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Before you take a deeper dive, check out the...

CityPad User Flow

Project Description

The 2020 election season was a crucial turning point in American politics. Although the presidential election was paramount in determining the trajectory of the country, I took notice of how residents of my city, Austin, were inattentive to the local elections and issues that simultaneously impacted their daily lives. Based on this problem, I designed a service that informs Austin residents on how to get locally involved whilst addressing my desire to design assistive technologies for civic engagement. 

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My Role

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Secondary Research

I spent the first two weeks conducting secondary research by reading articles and books on the subject of study. Local Politics Matters by Dr. Richard Meagher heightened my understanding of local politics, its terminology, and the issues communities face. I also studied county registrar reports on voter turnout for local elections. These low turnout statistics revealed that local voter turnout and community engagement was an evident issue.

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Interview Insights

I interviewed Austin residents and the former Mayor Pro Tem and incumbent Councilmember Kathie Tovo to get both an outsider's and insider's point of view...

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The Idea

Based on the insights from my secondary research and user interviews, my goal was to ideate a service that was “present in people’s surroundings” and “increases transparency” -- quotes received from the interviews. The service designed would be implemented by the local government. I then storyboarded the idea to visualize the interaction...

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Competitor Analysis

I conducted a competitor analysis of,, and to get a better understanding of existing community engagement services. All three websites were intended to inform the public on pertinent issues, but either required a subscription fee, lacked substance, or had a cluttered user interface.

Ideation Sketching

I then ideated and drew two low-fidelity sketches of the service to get a visual of the idea and gain user input. Overall, users had positive reactions to the Version 1 prototype feeling that it was "easy to navigate" and "to the point." 


I wireframed the idea and created an information hierarchy to prioritize the primary and secondary purposes of the service application.

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Austin Issues Tab (Primary Purpose)

The user will give an informed decision based on the details provided.

Austin News Tab (Secondary Purpose)

Informing the user on current Austin news and events

High-Fidelity UI Prototype

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Low Fidelity LEGO Stand

Stand Mockups

I created a low-fidelity prototype of the tablet stand out of LEGOs, having my phone serve as the “tablet.” This gave me a better understanding of how potential users would interact with the service.

I digitally illustrated/modeled both a low-fidelity and mid-fidelity mockup to visualize the potential tablet stand to be implemented in public spaces.

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Public Concepts

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City Pad if implemented in

a public space without a stand

City Pad airport billboard advertisement for new Austin residents

Project Takeaways

Engaging with the Austin community broadened my perspective on public policy. Through interviews and user tests, I learned that Austin residents have a desire for community engagement; they just need the right tool to do so. Overall, interacting with the Austin community was an incredibly enlightening experience and I hope to apply my findings and insights on local politics to my community moving forward.


Pictures I took during my field research

User Flow

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