactive activism in participants and discourage ‘Slacktivism.’ The research herein explores the answer to whether or not effective principles of design theory can incite change and influence people to proactively participate in activism both online and in the real world environment, doing so at times, synonymously. The focus of this paper provides an overview of the research conducted, the challenges and obstacles that exist in social media activism, possible resolution, as well as examines the production of the website design element. The design process employed and described herein, is meant to effectively illustrate the ‘Universal Principles of Design,’ by creating a website that aims to promote social media activism (proactive participation). The objective of the website design process is meant to circumvent one of the dilemmas frequently faced in social media today, slacktivism (‘armchair/passive activism’), which has been explored and supported with the accompanying literature paper related to social media affordances and effective design that encourages active participation. Using a combined culmination of experience and education garnered to date in the M.S. IDT program, I have created a website prototype, adding infographics and visuals to ensure that the aforementioned project details would come to fruition by ensuring that elements of storytelling, color theory, grid layout and all theories learned to date are applied to the end goal. The project challenges, questions, limitations and future direction of the website design will be addressed within the content of this paper.
A Master's Project submitted to the College of Arts and Sciences at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Utica NY in partial fulfillment of the Master's of Science Degree.
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