The objective of this study was to co-create an alfa-version of the online platform (i.e. the website opensourceurbanism.io) with a pool of experts. We conducted the workshop at ITMO University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia. ITMO University is one of the leading technology universities in Russia emphasizing the development of technological innovation and ICTs. A part of the university, Institute of Design and Urban Studies is “an experimental educational hub, created to promote innovative approaches for urban transformation, human-oriented design and business education in dynamic urban environments, services and (eco) systems”. The institute uses multidisciplinary approach accumulating a heterogeneous nevertheless synergetic mix of experts and students of various backgrounds, namely architects, sociologists, product designers, computer scientists. Such a pool of competencies and mindsets is able to produce a design prototype meeting both functional and non-functional requirements of the artifact. Besides the students, four urban professionals participated in the workshop as facilitators of a user-centered design process. The experts were selected by the principle of maximally diverse disciplines and competencies hence sharing ‘urbanism mindset’.
The workshop was divided into four sessions: an introductory lecture, a hackathon-style workshop, prototype development session, and evaluation session. The introductory lecture aimed to give the participants understanding of the research objectives, related theoretical knowledge, and workshop goals. During the lecture the following topics have been discussed 1) citizen participation in urban design, bottom-up urban design, urban commons; 2) theoretical background of open source movement and several open source domains; 2) this research project (i.e. objective, methodology, first results); and 3) workshop goals, methods and scenario.
The hackathon aimed to co-create assumptions, specifications, and the first hunches of the prototype with the urban practitioners. ADR as a research methodology does not imply concrete toolsets for the co-design that hence needed to be adopted. We adopted User-Centered Design (UCD) as a design approach with the primary focus on user needs and product requirements. UCD intends to create interactive solutions that fulfill users’ expectations, increase their productivity and improve the quality of work. UCD includes plenty of methods and techniques to foster user participation (e.g. brainstorming, prototyping, card sorting). Furthermore, such approach implies active prototyping and experimentation with future users of an artifact.
On the first day of the hackathon, participants were divided into four teams of 6 people. After division, the teams have generated artifact prerequisites facilitated by experts. By use of prototypes, users’ needs were discovered and validated during the ongoing design and development process. On the second day of the hackathon, participants evaluated process specifications and elaborated an information architecture for the platform.
The first design cycle implies interactive prototype as an endpoint which means that rigorous quantitative evaluation is impossible due to the vagueness of the first results. Therefore, we conducted the formative evaluation of the prototype in the form of functional testing by workshop participants. During the evaluation session, each of participants will perform assigned tasks with given simulation data, namely case reports made by participants. During each session, we will record participant actions by screen capturing software. Participants will answer a questionnaire in order to check that participant understand the task and prototype functionality. Besides that, participants will be able to express their opinion on the prototype (e.g. functionality, performance, clarity) in open-end questions.
We would like to acknowledge staff and students of ITMO University for the great help in workshop organization and conducting. Namely, Steve Kuddins and Sergey Mityagin for the opportunity to conduct the workshop; Arina Miksyuk, Arseny Konnov, and Marina Petrova for facilitating the workshop. Students of Master programs Urban Informatics and City Administration for the active and fruitful participation, namely Natalia Kuznetsova, Artem Konyukhov, Vadim Belyaev, Alexander Purgin, Artem Paskevich, Ilya Levashev, Victor Kochkin, Almira Dilmuhametova, Alexander Lapshin, Tanya Nikulina, Dadykina Ekaterina, Natalia Yumaeva, Valeria Galchenko, Vladislav Sharipov, Valery Khandrikova, Mikhail Rodionov, Alina Bazaeva, Cyril Salnikov, Anna Lushchevskaya, Polina Kashina, Evgenia Kolodyazhnaya, Yevgeny Tanaisov , Regina Fatkullina, Anastasia Galaktionova.