More meaningful experiences for citizens, while encouraging positive and constructive interactions

City Council of Madrid needed to empower their product teams to get valuable user insights more frequently—and firsthand—so they could design solutions that moved the needle for more participation and engagement on different topics:

  • Debates, creating separate spaces where people can discuss the proposed topic.
  • Proposals, a space for everyone to create a citizens' proposal and seek supports.
  • Participatory budgeting, allowing citizens to propose and decide directly how to spend part of the budget, with monitoring and rigorous evaluation of proposals by the City Council.
  • Collaborative legislation, where any legislative texts can be shared with the public to receive comments on any particular part of it.

Some challenges Decide Madrid pretends to tackle were:

  • To take care of the community, and nurture users so that they will want to participate again.
  • To be transparent, about what City Council of Madrid’s decisions. offering outcomes that are easy to understand – such as participatory budgeting and binding votes.
  • To be inclusive of all kinds of citizens, including less-digital people.
  • Timeline 2017
  • Industry Government
  • Services User Testing
    User Research
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A Panel of Testers Who Fit The Right Profile

Decide Madrid has users from all walks of life. With a help from Torresburriel Estudio, City Council of Madrid has been able to tap into a diverse pool of testers, and easily capture the precise audience they need to test out updates and new features.

Torresburriel Estudio delivered an overarching framework for the entire site, including debates, proposals, participatory budgets, and voting. We run usability studies in a traditional, in-person usability lab to gain useful knowledge about the aspects of designs that meet user expectations and the areas that require refinement. We guided discussions to help City Council of Madrid interpret findings, and determine how user feedback might generalize to product situation.

We tested real people whilst they perform real tasks. By running tests, we can test our assumptions and figure out how to design the most useful features. We observed what they actually did – analysing evidences and making actionable recommendations for improvements. A focus on real evidence, not opinions.

Decide Madrid’s team redesigns and improves product with insights from user testing and research.

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  1. Insights gained from user testing allowed product team to iterate on their features, ultimately increasing citizens participation and engagement.
  2. Better design processes have effective facilitation and moderation to encourage positive and constructive discussions, avoiding the pitfalls of more traditional forums and social media conversation.
  3. Make sure that less-digital citizens can contribute, and that their contributions are equally valued. This is important for bridging the digital divide and increasing the legitimacy of decision-making.

Quotes start By running tests with actual users, we can test our assumptions and figure out how to design the most useful features. Quotes end

Ana Carrillo Head of External Relations at City Council of Madrid