The Trust Index is an original product idea that I approached Hot Studio with in the Summer of 2011, and which we incubated during an internal Hackathon. The concept is relatively simple: compile a single number that corresponds to a politician’s trustworthiness so voters can hold elected officials accountable to their promises and minimize the efface of spin and double-speak.
Finding empirical data is difficult. Candidates publish their platform during their campaigns which, one assumes, telegraphs how they will vote. Unfortunately that’s not always the case. Therefore we needed to find data that could be used in a calculation to determine if a vote on a particular bill did or did not fall in-line with their stated platform.
Since this was a Hackathon, and time limited, we focused mostly on user research and made sure there was a market for this kind of experience. Once we validated our initial ideas and winnowed down the concept to it’s purest essence, we began to construct a primary user-journey: checking a politician’s voting record against their stated position on a current topic.
By crossing a congressional district with a topic of interest (I.E. debt ceiling debate), the user is shown key players in the debate and whether or not what they are saying and how they are voting align to their stated position. The user can dive deeper and analyze if a particular politician is a party-line voter and ultimately play multimedia clips of the politician conducting floor-debates.
The concept won 3rd prize and may someday be built.