Personal Wins!

Led team of one other design researcher and one communications designer

Quickly gained fluency on highly technical topic

Designed beautiful and accessible learning products


Adam Parker, Marielle Velander


New York City Mayor's Office for Technolgy and Innovation

Project content and design
owned by Reboot.

How can a strategic understanding of current and potential users of open City data—and their role in the data ecosystem—help New York City realize its promise of Open Data for All?


The NYC Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation (MOTI) engaged Reboot to develop a research-based strategy for the public-facing side of their Open Data for All initiative. Our approach focused on developing a deep understanding of a wide spectrum of people in the City’s open data ecosystem—from the civic tech data whiz advocating for more metadata to the busy bystander interested in investigating a local civic issue.


The analysis and recommendations supported MOTI in engaging targeted users through technical improvements, strategic communications, and programmatic investments, building a systemic-approach to increasing the impact of open data.

Observed users and non-users: We conducted semi-structured interviews and direct observation that surfaced a wealth of stories that made clear the current and potential uses of open data. Half of our research was focused on open data power-users, while the other half was focused on people who were making a change in their local community, regardless of their use of open data.

Defined the day-to-day of open data: Our research identity key use cases for open data which helped our team guide what programmatic gaps and skills MOTI might target to improve outcomes of open data.

Surfaced users, skills, and ecosystems: From our research, we turned our stories into a set of frameworks (summary of our user personas, above and Impact Cycle, below) focused on defining skills and support needed to harness open data from identifying a need to communicate the right data to influence community decisions.