Ezgi Ezdar Onur
UX Design Manager

Solidarity and Communication Platform for Citizens of Izmir City

Mobile Application UX&UI Design for İzmir Metropolitan Municipality

About

With the integration of aid platforms, Bizizmir App has become one of the most used municipal applications nationwide. This popularity and dynamism contributed greatly to the “Democracy Square”, that is, the participatory management approach the platform was trying to create.

We have joined İzmir Metropolitan Municipality's vision of becoming the solidarity and communication platform of Izmir City. In order to maintain this intense communication flow, sense of unity, and dynamism, we rolled our sleeves to create a new user-friendly experience.

Problem Definition & Concepts

PROBLEMS

1

A user experience is offered that does not fit the municipality's vision of being a "Democracy Square". It is very difficult to communicate with the municipal administration.

2

Over the years, too many features have been added and the flow has become very distorted.

3

There is a lot of content on the homepage and it is very difficult to follow.

CONCEPTS

1

Existing "HIM" (Citizen Contact Center) process is simplified. A new feature is added; "Pitch Your Idea"

2

Content is organized due to users' behaviours. Contents that fit the concept of solidarity and communication were highlighted.

3

"Story" Feature is added for announcements. Smart filters are developed for a customized experience.

The Process

Interviews

Profiles of existing users were examined. Next, users were divided into groups based on age, occupation, gender, and usage habits. A total of 10 people were interviewed one-on-one to gain insights into the Persona study and subsequent processes. The questions were designed to empathize by understanding the behavior, needs and goals of the users.

Interviewed User Groups:

  • Young Volunteers

  • Senior Urban

  • Working Generation Y

  • Charitable Business Person

  • People in Need

Solidarity and Communication Platform for Citizens of Izmir City

Card Sorting

Due to the extensiveness of the current application and the navigation problems experienced, it was decided to apply the card sorting method. In pandemic conditions, the study was conducted online.

Users generally categorized support programs and volunteering projects separately. Events and training programs were in the same group.

Personas

Based on the interviews, we set up five personas. We referred to them throughout the entire product development process.

Insights:

YOUNG VOLUNTEERS

  • There is information pollution during the aid period.

  • There are ineffective people.

  • I can miss events.

  • I can't send share link.

WORKING GENERATION

  • The application is useless.

  • I can't get satisfactory answers from HIM.

  • There is one-sided communication.

  • Doesn't look professional.

SENIOR URBAN

  • The application is useless.

  • I am not aware of the events.

  • I disconnected from events.

  • When I go to the summer house, I can't keep up with the events.

HELPING BUSINESS PERSON

  • The people I help don't know me.

  • I don't trust online help.

  • I need to make sure that the aid reaches its destination.

NEEDED

  • Our economic situation after the pandemic has become even worse.

  • We cannot adapt to online education due to inadequacy.

  • There is an unresponsive local government.

  • There are environmental problems.

  • I want psychological support.

Solidarity and Communication Platform for Citizens of Izmir City

Sketches

We usually start the design process with low-fidelity wireframes. This is our way to iterate through many design options quickly.

After brainstorming with the client, we made sketches to test the ideas. We continued to develop ideas for the different needs and goals of our users by testing them at the sketch stage. We tried over 20 different alternatives. Some had big differences, some had minor differences. In particular, easy accessibility and simplicity were the most important issues.

Many innovative features have been developed;

  • Pitch your idea

  • Story Feature (For Announcements)

  • BizPoints Integration

  • Easy Application to Aid Programs

  • HİM (Citizen Contact Center) Easy Application

Solidarity and Communication Platform for Citizens of Izmir City

Wireframes

After testing the ideas at the sketch stage, we developed wireframes to present them to the client and facilitate the transition for the UI design stage.

Different alternatives were offered and we received generally positive comments. As a result of the feedback, we made the iterations and moved on to the UI design phase.

UI Design

After doing all the usability tests, we moved on to the UI design phase. Since the application has very comprehensive content, we chose a simple and bright visual style.

We cleaned up the crowd by presenting the announcements with the story feature. In addition, we have enabled different users to easily access the content they want with the categorization filters. Because the common desire of the users was to access the content easily and to be exposed to information that would only be useful for them.

In the final design, we have responded to these requests.

Solidarity and Communication Platform for Citizens of Izmir City

What have we learned from this project?

It was a difficult task for us to design such an application, which has very comprehensive and complex content, for a wide range of users with 5 personas.

In order to overcome this challenge, we have radically changed the working system of the platform. E.g; previously, all content was available on the homepage. Everything that is or isn't in the user's area of interest was there and it was difficult to reach the desired content. Thanks to the smart filters and the story feature, it has become easy to access these contents.

In summary, this project was very instructive for us, and the end product was highly usable and innovative for a wide range of users.

100
Iterations
98
Screens
100
cups of coffee