Gal Litvak

Hamadad App

Hamadad is a social lab, designed to help Israel's policy makers make the best possible decisions in the fields of health, education, welfare and transport. By answering pressing questions regarding public policy, the public provide policy makers with the insight needed to make informed, human centered decisions.

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Commishioned by the Israeli finance minestry and developed in partnership with the health ministry and the center for municipal governance, Hamadad was designed as a means to tap into the needs and wants of Israeli society to help better inform policy decisions in the fields of transport, communication and education, as well as Covid-19 response. Hamada came to be at a time when the Covid pandemic was reaching new heights in contagion rates and casualties; and strict measures were being taken to stop it’s spread. And so, there was an urgent need for reliable information from the ground regarding public behavior and public welfare.

The challenge

We wanted to get people to fill out questioners we’d send them, numerous times a week over many weeks, each questionnaire taking up to 4 minutes to fill. With high friction (filling our a questionnaire that demands time and attention) and without any form of material reward to give users for their efforts, this was a challenging task. What’s more, at the time we developed the app, the public was already being bombarded by many Covid questionnaires sent by research institutes, health organizations, media channels and government. We needed to find a way to distinguish ourselves within a sea of other players competing for the publics attention.

Our solution

1. Mapping the motivation: in Israeli society, people tends to be very vocal about their opinions of how things ought to be done in the public sphere. Organized public protest are a common means of voicing social discontent. Taking that into consideration we framed Hamadad as a tool for people to make their voice heard to influence decision making without leaving the comfort of their couch. Framing it in such a way allowed a shift in the reference point. In comparison to the low friction mobile experience people are used to, filling out questionnaires can be tiring, but in contrast to the effort of having to attend public protests, spending a few minutes voicing your needs and helping in designing better policy through an app, suddenly seems like very little effort.

2. Using game mechanisms to create a “rewarding” experience: by “gamifying” our product we were able to inject more life into the potentially tideous process of filling out surveys. We introduced a point system together with virtual awards for user achievements to create a sense of progress fueled by those sweet moment of unlocking the next award.

3. Feed-back: to create a sense of transparency and credibility we made sure to communicate any and all of our success stories to the users that made those wins possible.