Although some people might doubt the wisdom of crowds, Greater Good Studio is putting the future of their Chicago transportation app in the hands of the masses. Their plans for a crowd-funded and crowd-designed transportation app integrates bus and train and uses real-time arrival data for both, but the real fun is where you come in.
By donating to their Kickstarter campaign, citizens from around the world can participate in shaping the future of their Chicago transportation app. For $25, the project's "Urban Scouts" are sent out in their respective cities with research or design assignments—their notes, stories and insights will appear on the DesigningChicago.com website and will shape the vision and execution of the final app. For $300, Chicago citizens can become an "Urban Icon" by participating in two hands-on workshops that involve ordinary people in the brainstorming and prototyping stages of the app.
As Massimo Vignelli, an advisory board member for the project, notes in the video below: the role of design is to respond to needs over wants. Although sometimes its hard to distinguish between the two, the city of Chicago is in great hands with Greater Good Studio.
Founded by husband and wife team Sara and George Aye, Sara was the former Research Director at IA Collaborative and a team-anchored coach for Core77 friends Design for America. George is a IDEO veteran and the former lead designer of the Chicago Transit Authority. The Ayes are leading Chicago in a city-wide exercise in design-thinking and user-centered research. Could their approach change the way everyday people engage in local governments? Rather than designing an app that focuses on transportation alone, the Designing Chicago app hopes to make a rider's whole journey better.
George and Sara ask, "What if your app could tell you whether you'll get a seat on this bus, or to wait for a seat on the next one?" "What if your app could know you were traveling with a stroller, and give you a route with elevators at every stop?"
What if the app could:
- Let you pay your fare without taking out your wallet
- Tell you whether you'll get a seat on this bus, or to wait for a seat on the next one
- Wake you up right before your stop
- Know you were traveling with a stroller, and give you a route with elevators at every stop
- Keep track of how much gas you've saved, so you could justify those new shoes!
- Integrate with hyperlocal weather, know it was going to rain between your home and your station, and remind you to grab an umbrella
- Include a coffee shop pit stop on every morning trip
- Sync with your calendar, know you had an appointment, then work backwards to tell you when to leave the house
- Give you great transit-related excuses whenever you were running late
- Help you find locations for bike parking, car-sharing, taxis or the Metra
- Send data back to the CTA, so they could know where to locate their next bus stop
So what are you waiting for? Here's your opportunity to get involved in an app that could transform your every day commute.