Fellowship Prototype Apps: Training Through Doing

As part of the Fellowship training process, 2014 Fellowship teams were asked to collaborate and build lightweight prototype apps and test their working styles. From research, to needs assessment, to wireframe, to iteration, to prototype design — teams build an early app from start to finish in five hack sessions (over a three week period). While still very basic, these apps show the level of design-thinking and technical skill our Fellows planning on honing during their residencies in our partner cities. A list of a few of those demo apps are listed below.

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StreetReel: After meeting with the City of San Francisco, Eric, Lizzie, Drew, Kavi, Livien, and Becky (Team Denver and Team Lexington) built an application to map film production locations around San Francisco. In collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation and using open data from the SF Film Commission, the group prototyped an application in the hopes of better informing residents and city officials of street closures around the city.

TransitMix: In an effort to increase citizen engagement, Sam, Tiffani, and Andrea (Team Atlanta) built an application that shows how malleable a city can truly be. Building on the success of Streetmix, the application allows residents to remix their dream transit routes.

Build San Leandro: Working alongside the City of San Leandro, Jason, Jeremia, Giselle, Clara, Ainsley, and Maksim (Team Chattanooga and Team Puerto Rico) built an application called “Build San Leandro” — an app that lets San Leandro business owners and prospective business owners connect and talk about local opportunities and events. The backend data powering the app comes from a simple Google Spreadsheet that city contacts can fill out. From here, listings and contact info is then pushed to a live website page.

Parking Tradeoffs: Working with the City of Napa and thinking about reuse of a space called COPIA, Wendy, Tom, and Peter (Team Mesa) interviewed residents for their thoughts. Residents interviewed saw the COPIA space in relation to a need for parking for a nearby farmer’s market. The thought sparked the idea for Parking Tradeoffs — an app that gets residents and city contacts thinking about the tradeoffs to different types of land use. While a very rough prototype, when users scroll over the blue percentage text, they’re met with the consequences of a particular land use choice.

Art Hookup: Jeff, Andrew, and Anna Marie (Team Rhode Island) worked with Jake Levitas from the City of San Francisco in relation to Living Innovation Zones. After speaking to a number of community groups, the team recognized that an OKCupid-style art app would allow the city to matchmake artists and city partners for further development. Given the three week timeframe, they instead built a basic message listing board as a prototype where citizens could connect and coordinate new projects.

LIZ

Hookup with Liz: David, Maya, and Amy (Team San Antonio) also worked with Jake Levitas and Living Innovation Zones (LIZ) to build Hook Up With Liz. This app starts the process for planning in each of the available or proposed LIZ spaces. The app answers questions that help ease the regulatory process and inform the City of potential partnerships.

HoodGuesser: Inspired by Click that ‘Hood, Rhys, Molly, and Daniel (Team Long Beach) created HoodGuesser. The app lets users explore via Google Streetview and allows them to gain perspective on new neighborhoods and while increasing their empathy for their fellow citizens. Users are shown a Streetview of a part of their city and are given a chance to guess the neighborhood. When users are stumped, hints are surfaced from Census data and popular nearby Yelp reviews. The idea here is to gamify the act of familiarizing yourself with a city and challenge others to do the same.

Oakland Lobbyists: Tiffany, Andrew, and Danny (Team Charlotte) worked with the City of Oakland to redesign how lobbyist data is presented to the public and to city officials. Tearing a page from Chicagolobbyists.org’s playbook, the group spoke to a few watchdog organizations as well as their city partner and built an app to track individual lobbyist profiles, clients, financial quarter spending and disclosure documents. The result is an easy-to-understand dashboard.

 


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Dana Oshiro Dana Oshiro

Dana Oshiro is Code for America's Senior Marketing Manager.
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