Got inspiration? Tips for the OpenIDEO challenge

At the OpenIDEO innovation challenge, we’re thinking about how we might design accessible elections for everyone. Until February 20th, the challenge is in the Inspiration phase. A growing community of designers, accessibility advocates and election experts are looking for things that can be the spark for a new idea.

  • Analogies from daily life that might be applicable to elections
  • Inspiration from our own election stories and stories we hear from others
  • Snapshots of the democratic process from around the world
  • Out-of-the-box surprises

The inspiration gathering and discussion are raw material for design ideas

  1. It gets everyone thinking about the problem in an open brainstorming session.
  2. We’ll use them to identify some of the themes and suggest broad topics for design concepts.
  3. Concepts – ideas for solutions – build on inspirations. (The concept phase starts on February 20th.)

Getting started

If you are wondering how to get started, here are a few tips.

Start by browsing

Read a few of the inspirations. It’s a good way to get a feel for what people have been posting. You can make your first contribution by adding your comment to the discussion.

 Build on what you read

Sometimes one inspiration leads to another. Whether it’s a related idea, another resource, or a new brain spark, that new idea can be the first inspiration you post. There’s a button to “Build on This” or you can use the “Add Your Inspiration” buttons and then connect your inspiration to others in the last section of the form.

Don’t worry about duplications

Sometimes several people have a similar idea. Don’t worry about duplicating something that’s already been posted – you will have a unique perspective, and the two may be stronger than either alone. If you find a related inspiration later, you can edit yours to connect them using the “Build On This” links.

Follow the thread

You can follow connections between inspirations by looking at the end of the right column, or for a heading called “Building on this” and “Inspirations this built upon” to follow the connections between inspirations.

You can always edit

Remember that you can always update your entry. People add more text, links, additional pictures, and connections to other inspirations. Don’t think the entry has to be perfect before it’s posted.

Stay in touch by email and RSS

If someone posts a comment on your inspiration, or in any discussion you have been part of, you will receive an email letting you know about. You can follow the link right to the page, so you can keep the conversation going. And, there’s an RSS feed, so you can see what’s going on between visits to the site.

Search works

Looking for something specific? When in doubt, search. All of the titles, text, and keywords are included. It’s a good way to see if there are any entries on a topic to build on or discuss.


Ready to get started?

Start with the challenge briefThen, take on one of the five missions and share your inspirations for the community.


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