Smart Chicago Collaborative

Civic User Testing Group

The Civic User Testing Group is a set of regular Chicago residents who get paid
to test out civic apps.

Be a tester, get paid

The Civic User Testing Group (CUTGroup) is a set of regular Chicago residents who get paid to test out civic apps.

  • Fill out a CUTGroup profile and sign up to be a tester of civic apps, and we'll send you a $5 VISA gift card
  • If and when you are chosen to test a civic app, you get paid a $20 VISA gift card.

There is a large and growing community of "civic hackers" in Chicago — technology developers who make websites, mobile apps, and other tools that often have specific use in Chicago. The goal is to make software that helps make lives better in the city.

The problem is that lots of civic apps get attention among a smallish group of other developers and people interested in the world of open data, but do not get wide acceptance by the people they were made for — regular residents of the city of Chicago.

You are going to change all that!

We need people from all over the city, using all sorts of devices, browsers and operating systems.

Get Started

We are currently soliciting applications from every ward in Chicago. As we spend time together, we hope to form bonds among government, developers, and community members who come together in the spirit of co-creation to make civic apps that work for everyone. We will close down each ward once we've got enough coverage, and we'll update the map above as we get people onboard. Sign up now and tell your friends!

In order to get the most out of CUTGroup testing, we have to have a fairly scientific take on the who is doing the testing and how they’re using the Internet.

This survey has a lot of questions about where you live, what devices you have, and how you connect to the Internet. This helps us get the right mix of people to test a particular application.

If you complete the form, we will send you $5 in the mail (via VISA gift card) right away.

Fill out my online form.


The Civic User Testing Group is a project of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, a civic organization devoted to using technology to make lives better in Chicago. The project is supported by a Knight Community Information Challenge grant provided jointly by the Knight Foundation and The Chicago Community Trust as part of the Civic Innovation in Chicago project. Additional funding is provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Testing will happen all over the city at the locations of Connect Chicago, a loose network of more than 250 places in the city where internet and computer access, digital skills training, and online learning resources are available – for free. If you're interested in getting into the civic hacker world as a member of government, a technology developer, or an engaged citizen, consider joining monthly OpenGovChicago(-land) meetups. All are welcome!

Get a mitt and get in this game!


Questions, comments, concerns? Hit us here: Daniel X. O'Neil, or (773) 960-6045.