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Valentina Dzhekanovich

  • Faculty of Design
  • Inter­action Design
  • MA
  • Designing for depolarisation: AI-driven UX/UI design intervention "Speaker Badge"
  • Tutor: Johanna Rochegude, Jonas Knutsson

Political division over information is a paradox of the modern hyperconnected world. AI-driven social media platforms created a unique unprecedented situation where despite being brought so close to each other people increasingly get polarised in the way they see the reality.

It has to do with the way information is presented in social media today – personalised news feeds provide each of us with the picture of the world that we like and engage with the most. On a macro level, different truths and separate worlds have emerged as a result of this process. This has diminished the common grounds of shared reality and developed hostility in interactions between these different groups of people who hold contradicting beliefs.

Cognitive-behavioural map of polarisation in social media

In this thesis, I explore the cognitive-behavioural aspect of political polarisation in the U.S. between far-left and far-right social media users. Using the digital ethnography as the main research method, I embedded into circles of my target audiences from both ends of the American political spectrum and compared their online experiences, information processing mechanisms and behaviours.

The goal of this project was to attempt to depolarise social media users with means of design. Results of the digital ethnography study identified several points in the experiences of radicalised social media users, where the design intervention could make a change.

AI-driven UX/UI design intervention “Speaker Badge”

As an outcome of this project, I propose a concept that is designed to motivate respectful discussions and unite people around common reality, which removes certain aspects of polarisation from social media environments.

The thesis report can be accessed by clicking the “Download” button below. The final paper presents an overview of the five months of the project while detailing the development of the work and exploration of the concept.