Our Prototyping Journey
How we are testing our idea
Charleston is testing the information and interface that residents will use by creating a clickable “app” that simulates their alert system, engaging residents along the way through user group events and surveys.
What we’re discovering through testing
The Charleston team has learned the value of immersing residents in the appropriate frame of mind in order to gain richer insights. Since testing is taking place during the City’s dry season, the team has found it difficult to engage residents to test the flood alert system. To counter this, they have been asking residents to recount their most recent flood situations to ground them in the problem and get them in the right mindset for the rest of the interview.
The team needed to gather real-life insights on how residents might use the tool in flood conditions. They created a 10-day simulation test where residents received an email once a day with a mocked-up graphical interface communicating flood risks, weather warnings and high tides. Some citizens actually used the simulation to make changes in their daily routine - an Uber driver was able to re-plan her routes to avoid flooded areas.
What we've learned
In tests, Charleston found that residents highly valued educational information as an accompaniment to real-time flood updates. The FloodCon app design evolved to include weather-based education, which can further supports people to build adaptation into their daily routines by raising awareness of key weather moments such as effect of a new moon on a king tide. An additional benefit to this will be cost savings for the city.
Anything we can do to stop people going where they should not go - saves person power and lost business time.Mark Wilbert, Chief Resilience Officer