Our Prototyping Journey
How we are testing our idea
We went from seeing residents as beneficiaries of the technology, to them being a key piece of the solution.City Hall Staff
Vallejo will test the combination of radar data, acoustic data, GIS maps, and crowdsourced heat maps to determine the type and amount of data required to develop an infrastructure investment plan. The city will also test resident engagement through multiple channels: online, phone, and in-person.
What we're discovering through testing
In order for their idea to be effective, the Vallejo team needed an interface where staff could input data. They started developing a 20-page paper prototype which they tested with field technicians. The interface got positive feedback and helped to clarify the user’s requirements. Through the process, however, he team realized that there was an existing product that could do the job. By finding that they didn’t need to build a new system from scratch, they avoided investing money and resources
As we created our prototype we started this conversation of: are we trying to reinvent the wheel here, is there something that already exists?Will Morat, Interim Housing and Community Development Manager
While the team were testing a paper prototype of their interface with a group of pipe technicians and maintenance workers, it turned out that one member - a heavy machinery operator - was quite savvy in app development, and had already created a portfolio of small apps to help him with his job. These were being widely used amongst other staff members. The Vallejo team will be engaging with this group for further iterations and are thinking about how they could use his skills going forward.
What we've learned
The team have come to see collaboration as a driving force behind their city-wide infrastructure project. The project has four primary partners: the City’s Water Department, residents and water customers, a research team from the University of Vermont, and technology firm Civic Foundry. This multidisciplinary group play different, but crucial roles, from supplying technical know-how on AI, to crowd sourcing information from residents.
Vallejo’s idea, VallejoPipes, has evolved to incorporate crowdsourced data and artificial intelligence - in order to identify and repair water pipes at risk of failure.
The best ideas from private and public are combined to achieve success for the entire community.Jomari Peterson, City of Vallejo