Publi*City

Better Places Through Participation

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Overview

Inviting Collaboration

There often exists a low grade, simmering distrust of local government and the bureaucratic process in general. Every citizen's quality of life is affected by local decisions, big and small, yet while many citizens have have important insight to add to the conversation, more often than not the process is too opaque and the information too, well, bureaucratic to be meaningful. For this project, I set about in my local community to ask how might we might go about changing that.

My role:

Research, strategy, ideation, prototyping, concept validation

Timeline:

Six week self-generated project (in progress)

The Challenge

Improve Participation Experience

Develop a platform to improve the experience of individual and community participation in local governance.

The Solution

Make it Accessible and Inviting

An engagement tool that makes relevant information accessible and invites residents to generate their own solutions.

User Research

Designing For Everyone

Civic decisions impact everyone in a community, whether its how one gets to school, the color of the streetlights, or how late the library is open. I used a combination of semi-structured interviews and existing engagement research to identify common issues across a broad range of civic stakeholders.

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Participants

I interviewed three users, each with different stakeholder perspectives: a resident, an advocate, and a former council member

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Discussion Guide

Questions focused on recent experience of civic participation, what successes, and what frustrations they encoiuntered

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Engagement Research

I was able to gain further insight from a broader range of stakeholders through a public study commissioned by a local advocacy organization

Affinity Mapping

Improve Participation Experience

Develop a platform to improve the experience of individual and community participation in local governance.

Research Insights

Primary Findings

Information is key

Most people don't know where to start to find informtion about somethign in their commiunity

Low-level of participation

Almost 84% of local residents say they do not regularly participate in local government

Feeling Powerless

Residents feel their input isn't valued and their participation in meetings is unwelcome

Inconvenient and unwelcome

Many residents find the opportunities to participate are scheduled when they can't attend

Design Goals

Develop a platform to improve the experience of individual and community participation in local governance.

Personas

Understanding the user

Up Next...

Ideation, Prototyping, and User Testing

There's more to come soon. I'll be posting more from this project in the coming weeks as I develop a working prototype and validate with users. Stay tuned!