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.

Developers: get free focus groups

Building applications to make lives better for residents of Chicago is no easy task. You might have a great concept, but no real sense of how people might use your application. You might have an amazing start to an application, but no one can figure out how to use it. Getting real, meaningful feedback from actual users can be a time consuming, challenging process.

Smart Chicago is developing a stable of Chicago residents who want to hear from you and give you feedback.

We will work with you to design a usability test, choose a group for testing, and help run the session at a public computer center or community technology center in a Chicago neighborhood. There is no cost to developers for this service, and we all get to get out of our studios & meetup rooms and directly engage with the people we seek to serve.

The results of all CUT Group testing will be published, so that we can all learn from each other's work. We'll document our sessions, respecting the privacy of CUT Group members while making sure we can all learn from what they have to say. We all publish our code, and now we can all publish reactions to our code.

This is new service from Smart Chicago in a growing suite of tools for civic innovation. We also offer free web hosting infrastructure for civic applications on EC2 and Heroku.

More to come, including integration with Scott Robbin's OpenChicago. His site, devoted to creating points of contact between developers and government, is a real precursor to this work. We look forward to more!