The Journey is Underway [Sept. 23, 2015]

Submitted on
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
,
City of Boston

We’re already a few weeks into working with our design partners, IDEO and Acquia.

IDEO, our design partner, is an award-winning, global design firm that works on an immeasurable range of projects world-wide, not just websites and physical objects but new product categories and whole new processes. Acquia is our technical partner. They are a local firm, with expertise in building scalable websites and related systems in Drupal. Drupal itself is open source and provides flexibility as the City of Boston’s digital program grows and changes over time.

With the help of IDEO’s innovative “design thinking” approach, we are working alongside stakeholders inside City Hall and out in the community to learn more about our users: the residents of Boston.

IDEO’s founder is famous for saying "Stop talking and start making." We have begun. Our process is designed to have all three partners engaged in iterative creation and testing.

The start of the design research and Agile development processes are the beginnings of a journey; we can’t yet see the destination but can imagine where our path might lead. Rather than a design phase followed by implementation, we will all travel together-- building and discovering as we go.

The ways in which consume information digitally has changed dramatically since the City of Boston built its current website. It’s no longer just an information hub, valuable as that is, but a place where we actually do things--pay our taxes, apply for permits, interact with city services. Our beta site will be built with this in mind -- it will be purpose-built to expand and change more easily and adapt over time.

IDEO chooses an internal nickname for each project. It is fitting that they have chosen the name "spyglass" for this one. It is the right metaphor for us working together to build this boat while we sail it, looking through that spyglass together as we go.

We invite you to join us on our journey here at next.boston.gov.

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