Small (City) Pieces, Loosely Joined

Experiments in stitching together civic technology for local governments

What’s the right model for local government civic innovation?

The British Model: Government Digital Service (GDS)

Creating a Space for Experimentation: Chief [X] Officers

A Marketplace / Component Strategy

Pulling these together

City Digital Services Prototype

This site on Tabletop, Sheetsee, and Google Spreadsheets, making it simple to add a new city to the map and create a unified digital presence. Adding a city and managing its data is literally as simple as filling out a Google Form or commenting on a row of a Google Spreadsheet. That means a city could spin up their own simple page (like the Chicago example below) in seconds.

Focus on what matters

This is a city-specific view of the Digital Service Center Chicago, which links to the relevant apps (as pictured above). For instance, the 211 link goes to PurpleBinder Chicago.

Keep It Simple

City-to-City Comparison

The progress bar indicates how many out of the eight listed services are available in that city. Do note that this dataset was created quickly, and just by me, and likely misses a number of digital services.

What’s Possible with a Components Approach

Ladders of engagement & the “Civic Upsell”

Note: the buttons for check eligibility etc pictured here are design mocks, not currently live in the social services finder app.
The services, when considered from a user centered approach, could link one to another.

Towards standardized discovery

Opportunities for new efforts / civic startups

Basic Results from Social Services Finder
Results from Social Service Finder with links to other services from civic startups

“Ok, so what do we do?”

tech optimist and political phil nerd. hacker, writer & maker: fmr CDO, @lamayorsoffice; @google; @codeforamerica.