Day 1: Registration

Day 1: Chalkboarding

Day 1: Wireframing

Day 1.5–2: Hacking

Day 2: Finished prototype

Day 2: Best photo of the Mayor. Ever.


In July 2011, NYC Digital organized New York City government’s first-ever hackathon hosted by General Assembly. The challenge: redesign, the City’s website, within 36 hours. As an IDEO intern, I teamed with designers and developers—Geoffrey Brown, Colin Raney, Burton Rast, Jacqueline Steck, Kristy Tillman, Jon Wettersten and Albert Lee—from the firm’s Chicago, Boston and New York locations. is a vital hub for information and services for over 30 million visitors each year, yet the experience of engaging with City agencies can be fragmented and impersonal. Our submission—winner of Most Innovative—relies on a single interaction: visitors pose questions, provides answers.

In addition to content currently served by the site, answers are sourced from a vibrant community and social media partners, and displayed in a unified and consistent view. Our design increases accountability and efficiency through accessible and intelligent data visualizations and direct lines of communication between constituents and city officials. Building upon the momentum of the annual NYC Big Apps competition, our solution offloads rote activities, typically performed on the website, onto a thriving ecosystem of mobile apps.

Download the high-fidelity screen designs (ZIP).