SRG SSR Politbox

  • Andreas Amsler

Voter turnout is lowest among young people in the 18-34 age bracket and they are also the group that is the most likely to shun the political news coverage provided by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, SRG. So, what could SRG do to turn this situation around?

It was precisely this problem that a five-language editorial team found themselves grappling with. Led by Sandra Manca, Head of SRF News Online, the team decided that SRG had to find a new way of sharing the latest election news and information from around Switzerland. The solution? A mobile app known as poitbox.

Exploring new avenues

The centrepiece of politbox is a quiz app that lets users test their knowledge of Swiss politics and is available in the four national languages of Switzerland and in English. The SRG team called on specialists from Liip to use their design and development expertise to turn the idea into a viable product.
The bar set by the editorial team was extremely high. Requirements included five languages, single-player and battle modes, rankings according to subject, and individual statistical breakdowns according to sociodemographic indicator. 
The Liip team designed the app so that the editorial team could create and add new subjects or expand existing subject-specific content, whenever they wanted.
So far, so straightforward. But the Liip team also had to make sure that the content could be published in all five languages and was available in both play modes, regardless of whether the user was battling it out against a Facebook friend or someone else, or playing in level mode.

An app with the power to mobilise

The programme anchors were able to integrate the different sets of response statistics into their broadcasts. They could also prompt users to answer questions on the topical issue of the day and then present the results during the actual broadcast. Furthermore, presenters could also use the results of opinion polls, which appeared at the end of each quiz round, to take the political temperature of the Swiss public.
An added extra was that the programmes could show a breakdown of the statistics according to different sociodemographic indicators like canton of residence, language, age and gender.
The politbox team packed up the app and headed out on a six-month tour of Switzerland, stopping off in various towns and cities, including Fribourg, Basel, Murten and Lugano. But these were not conventional studio broadcasts. Instead, the group of young reporters hosted discussions from locations as diverse as a boat, a musical festival and even a garden, and on wide-ranging topics including consumer behaviour and the source of electricity.
Thanks to the contributions of some 38,000 users, the politbox app always had its finger on the pulse of popular opinion.

«Within the space of four months, Liip had designed and developed an incredibly complex quiz app. They never lost sight of the user during the entire process and came up with a product that provided content, statistics and opinions for a total of 19 programmes.»
Sandra Manca, Head of SRF News Online

Best of Swiss Apps, Silver in Campaigns
Best of Swiss Apps, Bronze in Swissness

Andreas Amsler
Business Developer, Gov/CivicTech Specialist
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