Back at it with one civic user test already under the belt, on February 2nd, the CUTGroup Detroit crew convened for another round of civic user testing with Detroit residents at Motor City’s premier business innovation hub, TechTown Detroit. Partnering with Detroit Ledger, a philanthropic organization that provides data about grants given to different Detroit organizations (particularly nonprofits), for our second go-around, the CUTGroup team proctored user tests built around the usability and functionality of the Detroit Ledger website. The goal of the testing was to determine the ease of use around locating information about Community Development Block Grants and to determine what changes can be implemented to improve the usability and functionality of the website.
After prepping our testing location with an array of snacks (warning: if you are attempting to lose weight, do not become a CUTGroup tester!) and setting up our testing stations, we launched our first series of tests at 4:00pm. The level of excitement to begin testing was off the charts for both proctors and for Detroit citizens! The first unit of testers contained a mix of familiar faces from our first CUTGroup test along with a few new faces. After signing in and loading up on snacks, our testers were assigned to one our five outstanding proctors listed below:
- Jessica McInchak (Researcher and Technologist, Detroit Ledger)
- Benjamin Chodoroff (Programmer, Detroit Ledger)
- Joel Howrani Heeres (Director of Open Data and Analysis, City of Detroit)
- Ayana Rubio (Data Analyst, Data Driven Detroit)
- Meghin Mather (Operations Coordinator, Data Driven Detroit)
The biggest testing rush came during our 4:45pm time slot where we had five testers stationed with our proctors, testing the Detroit Ledger website, and providing insightful feedback. During this huge rush, I took a brief break from my administrative duties to shoot a brief video with my colleague and friend, Dmitri Pivtorak (Digital Strategist, Milo Detroit). After a few failed takes (not used to being in front of the camera) I channeled my inner Denzel Washington and we captured a solid video documenting our civic user testing experience.
After our 4:45pm rush, the testing slowed down for about 45 minutes before picking back up around 6:15pm. More new faces showed up for our tests and after the experience with the proctor, they were ecstatic about sharing CUTGroup Detroit with people in their community. One tester took about 20 fliers that she said she will share with her community group.
The second CUTGroup Detroit testing experience was a huge success! We had 75% tester attendance which was a huge surprise considering the blistering cold temperatures that night. We also had a total of five new CUTGroup Detroit testers who all seemed to thoroughly enjoy the testing experience. Our partners Jessica McInchak and Benjamin Chodoroff from the Detroit Ledger were ecstatic about the feedback gathered from the CUTGroup testing experience. Both expressed how the information obtained from the testers will go into directly improving their website and how CUTGroupDetroit gave them the platform to conduct the most user testing they have ever had on their website.
On behalf of the entire CUTGroup Detroit team, I would like to send a big thank you to all of the community testers that came out that night. Your persistence and passion for improving Detroit’s civic tech ecosystem is self-evident. The feedback you all provided is priceless and we appreciate your commitment to improving civic tech. We would also like to send a big thank you to all CUTGroup Detroit testers who are eagerly awaiting their opportunity to participate. CUTGroup Detroit is impossible without all of you. We appreciate your patience and hope to host you at one of the CUTGroup tests soon.
Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to the Detroit Ledger. It was a pleasure working with your organization to plan a successful second CUTGroup Detroit test; we hope the feedback garnered from the test lead to an enhanced platform and ultimately enhancing civic technology in Detroit.