News

Workshop Recap: User Feedback Sessions & Judging Criteria

April 26, 2017

Our seventh and final workshop provided our BigApps participants an opportunity to showcase their designs and prototypes with individuals across each expert community: Seniors, Immigrants, and Youth. During these user feedback sessions, participants applied their user journey maps and storytelling worksheets to get real time feedback on their products and services that are solving a core need for these communities in the challenge areas of transportation, community resiliency, and knowledge.

This year, we are looking at five distinct criteria in addition to the idea and prototype that will be judged: audience, landscape, impact, sustainability, and team. Read the post to learn more about what the judges will be looking for.

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Meet the Judges!

April 17, 2017

We are delighted to present our talented panel of judges for this year’s competition! Our esteemed judges will be reviewing the top submissions and selecting the BigApps winners at the Final Pitch Event & Winner Announcement on May 23, 2017. Learn more about our judges and their backgrounds in this post!

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Workshop Recap: Journey Mapping & Prototype Testing

April 12, 2017

At our sixth workshop in the NYC BigApps Ideation & Prototyping Workshop series, we learned about different techniques for testing and prototyping products and services. We heard from two NYC-based entrepreneurs who have worked extensively with the communities they serve: Alexandra Meis, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer of Kinvolved and Georges Clement, Founder of JustFix NYC and a previous NYC BigApps winner. The biggest takeaway of the session was that we need to build with our community constituents, not for them – which includes prototyping, testing, and designing alongside communities.

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Workshop Recap: “Building To Think” with Prototyping Tools

April 3, 2017

At our fifth workshop in the NYC BigApps Ideation & Prototyping workshop series, we focused on deepening participants’ understanding of the prototyping process and why it is so important for design. One of the biggest tips shared is that you can literally prototype anything, and that prototyping is a mindset to be leveraged throughout the entire design process. To prove that, we kicked off the workshop by asking participants to create a prototype that represents their life story or something important to them. In under 5 minutes, we saw elaborate play-doh models, string diagrams, and even a pop-up construction paper diagram. The whole point of the exercise was to get everyone thinking with their hands.

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Workshop Recap: Design Brainstorming & Launching NYC Open Data

March 17, 2017

At our fourth workshop in the NYC BigApps Ideation & Prototyping workshop series, we explored different practices for rapid brainstorming and ideation. We also celebrated an important milestone for New York City Open Data as part of the City’s inaugural Open Data Week.

Five years to the day after New York City’s Open Data Law was signed into law, we had the opportunity to partner with Mayor’s Office of Tech + Innovation, Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics, the NYC Department of Information Technology + Telecommunications, and the NYC Department of City Planning to announce the launch of and demo the new, user-friendly home page for the NYC Open Data portal. Open Data is an important milestone not only for New York City, but also for all of us as designers, developers, and entrepreneurs working on this year’s BigApps challenges. It is a tool that many of our teams will be able to use to discover neighborhood data and uncover insights through this Ideation & Prototyping process.

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Workshop Recap: Synthesizing Research & Creating User Personas

March 1, 2017

Our third workshop, held at Civic Hall on Tuesday, February 21, explored best approaches to synthesizing research. By learning the importance of synthesis and creating user personas, participants had the opportunity to dig into the discovery phase of our big design challenge: “How might we use data & technology to improve the quality of life for seniors, youth & immigrants in NYC?”

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Workshop Recap: Tips for Refining & Interviewing

February 15, 2017

We kicked off our second workshop at Civic Hall on Wednesday, February 8th with two main goals: 1) to refine the problem we want to solve and 2) to learn how to conduct a user interview.

We began the session by refining our problem statements. When presented with a big design challenge, “How might we use data & technology to improve the quality of life for seniors, youth & immigrants in NYC?”, it’s important to get even more specific about what we want to solve for to make the process easier during the research phase.

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Workshop Recap: Introduction to HCD

February 2, 2017

Last week at Civic Hall, we launched our first Ideation & Prototyping workshop for NYC BigApps 2017 with a packed room of inspiring designers, developers, educators, students, entrepreneurs, and government enthusiasts. This first workshop focused on introducing the concept of human centered design – a process that puts the user at the center of the research, design, and creation of a product, service, or experience.

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Launching NYC BigApps 2017

January 12, 2017

See us in AMNY on your way to work? Coming to the sold out BigApps 2017 launch event at Grand Central Tech? Been refreshing bigapps.nyc since you heard about the 2017 competition in December? Either way, we got here together. New York City’s premier civic innovation competition, NYC BigApps 2017 has officially launched!

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A Human-Centered Approach to Designing BigApps 2017

December 21, 2016

During the Fall of 2016, Civic Hall Labs facilitated seven listening sessions with New York City youth, seniors, and immigrants, and the practitioners from community-based organizations who serve them in order to understand real challenges and opportunities for NYC residents.

Initial roundtable discussions took place with various nonprofits, government agencies, and academics to better understand their perspectives and needs regarding the constituencies they serve: youth, seniors, and immigrants. In order to do this, Civic Hall Labs asked them about their motivations, building context around the services they provide. They were asked to identify specific problems that needed to be addressed in the work they do daily, and to define what success looks like.

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New York City Economic Development Corporation and Civic Hall Labs Announce NYC BigApps 2017 Competition

December 13, 2016

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President, Maria Torres-Springer and Andrew Rasiej, Co-Founder and President of Civic Hall Labs (CHL) and Chair of The New York Tech Alliance, announced the upcoming NYC BigApps 2017 competition and the new partnership between NYCEDC and Civic Hall Labs at the New York Tech Meetup. BigApps is the premier civic innovation initiative for New York City that aids the development of products and services capable of addressing critical civic and urban issues in the City and improving the quality of life of New Yorkers.

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