Who has represented my hometown politically in the last 200 years? How has the proportion of women in the state parliament changed? Or what kind of states did modern Hesse actually consist of?
On behalf of the Hessian parliament and together with a large scientific team around the Philipps University of Marburg, we have created a unique digital humanities application that depicts the history of Hessian parliamentarism.
The application brings together original minutes, election results, maps, MP biographies and more in a way that invites interested citizens to explore easily, while providing researchers with a comprehensive research platform. It was designed to make a vast amount of complex information accessible in a way, that is easily understandable and meets the needs of very different target groups. An intuitive application that makes Hessian history easy to experience digitally.
On a discovery tour through the history of Hessian parliamentarianism
Whether for pupils and teachers in history and politics lessons or as a research tool for local historians: With the implementation of the "Hessian Parliamentary History", an online portal was created that provides low-threshold access to comprehensive information from more than two centuries of the history of the Hessian parliament. Therefore, it uses graphical timelines, interactive maps and illustrated profile pages instead of the dry list and directories. On the way it promotes serendipity, e.g. by highlighting interesting or random facts, that invite users to explore other parts of the application.
The big challenge was to design a comprehensible and clear application from huge amounts of very different data. The application not only had to address different target groups, such as users with little prior knowledge or experts with specific questions, in order to provide them with precisely tailored information. It was also necessary to identify the sometimes conflicting interests within the target groups, to bundle them on the basis of the findings and to develop a comprehensible, clear operating concept. The result stands and falls with the fact that it is easy and fun to use the application.
As concept and design lead, I was involved in the project starting with the pitch, where I came up with the main idea and build up the general structure, highlights and fundamental principles of user guidance. After succeeding in the pitch, I accompanied the project through concept, design and implementation together with a team of designers, developers and project managers.
I am extremely proud of the work of my team at SCHUMACHER and am pleased about the great media response (the FAZ, Süddeutsche, Zeit and Hessenschau, among others, have reported on it).
The application can be found at: parlamente.hessen.de (German)
The project was awarded the German Digital Award 2022 in bronze.