Post Up is an interactive interface that gives New Yorkers a venue to report contextualized civic problems. This display will reside at various bus shelters around NYC where people can report problems within their neighborhood. They can also vote on or subscribe to problems that have already been posted, which are fed into SeeClickFix‘s database. When a problem is resolved, the person that reported the problem along with everyone else that subscribed to it will receive a “problem resolved” text message.
Before moving onto a lo-fi prototype, we quickly put together a user journey of how a New Yorker would interact with Post Up.
Prototyping in the Wild | Day 1
After working out some of the kinks in our initial user journey, the team got together one Sunday afternoon, created a lo-fi version of Post Up, and released it into the city.
Since we were going to prototype at more than one bus stop, we kept our prototype portable and easily removable. To accomplish this, our Post Up prototype consisted of two panels, the main display panel and the instructions panel, both made of foam core.
Each panel was held up by suction cups, which allowed us to easily move it from one bus shelter and onto the next. Problems were written onto Post-Its and votes were demarcated by smaller Post-Its, which were cut into the shape of ribbons.
After 10 minutes of waiting in the cold while observing people at the bus shelter, we moved into a restaurant across the street to continue our stakeout.
An hour later, still no responses. With our heads hanging low, we called it a day. I brought the prototype back home with me to Astoria (far more neighborhood oriented than all of the previous places) and figured I could try putting the prototype up at a bus shelter in the neighborhood the next day.
Prototyping in the Wild | Day 2
What is Astoria?
Astoria is a a neighborhood in the northwestern corner of the borough of Queens in New York City. I’ve lived there for about 4 months now and from what I could tell, a lot of people know each other. The neighborhood is made up of many different generations of “immigrants from places such as Greece, Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East” (Wiki). In comparison to where I used to live, the Upper East Side, Astoria is far more quiet and is well-maintained.
And to the Prototyping!
I managed to put the prototype up at a bus shelter over on Ditmars Blvd and 31st Street. It’s a busy intersection as it sits right by the last stop on the N/Q subway line. This time, instead of posting up one problem to start the conversation, I posted up four along with five votes interspersed among the problems. After 10 minutes of observation and no response, I left the prototype up at the shelter and headed into Manhattan for class.
Several hours later, my roommate happened to walk by the bus shelter and informed me that people were interacting with Post Up.
After finishing up class around 9pm that night, I arrived at the bus shelter and noticed that people were still skimming through the problems posted up on the board.
At the end of the day, an additional 11 problems were reported along with over 10 votes by people waiting at the bus shelter.