(video con subtítulos en español)
Agents, your first assignment is to observe your own commute. The same trip you take every day, but this time you're going to do it with fresh eyes.
The next time you leave your house, we want you to keep your eyes peeled for TRANSIT TOOLS: things that help you know where you are, and get where you're going. Almost anything in your life could be a transit tool: announcements, signs, posters, buildings, websites, apps, other people, cars, hey, even NPR could be a transit tool. As long as it's something that gives you information that helps you navigate your city.
When you notice yourself using a transit tool, take a picture and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Name your tool in the subject line of the email. Then, answer these 2 questions about this transit tool:
1. What information is this tool giving you? Why are you using it right now, and what's helpful about it?
2. What information do you really want to know, in this moment, that this tool isn't giving you?
You might be wondering why are we looking for transit tools. Well, as a team we’ll be looking for patterns in what people see and do. Those patterns are hugely insightful as we start to make decisions about what most people want and need. This is the very first stage of user-centered research, a best practice for designing anything new and innovative.
Learning about the tools you use will teach us how people use the assets that are available today, what’s working well about them that we don't need to replicate, and how we might build our app to work with them.
Learning about the info that you’d really like to know, that tools aren’t telling you, will teach us about the holes in people’s experiences - the needs that are unmet right now, that we can help meet with our app.
> You can send in as many transit tools as you like - the more, the better!
> No photo = no post. We can't take emails without images, so please include that picture. This might mean tossing your digital camera in your bag, or figuring out how to get pictures off of your cellphone!
> If the tool isn't visual (eg: the radio) just take a picture of whatever's in front of you (eg: your iPod, your car's dashboard) that can "represent" the tool.
> If you really can't (or just didn't) get a picture in the moment, take one later of a similar moment. We just need a visual example to support your point.
> If you want to show us a website, don't send a link. Take a screenshot of the website and send that in as your picture!
> Don't worry if you see that someone else has sent in the same transit tool already - we're looking for the patterns so if you use something too, we want to know!
> Don't worry if you don't take public transit, or don't live in Chicago! We're curious about transit tools everywhere, and we're curious about transit tools on trains and buses and bikes and the sidewalk and cars and carpools and airports.
> Before you get started, read through our Submission Guidelines and Terms so you know what we expect from all of our participants.
> We trust that you will be safe in your Agent activities, but just a reminder: Please don't take photos while operating a moving vehicle (car or bike). If you can pull over, please do, or take a similar photo later when you don't need both your hands to steer.
Urban Agent HQ
Your submissions will be posted on Urban Agent HQ, where our team and the world can view, discuss, share, and learn from your work. When you send your first submission, you'll get a confirmation email with an automatically-assigned Agent Name. This Agent Name will be displayed with your submissions on Agent HQ. Just let us know if you're like to personalize your Agent Name. Click on over to the HQ to see what other Agents have been up to and join the conversation!
Please let us know! We'll compile common questions on our FAQ page, but if you can't find your answer there, just send us an email. We rely on your questions and feedback to help us make this process the best it can be. So please let us know how we can improve!