I like to focus on user experience with the technology we create. The more simple and straight forward it is, the more accessible technology becomes and the smarter we make the user.
.We brought IBM to the City of Houston through the Smarter Cities Challenge grant to help us learn how to make City services more accessible to students and residents. Through dialogue and meetings with a lot of partners, we were able to hammer out strategies for the Department of Neighborhoods to improve our outreach to residents.
We wanted to make a map that was simple for residents to use and provided them information about City services in their neighborhood. We had so much fun that we started adding services from some of our other government and non-profit partners. There are a lot of opportunities to use low-cost technologies that make civic engagement less painful for residents. We’re just getting started.
Support Local Grow Together (#SLGT) is a movement to support the future of Houston’s local artists, farmers markets, musicians, restaurants, small businesses, and non-profits. We are currently developing a mobile app to connect people who want to support local businesses to non-profit initiatives that guide residents and families toward greater financial stability. The development and maintenance of this app is part of a partnership between Support Local Grow Together and the City of Houston Department of Neighborhoods. This partnership is part of the department’s commitment to developing a neighborhood-based approach to increasing the quality of life in Houston.