Design, Technology, and Innovation Projects

We began prototyping an ideal content management system, new and revised roles and responsibilities, and content guidance and support using human-centered design tools like storyboarding and journey maps to communicate how content was being managed and how it could be managed.

A woman drawing stick figures using the City of Austin website

From there, we designed paper prototypes of the ideal content management system (which we dubbed Awesome CMS) and took it to the offices of several content creators in various departments.

A City of Austin employee explains the notes she wrote on the paper prototype

With their input, input from other UX and UI Design Fellows during “design pinup” meetings and input from our advisory team, we iterated on the paper prototypes and did more testing with the content creators.

City of Austin employees and fellows write their feedback on a paper version of the prototype during a pinup meeting.

To further inform our content management system direction, we went out to test with those who would be most affected by our recommendations: the public.

We performed usability testing with two groups to get us started:

  1. Card sorting with members of the public at a coffee shop

  2. Card sorting with older members of the public at a job fair event hosted by AustinUP for people 55 and up

City resident holds a smartphone and tests a new prototype A City resident provided us feedback on a digital prototype using a smartphone.

An Austin resident matches cards with city services listed on them to service themes. A City resident matched city services to service themes during a card-sorting exercise.

Two men share their feedback about City services at a job-fair table. Two City residents share their experiences of using the City of Austin website.

With input from the public and our content creators, we developed an online prototype and tested with the public again. This time it was with a group who has the least experience with accessing the Internet or even using a smartphone at Austin Free-Net, an education center to assist those with low digital literacy.

Through our testing and prototyping, we were able to imagine a content management system that would give content creators the confidence to expertly manage their content and provide the public with quality, easy to understand content. We provided the content management features and requirements to our design and development team to begin building.