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.

Our incredible community partners brought experts to participate in these feedback sessions, including young adults courtesy of Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC and seniors courtesy of ReServe. User feedback is an incredibly important part of the design and prototyping process, as it allows us to gain insights into what works for our potential users and what doesn’t resonate with them.

Feedback session with youth from Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC

We heard great ideas from a translation app that will help immigrants navigate New York City upon arrival to an opportunities platform for New York City youth to find relevant experiences and events. We are confident that these feedback sessions will allow participants to go back and revise their final prototypes before submitting to the NYC BigApps competition.


This year, we are looking at five distinct criteria in addition to the overall product or service that will be judged: audience, landscape, impact, sustainability, and team. Each are themes we’ve touched on throughout our workshops, and will be weighted evenly by the judges. Audience refers to the community of users that the solution will serve. The big thing we are looking for here is that teams worked alongside communities and users to do research and get feedback. We want to see that the solution is solving for a real need.

When it comes to landscape, we are looking for something that is unique as a solution within the marketplace of what currently exists. This requires a deep understanding of what the current landscape looks like.

Impact is an important piece of this year’s criteria. We are looking for signals of impact within the community you will be serving, along with a broader impact in the New York City ecosystem.

Sustainability is an important piece of the puzzle. How will the solution stand on its own? Are there partnerships or funding that will help leverage the solution to a wider set of New Yorkers?

Lastly, and possibly most importantly, we believe that the people are the core part of what will make an app, product, or platform successful. We are looking for teams that pull in diverse perspectives and are also committed to working together to create and launch their solution. If you don’t already have the perfect team in place, let us know who you need to add to round out your team and bring your idea to fruition.  

We wish everyone the best of luck in submitting your applications. The submission deadline is right around the corner! Be sure to submit your solution by 11:59pm ET on Sunday, April 30th. Here’s to making New York City a better place to live for our youth, seniors, and immigrant communities!

A big thanks from Allie Mahler & Scott Weiss from Community x Design and the entire Civic Hall Labs team.


Our seven workshops have covered a broad array of topics – starting with framing our design challenge, to research, ideation, and prototyping, and ending with feedback sessions with users. Check out the tools below, and also in this section of each of our workshop recap blog posts to find more tools and resources.