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Working in the Digital Civic Space
By Chloe Chan
During the summer of 2023, I was a part of the Digital Youth Working Civic Group. This was a team composed of researchers, engineers, and civic activists driven to create a centralized digital civic hub for NYC students to aid them with resources for voting registration and civic opportunities. After working as a technology team member of the Digital Youth Working Civic Group, I was immersed in various perspectives that allowed me to gain a better understanding of those in the civic space. I spent my time heavily focused on conducting user research from teachers who were in the space. After hearing what they’ve done to immerse their students in civics, I got more attached to the space and knew I wanted to make an impact to help them. I learned about their issues ranging from student engagement and involvement in civics as some students don’t understand the power of their vote to wanting to display more resources (from previous students who completed the seal of civil readiness) showcasing how they can do this too. From a very technical standpoint, my user research complemented the various aspects the tech team was thinking about including in the hub that we weren’t necessarily thinking about. I loved thinking about the design and technical standpoint of developing a website, as it drew from both right and left brain centered ideas. As we transition into the fully technical development of the hub, I’m eager to utilize both standpoints to aid me and the rest of the tech team in developing a fruitful, accessible, and immersive resource.