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City of New York

Civic engagement made easy — and fun

The Challenge

How can we make government services more accessible, even delightful?

The Insight

Navigating city services doesn’t have to be stressful or hard. New Yorkers will take more advantage of programs if they are easier to find.

The Solution

We built Growing Up NYC and ACCESS NYC, a set of beautiful and simple tools for New Yorkers to find local services, programs, resources, and activities that meet their needs.

When the City of New York asked us to develop cost-effective tools for New Yorkers with kids, we knew whom to ask for answers: real New Yorkers.

So we recruited testers on the spot to try out prototypes with our latest iterations of copy and design, so they could respond to how the tools felt and behaved. After all, products for the people should be tested by the people.

More accessible to all

To design and build Growing Up NYC — the City’s official resource for learning, growing, and playing in the five boroughs — we partnered closely with the City to establish a malleable and sustainable Agile process that could be replicated across many sites. The projects were constantly modified and revamped according to extensive testing, including onsite trials for Growing Up NYC at the New York Public Library to make sure the sites were straightforward, easy to use, and relevant to the target audience.

Applying an agile process

To design and build Growing Up NYC — the City’s official resource for learning, growing, and playing in the five boroughs — we partnered closely with the City to establish a malleable and sustainable Agile process that could be replicated across many sites. 

New York approved

Since launching, ACCESS NYC and Growing Up NYC have been recognized for their digital excellence. ACCESS NYC won “Best Application Serving the Public” at The New York Government Summit and Growing Up NYC won “Best External Application” at The NYC Technology Forum.

The City’s first use of cloud hosting

Cost-effective platforms that are easy to use and maintain

User-friendly admin interface

Results

  • 3 months to a minimum viable product

  • 70% increase in New Yorkers completing the eligibility screening process each month

  • 50% increase in completion rate

Press & Accolades