The process of making a decision that Loomio enables is actually really simple: bring people together to talk things through, share ideas, address any concerns, and determine a clear course of action that works for everyone.
Loomio Beta is great – the core of the decision-making process works really well. But it still has a few barriers which make it hard to use for certain types of groups and decisions. If we really want to spread collaborative decision-making, it has to be the easiest thing in the world.
So for Loomio 1.0, we’ve examined and removed each barrier to entry.
Straight to the action
You can start a decision directly from the homepage and you don’t even need an account. It’s super simple:
Start by saying what is you want to decide about.
Log in using single sign-on (e.g. Google, Facebook, or Persona), or if you don’t want to create an account you can just put in your name and enter an email address to stay up to date.
Bring the right people in
This is the decision page: you can see the topic at the top of the page, and then a list of who’s involved. To start with, you’re the only one there, so you can get everything set up the way you want, and add people in when you’re ready.
Add participants by clicking “Share” and entering their emails, or copying and pasting the link and send it to them.
You can also add existing Loomio groups to the decision, and everyone in the group will be able to participate.
Discuss the options
Once people have joined the discussion, they can start commenting and suggesting ideas. This is the initial brainstorming part of a decision-making process.
Click ‘like’ on any idea that sounds good to you.
This is an easy way to get a ‘temperature check’ to see how the group feels about the different options.
You can have a discussion right here on the page, to work out any details. This solves the major problem with online polls and surveys, where you can only select from pre-determined options, and there’s no place to discuss alternatives.
Converge on a solution
Once an idea is looking favourable and you’re ready to make a decision, anyone can start a proposal. This will notify everyone involved and give them the opportunity to have their say.
Here’s the default set of decision options (we’ll be adding plugins for different styles of decision-making):
agree – I think this sounds good
abstain – I’m happy for the group to decide without me
disagree – I think we can do better
block – I have really serious concerns
This set of four options came directly from our experience of collective decision-making at Occupy. We’ve found this protocol to work well in all kinds of groups. There’s more nuance than a simple yes/no binary, but it’s simple enough to be really easy to grasp.
The decision is made
When the proposal closes, you can set an outcome, so every discussion comes to a really clear conclusion.
An online home for your group
Once you’ve made a decision with a bunch of people, you can set up a group to keep track of your decisions for the future.
Setting up a group gives you an online home. All the decisions you’ve made together are kept in a tidy archive, and you can tailor the look and feel to match your group identity. There are no ads, so it actually feels like a nice place to have an online meeting, rather than a shopping mall.
Because it’s built in HTML5, this will work on any web-capable device: laptop, tablet, smartphone, whatever. And it’s open source free software, so the code is there for anyone to improve.
Now let's build it!
We’re pretty excited about these designs. They’ve developed based on the feedback of thousands of users, and some deep thinking from experts in user experience, group dynamics, and open mobile technology. The designs are sure to evolve as they get built and tested, but we’re confident this is already a huge step up from the prototype, Loomio Beta.
We think that making online decision-making ridiculously simple can transform the way people relate to each other at every level of society, and fundamentally improve the decisions that get made.
Now we just have to build it!
The thing is, we can’t do this without you. If you think this should exist, check out our crowdfunding campaign, throw $25 in the pot, and get early access to Loomio 1.0!