One of the biggest challenges for city planners, urban developers and designers is engaging the wider, general population about their proposed designs and strategies. Collaborative design is necessary for decision makers to innovate new solutions.
All of us are leading busy lives with tight schedules. Very few people want to sit in a meeting at City Hall at the end of a long work day. And this is why we need a tool that allows you to participate when it's convenient for you. No one knows your street better than you.
Let's say you're walking down the street...
You are an eye-witness, reporting what you see....
Everyone can participate in the design of public spaces...
When a natural disaster occurs; such as the recent catastrophe in the Philippines, phone numbers can be instantly setup in critical locations enabling the entire community to submit information. Relief Workers can tap into the collective ideas of the community and jump into action faster by being equipped with detailed information in real-time.
What's under the "hood"?
Key to the Street is NOT being built as a stand-alone application. Instead we're creating a web-based platform optimized for any cell phone making the most of cloud services and open APIs. This means that you won't need to download anything onto your phone. Instead you can interact with Key to the Street using the features on the website AND by using phone numbers setup for specific projects.
You can interact with Key to the Street using any type of mobile phone. Regardless of whether you carry a smart phone or a regular cell phone it will be possible for you to share your ideas and suggestions.
Our voice and text features come from Twilio's open API service. All around the world companies and cities are using Twilio to connect with people through strategically placed phone numbers.
The Design Tool allows you to drag and drop images; as well as, sketch directly onto a photograph.
Our Progress So Far
This year at SXSW Interactive Key to the Street's founder Jess Lowry pitched the idea of Key to the Street to the Banff Centre. The concept won a 2-week Creative Residency.
In August, Jess brought her designs to Alberta, Canada and worked closely with Kenny Lozowski and his team of web developers at The Banff Centre to create the proof of concept you can try right now by following this link: http://rundle.banff.org/ktts/
The proof of concept was unveiled at SXSW Eco's Place by Design Competition where Key to the Street was included as one of the finalists.
Additional web development work has been performed by co-founder Murali Allada, a Software Designer at Rackspace.
We need your help to complete the beta!
We've exhausted our finances and are unable to complete the beta without your help. Our plan is to have the beta ready by the end of January 2014 and conduct a pilot with the City of Austin. But we won't be able to get to the next level without your support.
Jess has been working on Agile Development projects for over ten years. She got into UX (User Experience) through Online Community Management. Her job has always been collecting user requirements and communicating these to project teams by creating low-fidelity wireframes, personas, user flows, information architecture, writing detailed use cases, service blueprints, product roadmaps and conducting all kinds of user testing; including contextual interviews, card sorting and rapid paper prototyping.
Murali Allada, Co-Founder & Web Developer @amuralis
Murali works fulltime at Rackspace, but dedicates large portions of his free time working on various aspects of Key to the Street's capabilities. He has built the backend system, Twilio functionality and other attributes of the service. Murali is passionate about working on technologies that enable social change and builds better communities.
Shout out to our supporters!
Risks and challenges
Funding is our #1 issue right now. Everything we've built to date has been paid for with the founders' personal savings and the generosity of volunteers and prizes. We are at the critical stage of development where we need a dedicated team working on the functionality required for the beta full-time.
All of the design work is ready and the technology has been tested. We expect the build of the beta to take approximately a month and a half.
Once we've completed UAT we'll pilot the beta in a closed project with the City of Austin. This will provide us with an opportunity to fine-tune the beta and understand how Key to the Street adds value for all of its users.
Some people believe that first you build a product and then figure out how to market it. We're not following that conventional way of doing things. Instead we're following Lean UX principles to ensure there is a market before we get too far along. We are testing every single aspect of this service in order to build the right product for it's intended users.
In addition to all the perks listed in Rewards #2, #3 and #4 you will also be invited to our exclusive launch party in Austin, during the second week in March 2014. (*This doesn't include any travel or accommodation, but there will be lots of free drinks and yummy food.)