Tara Gill
UX Designer


Civic Reporting Made Easy

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CITIzen, Reporting Made Easy

An App Reimagined

Company: City of Fremont

My Role: UX/Visual Designer


Civic Reporting Made Easy

CITIzen is an app for residents of a city to report issues or request services.


The current app requires the reporting citizen to do the heavy lifting, using a cumbersome UI and too many report choices. There were no designers at the table during procurement to weigh in on usability. The user flow is predetermined by the purchased app. The stakeholders are hoping the app will route most reporting through one channel, rather than through phone calls and email. But the app is poorly designed and unintuitive, so residents don't have a successful experience. It has received 2.5 star reviews.


Reimagine the app from a resident's perspective and make reporting so easy that people are happy and surprised.

The Existing App

There were some frustrating elements that I found, even before user testing.

CITIzen, Reporting Made Easy

CITIzen, Reporting Made Easy

Who lives in Fremont?

  • 240,000 people

  • 60 % Asian population

  • Educated, high tech employees

What do they say about the existing app?

"UI is faulty"
Icons of the app clutters in Half screen instead of full. Idea behind the app is good but app UI comes short . Does Fremont City Office support this fully?

"Needs substantial improvement"
UI is clunky and not visually appealing. Some good features, but laggy. Needs a lot of work. Will give higher stars once it is improved...

Sketches & Feedback

CITIzen, Reporting Made Easy

Research Questions, User Feedback

The purpose of my sketches is to present 2 distinct ideas and test them with users so I could understand what to take to wireframe.

Guiding Questions:

  • How do users feel about creating an account?

  • Is there a preference for seeing input fields all at once or one at a time

Hallway Testing Wireframes
CITIzen, Reporting Made Easy

Testing the Critical Path, Reporting


To uncover usability flaws in the UI and hear suggestions about how to improve the experience. These insights will carry forward into the prototype.


Hallway friends and family usability evaluation using think aloud protocol.


  • 4 Fremont residents

  • 3 female, 1 male

  • Varied professions

Style Guide & Branding
CITIzen, Reporting Made Easy
CITIzen, Reporting Made Easy
CITIzen, Reporting Made Easy

App Ratings Improved by 44%

"So user friendly"
and had just the options and questions I would hope for if I had a problem to report.

"This app will save everyone time"
Reporting a problem is difficult because no one knows for sure which department to access. This app will alert those who can do something about the problem!

Next Steps

After testing the prototype I received more helpful feedback:

  • Improve map interaction so users know that they are pinning the location of the report

  • Users still balked at giving their personal information, add an anonymous report

  • Add a 'done' button to the final confirmation screen

Final Design
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead