Design proposals

The participants to the Design Camp were given 1 month and a half to elaborate under a libre/open license (CC-by-sa, CC-by, ODBL, LO, GPL, BSD, …) a design proposal in the form of:

  • Design intentions: a note about the design principles the team proposes in order to address the research issues
  • Design sketches: a series of sketches (pictures, schema, interactive prototypes…) which illustrate the information and interactive design the team propose to develop for the law factory application to be created
  • Financial elements: description of tasks related to the proposals with financial and time prevision to be fully developed

or any other kind of document they might consider useful.

Several objectives guided the design proposals of Manufactura Independente and Density Design Lab:

  1. give an overview of the process design
  2. create hit/heat maps to represent debates/amendments/articles
  3. versionalize the law
  4. make possible the exploration (tagging) of amendments
  5. make possible the exploration of debates
  6. make possible the exploration of themes by keyword’s footprint on a debate
  7. make possible identification of the actors

In the same time they tried to answer some of the following research  research questions:

 The law-making process

  • How can the law-making process be described? Which are the law steps? How the amendment system works?
  • How much time the law making process took and why? Who or what is responsible for the delay?
  • Is there a law-making pattern by public policy field?
  • Is there a law-making pattern? How can it be defined?

–       number of amendments

–       steps

–       time span

–       debate duration/mobilization (number of actors)

The difference between chambers

  • On the same bill is there any focus difference between the two chambers?
  • What is the focus of deputies compared to senators?
  • What is the focus of committees/floor in the Senate and the National Assembly?

The origin of the bill

  • Are there any differences between a governmental and a parliamentary bill?  Does the origin of the bill matter? Does the origin of the bill generate a different process pattern? (Hypothesis: amendments origin, debate time and mobilization of the actors differ)
  • Which part of the final text originates from government or and which part from the parliament (Assembly or Senate)?
  • When is the government defeated?
  • In spite of the majoritarian system, why and when an opposition MP can be successful?


  • Which amendments change substantially the law? What are their origins?
  • Which part of the text was most debated/changed?

Individually, Manufactura Independente’s main concern was to address the complexity of the data and deal with the three aspects of this challenge: “large amounts of data, complexity of the data structure, and how to bring it together in a consistent fashion».

Their application concerns mainly an expert public, who is looking for specific information, thus doesn’t need to be taken by hand and shown step by step the legislative process. Several aspects were visualized in a particularly interesting manner like the color intensity to represent those parts of the text that were the most amended.  (see the print scree). For more details, their design proposal can be found here

Density Design Lab’s Uroboro tool “helps to identify law-making patterns, dynamics and emerging issues within the observed space by combining, in a single visually enhanced environment, the ability to gather, analyze and relate different steps of the law process, the text versioning and the discussion between MPs.”  Information visualization is the key driven element of their proposal. Thus “user will be driven into the data exploration through different views of the phenomenon, each view is meant as different points of access (Whitelaw 2012): bill structure , bill versioning and MPs activities. Each point of access could be explored from different level of zoom, starting from a visual abstraction of the big picture of the phenomenon to the raw data representation (eg: from the whole representation of one bill proposal through time to the single text line) ”.  For more info about Uroboro please access their proposal here

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