BOSTON + 311


︎Chapter 1︎︎︎
Prototyping new forms of community engagement in Chinatown

︎Chapter 2︎︎︎
Qualitative research and civic strategy with the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics 


Chapter 1


During the Urban Interactions studio in RISD Industrial Design, we1 worked with the Asian Community Development Corporation to prototype interventions to better the lives of Chinatown’s residents.

But first, we had to learn something about those residents.


1

INSTAGRAM SCAVENGER HUNT


2

FLYERS AND POSTCARDS

3

COLLABORATIVE MAPPING

4

URBAN DESIGN BOARD GAME

location based prompt and response


These conversations yielded three intentions:



1

Help community associations understand their constituencies, while balancing technological and in-person conversation.

2

Formalize valuable, unstructured community conversations without sacrificing complexity.

3

Maintain data transparency and ownership for citizens.



So we proposed Boston + 311:




utilize the existing digital infrastructure of BOS:311 which already has:
  • claim filing
  • map-based UI
  • a dedicated user base



build novel feature that allows community advocates to cite multiple claims into one actionable issue





auto-generated visual citation structure 
  • data transparency
  • intuitive prioritization of issues
     




A platform for collaborative brainstorming about
quality-of-life issues in Boston.






wireframe sketches:


1Made in collaboration with Sooho Choi and Aaron Heskes




Chapter 2

As a summer fellow with the Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, I was asked to continue my work with the BOS:311 system. This time, the rules had changed - less blue sky speculation and more real world constraints.

As always, I started with...

Research


in-depth interviews internally with the following departments:



311 Call Center




Public Works

New Urban Mechanics



Neighborhood Services


Innovation and Technology




Transportation



And several relevant external groups:








Analysis and Brainstorming



what could I do in 6 weeks that would meaningfully contribute to a vast system that spanned decades and departments?


Synthesis & Strategy


I visualized the 311 system based on most-recent data:

I prototyped and made the case for specific feature implementations in the short term:


1. Equity
human-translated multilingual support
2. Efficiency
multiple photos for easier case response
3. Transparency
humanized updates
and alerts



and created recommendations and pathways towards better indepartmental collaboration - and made sure they got in the hands of people who could implement them: