Benjamin Melançon, Agaric
A handful of visionary people in the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts wanted an online resource to help families easily find activities, services, and resources.
Find It Cambridge was informed and further inspired by extensive initial research done by Code for Boston and the City of Cambridge. As this was wrapping up, the city brought Agaric in, so we found ourselves in the incredibly fortunate situation of starting with this in-depth knowledge.
This session will start with highlights from this research conducted before anything was built. Next, we will take you through the iterations of design and mockup testing led by Todd Linkner, our design partner. We'll also cover the learning from the initial user testing with people in a library computer lab, which was particularly real-world conditions for this site! Finally, we will go into the iterative improvements continuing through today, regularly informed by feedback from people using the site in real conditions.
We will also discuss the challenge of balancing client feedback with user feedback and offer strategies for making sure user needs are prioritized, including how to be a user advocate no matter what your role in a project is. We will take you through some of the client-developer decision processes and present what we've learned and how we plan to continue building on what we've learned as we continue to build on this amazing citizen resource.
The philosophy throughout has been listen, watch, learn, and then use the knowledge gained to develop and prioritize enhancements and new features. The most interesting parts, as so often, lie in the details. This session will also present frankly what could have been done better, and what could still be done better.
Worker-owner, developer @ Agaric
At Agaric, i use open source free software to give people and groups power over their online communication and web presence. To help all people gain power over our own lives, which we need to make progress toward justice and liberty, I volunteer at a nonprofit organization called, and for, People Who Give a Damn.