The paper mockup makes it easy for pre-prototype participants to add points and queries as meaningful grist for our deliberative mill. The tricky part is done by volunteers who usher participant messages onto 8 cards that serve as guesses pending each participant publishing their own points and queries for themselves when the prototype goes live online.

There are no set rules: participants respond as they wish to support their points and queries. This is a rough mockup of the U4U software, which is a rough mockup of USHIN, all of which follow the same ground rules:

  1. Each shape represents a distinct meaning to the participant;
  2. Shapes with dark sides facing up are statements, or “points;”
  3. Shapes with blank sides face up are questions, or “requests.”

If you have a set of cards please see our 4 minute video that shows how to play, which enacts the steps below.

Ushers synthesize points that each potential participant has said or written, by “ushering” them into shapes. These are presented to the original author as guesses to edit and publish in U4U.Whether by card stock or keyboard, U4U participants choose and compare shapes, add examples,fortify their own input, guess at other perspectives, consider nuances, form combinations,connections, and generate new points to deliberate such as actions to take. Future online input will include other ushin features for participants to value, relay and comprehensively review information with rich visual displays for quick analysis. To request cards, or participate in the prototype online, visit

To reveal the message sent to you with cards:

  1. Set aside the blank packet (for your response)
  2. Hold the packet with text and remove the star shaped card, reading its text.
  3. Slide out the rest of the cards in one stack.
  4. Read them from the top down to maintain sender’s flow.

To respond with your own blank set of 8 cards:

  1. If you agree with our guess, find the matching shape of the other color cards and put it on top with the point black side facing upwards. You can write on the card or leave the pair together, as is, to convey that your meaning is understood.
  2. If you question the guess:put the blank side face up, and note your query on the blank.
  3. Toss aside any input of no value to you.

Place a stack of paired cards in your recipient’s packet and send it back in the enclosed envelope.

To contribute to the prototype as a participant or community member go to