As I was nearing the end of my student career in 2016 I wanted to expand my design purview into the realm of mobile app design. To test myself on this I wanted to work on an application with true social utility, so contributing to civic awareness and engagement seemed perfectly appropriate.
The name 5th Estate is a takeoff on “4th estate”, the idea that the press is a fourth branch of government, using the spotlight and transparency to check the actions of the other three. If that’s true, then democracy demands a fifth branch, made up of the citizenry at large, be armed with information that is objective, accurate and digestible.
I was heavily influenced by the site GovTrack, which has compiled data on all aspects of the federal government, including legislation and voting records, and offers users tools to track government activity on their web browser. My goal was to distill that concept into a mobile app that would streamline the navigation and look good.