Objectives: We sought to explore the feasibility of using a crowdsourcing study to promote awareness about automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and their locations.
Methods: The Defibrillator Design Challenge was an online initiative that asked the public to create educational designs that would enhance AED visibility, which took place over 8 weeks, from February 6, 2014, to April 6, 2014. Participants were encouraged to vote for AED designs and share designs on social media for points. Using a mixed-methods study design, we measured participant demographics and motivations, design characteristics, dissemination, and Web site engagement.
Results: Over 8 weeks, there were 13 992 unique Web site visitors; 119 submitted designs and 2140 voted. The designs were shared 48 254 times on Facebook and Twitter. Most designers-voters reported that they participated to contribute to an important cause (44%) rather than to win money (0.8%). Design themes included: empowerment, location awareness, objects (e.g., wings, lightning, batteries, lifebuoys), and others.
Conclusions: The Defibrillator Design Challenge engaged a broad audience to generate AED designs and foster awareness. This project provides a framework for using design and contest architecture to promote health messages.