Jun Matsushita

Open and Human Centric technology - Presenting Panic Button at Labtogether

  • Blog
  • panic button, #labtogether, betterplace

Betterplace Lab invited iilab to present our work with Amnesty International on the Panic Button app at the Lab Together 2014.

The main focus of my presentation was the role of the Open and Human Centered process that pervaded the project since it started in 2011.

The Betterplace Lab is a research lab exploring digital innovations to help people, organizations and companies working in the social sector. At the Lab Together this year, they held a discussion on digital privacy with our friends Tactical Technology Collective and the new Data and Politics project lead Fieke Jansen, panels on Crowdfinancing and Productive failure, and presentations on digital relief trends.

Panic Button didn’t come fully formed out of the Open Ideo open innovation process, that it took a lot of iterations in prototyping and later in implementation to get to where the application is today.

Also, Open Source is an useful approach to improve the sustainability of a social impact project. It allowed iilab to pick up where Toughtworks had left, and will allow other developers to get onboard in the future. A question from the audience correctly pointed out that there are other factors to be able to support the emergence of an open source community around a project and Panic Button is still in an incubation phase with a few contributors including paid ones.

Crucially we used an Open Design approach which included the use of paper based prototypes and a structured method to collect the results of user testing. We gathered security experts, also with a human centric and holistic security approach to evaluate risks and feed into the security design and documentation of Panic Button.

I wish there would have been more time for interaction with the audience, but the feedback on twitter was good so I hope the presentation provided some food for thought.

We’re hoping to share the video soon, but if you have any thoughts so far, please get in touch in the comments or with twitter via @iilab #labtogether.