Designing for Disagreement

Explore the use of behavioral design and service prototyping techniques for generating new forms of civic engagement.

Workshop Dates: July 10 – 14, 2017

User-centred design, behavioral design, service prototyping, social innovation

The internet has brought the world to our doorsteps. It has also brought a powerful filter for what we let into our lives. With the click of a button or a tap on a screen, we can change everything that we hear and see. Don’t like this shop? One star. Don’t like him? Blocked. Don’t agree with her? Unfriended. Along with this echo-chamber effect, our collective ability to participate in civil, public discourse has deteriorated. Interaction designers have a major role to play in how these debates are shaped. In this hands-on studio workshop, collaborative teams will design new visions of sharing, empathy, and engagement—and learn along the way how to use behavioral design and service prototyping techniques to create novel forms of civic interaction.

Learning expectations:
Participants will:

  • Learn what different factors contribute to effective conversational interactions
  • Understand the role of bias and assumptions in how humans decide to agree or disagree on issues
  • Understand how to analyze and structure products, services, and experiences to shape conversational behavior
  • Learn how to use behavioral triggers and other techniques for initiating and shaping conversational interactions
  • Learn how to use service prototyping techniques to model and test conversational interactions


David Sherwin
Mary Paynter Sherwin