Fostering democracy through digital innovation

Design System

Working together with Swiss media house AZ Medien, we developed the concept for Petitio, an online petition platform. AZ Medien’s news sites focuses on localized content for residents of eight Swiss regions, and Petitio would take this citizen-focused approach a step further—giving people the opportunity to have their voices heard, make concerns known, and gain support.

Pitching the idea to Google’s Digital News Initiative, we received funding to bring our vision to life. Focused by region, Petitio aims to generate direct discourse between the petitioner, supporters, and relevant local authority.

Successful petitions generate a physical letter sent to regional council representatives, and a request to respond via the app. This response is then displayed with the petition, allowing the petitioner and supporters to see their impact.

"Even in our wildest dreams we couldn’t have expected such a great start: more than 80 petitions created, supported by a total of almost 5000 signatures, in just the first month."

— Peter Neumann, Chief Digital Officer AZ Medien, speaking in January 2017

Project development revolved around the creation of an open-source petition framework, IRIS — with Petitio as the first branded variation — allowing AZ Medien to invite other media organizations to join the Petitio platform, or set up their own independent version of IRIS.

Components for the open source IRIS

Open Source Stylesheet

Adapted for the branded Petitio platform

Petitio Stylesheet

The finished platform is a universal Javascript application built on React and Redux, ensuring all stages of petition creation and supporting flows are lightning fast in the browser. It also includes Single Sign-on and SMS verification to confirm users’ identities and maintain compatibility with AZ's existing user accounts.

Alongside the technical implementation, we ensured visual and UX consistency across the app to create a trustworthy and credible platform, and establish a design direction that can move forward with the Petitio brand as the platform evolves.

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