Citizens are increasingly called upon to comment on issues that directly concern them. However, such consultations may be tokenistic  as they occur with limited respondents, or may be at a time, or in a format which is inconvenient to the user. To encourage wider participation, the VoiceYourView project (vYv) has developed a system allowing people to make comments in a manner, time and place convenient to them. A real world trial of the prototype system was conducted at Coventry University campus to explore issues related to the system's usability and usage, as a means of enabling campus users to comment on their environment. Members of the university population were invited to comment on the university estate using one of five technologies (e-mail, online form, iPhone app, SMS message, or electronic kiosk). Although the immediate application area in this case was the design of public spaces, the approach can be transferred to other domains and thus provide a new way of gathering user information. Submitted comments were automatically analysed in terms of theme, sentiment, location and actionability and displayed online in a 2D visualisation. It is argued that that online data collection (crowd sourcing and skimming social networks) may provide a rich source of information for future ergonomists.
- public spaces
- user consultation
- User engagement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health