A Startup in Government – The First Year of the city of Austin’s Design, Technology, and Innovation Fellows Program
- Work directly with departments to deliver the best possible services
- Introduce and refine practices for user-centered design
- Introduce and refine practices for iterative, open-source development
- Establish a creative culture that inspires more people to join the city
Since its launch in Summer 2016, the program has hired more than 25 designers, developers, and other specialists from the private sector to serve tours of duty to improve residential permitting, increase recycling rates, notify residents of low-water crossings during flash floods, and develop practices, training, and infrastructure for more effective digital services. The program has also improved the way that the city approaches user research, iterative design, and open-source development by establishing new standards for field research, interactive prototyping, usability testing, interface design, front-end development, Dev/Ops, and project management.
In this session, Program Lead Ben Guhin and DTI Fellow Marni Wilhite will speak about the challenges of starting a new design and technology organization within city government and share lessons on leadership, culture, and how to structure your work for the greatest possible impact.