Monday, July 5, 2010

A symbol for openness and transparency?

On the Calgary Democracy project website, I’m building in detailed accountability details for every bit of information posted. This tracks who added a given piece of information to the website, who edited it, which moderator confirmed it, and when all that happened. All that information will be made available in a way similar to the “History” on Wikipedia articles.

In working on the visual design for the website it occurred to me that it could be useful to have an icon/symbol for “transparency and openness” that could be used to link to the accountability details wherever they are available.

My question to you:

What would an icon for openness and transparency (especially regarding government) look like? Is there one already?

What visual element(s) might it incorporate? Some possibilities I can think of off the top of my head include: Locks, window, open book, hands with palms up, magnifying glass, ledger, … Many of those are already used for other things (especially magnifying glass for search) so would probably not be appropriate.

Please share your thoughts (or leads on existing icons). Thanks!


Unknown said...

Grant, one way would be to do a "forbidden" sign (circle with bar through it) over an icon of secrecy: someone with a finger in front of their mouth going "shhh", "Top Secret" stamp on a page, blinds pulled down, or the stick man spy of Mad Magazine's spy vs spy.

Alternately a positive symbol like a window blinds up and shafts of sunlight coming in, people listening to a speaker, or someone holding a book open and facing away from them.

William's Girl said...

Hey Grant!!

I believe that all candidates should be required to disclose who specifically is funding his/her campaign. There should be an audited list disclosed under every candidate.

After reading nadreck's post, all I can think of is a photo of someone "shh"ing with a bar through it. I love it! Anti-Secrets!

You have a tough job designing an unbiased, open election of luck.

Post a Comment