Process

The project relied heavily on user testing and validation. Using design thinking methodology we parted from the insight that many people crave information about their
cities. We: what do people want to know about their cities? What information helps people feel connected with their surroundings?
We tested the research by running UX, UI, and prototyping experiments in brief “Design Sprints”.
Finally, we designed and launched a simple informational website at citymatter.co.
Concurrently, we began collecting data from local open government portals, private companies, digital media outlets and social platforms using open APIs, in preparation for digital prototype development

Results

We developed a functioning interactive prototype for San Francisco. The application displayed data from a limited number of categories, and included an additional weather tool. As a result of our user research, information for each section was organized into modules
This alpha prototype has been presented publicly at Google, IBM, Facebook, Stanford University and other organizations, spurring a debate on the future of local media and government data, and the role of human vs. algorithmic solutions for local engagement.