(Photo by Roberto Torres)
The Office of Data and Digital Transformation had one idea back in February: let’s set up a fellowship program. The idea was a continuation of an ongoing strategy for the city, which needs all hands on deck to carry out the renovation of its website, currently in beta mode.
“Philly has a really talented design and tech community and they want to help,” said Tim Wisniewski. It was the target community of the three-month program. At the end of June, 11 technologists got together at the city’s PHL Innovation Lab to showcase the civic-tech projects they’d been working on.
Here’s the list of projects the fellows completed:
- Reimagining the Open Data User Experience – Miguel Perez
- Launching 52 Department Landing Pages in 3 months – Jacqueline Siotto
- Roadmap to Empowerment: Insights from Usability Testing – Kim-Thao Nguyen
- Resigning Centralized City News & Events – Priya Tirtha
- Data & Process Workflows – Vito Salerno
- Site-wide Content Inventory – Toni McIntyre and Carrie Caine
- Digital Standards Strategy – Hanya Moharram
- Content Standards and Landing Page Edits – Arin Black and Clare Cotugno
- Scaling Beta’s Information Architecture – Lauren Galanter
Recently, in a bid to fit the growing team that was a better culture fit, ODDT packed up and left the Municipal Services Building to set up camp at Center City’s Pipeline Philly.
“The fellowships are an opportunity to work for government on projects with high impact,” Wisniewski told Technical.ly. The potential for the fellows, he said, is the flexibility of not having to make long-term career change but focus on specific projects of civic technology.
Results from the nine projects are helping inform the decisions made in the build out of Phila.gov’s out-of-beta site, scheduled to be released at the end of the year.
“Content inventory is how we’re opening the conversation,” Wisniewski said, in reference to the content audit that pored over the city’s whopping 10,000 pages of content. That’s a whole lotta PDFs.
— Technical.ly Philly (@TechnicallyPHL) June 30, 2017
Look out for more fellowships in the civic-tech space from the city. For Wisniewski, it’s a sign that the experiment worked.
“We’ve tested our the model and are already seeing great results,” he said.