Developing a user-centered open data app

Auteur
Marise Schot

After some successful open data contests, it was time to develop our own app with open data, following our own ‘users as designers’ methodology. We had a good idea, we used Scrum, formed a multi-disciplinary team and we co-created an app but in the end it only proved to be useful in the development of the linked open data CitySDK platform

Interested why? Read our story in the Dutch version of this post. For those who have plans to develop their own user-centered open data app, we have eight tips based on our experiences:

  1. During the development process, use applications that you are experienced with. Watch out for steep learning curves.
  2. Do not alter your development team too often, to prevent the loss of valuable insights.
  3. Try not to tackle too many challenges at once.
  4. Plan wisely, so you can test your concept in the earliest possible stage.
  5. While testing, take all your experiences seriously.
  6. Do not be afraid to confront your testers with an unfinished version. 
  7. Consider: “Open data is no wizardry” (Laurens Schuurkamp).
  8. And finally: “Even if you don't make a ‘smart’ app, it's still a lot of work” (Taco van Dijk).

About the author

  • Marise Schot worked as concept developer for Waag. Her work focused on well-being and applications that enhance the quality of life.