Open Data Nation: Prototype Testing


Open Data Nation (ODN) takes open data records from cities and aggregates them into platforms for cities and insurance carriers to mitigate risk.

Scope of Work

I conducted user tests of an application prototype, called Hopper, with 10 Department of Transportation professionals for the city of Chicago. Hopper will be used by DOT planners to see details on where crashes are likely to happen so they can be proactive about where to focus their resources.

Team Members

Team Members of ODN

  • CEO of ODN: oversaw entire project; provided feedback for all tests and syntheses

  • Previous UX Researcher: designed prototype; provided all notes and research syntheses from initial interviews

  • Current UX Researcher (me): I came on board after the prototype was created

  • ODN Team Members: I ran my initial user tests on team mates; CEO also requested I do so to introduce them to the Hopper project

  • Developer: took prototype and my synthesis to create working application

  • Data Scientist: my main contact on the data science team; provided guidance on specific data sets.

Team Members from Chicago engineering firm and Department of Transportation

  • Clients: a multimodal crash analysis team consisting of engineers, planners, and data scientists

  • Transportation Analyst: scheduled all user tests; introduced the project during all user tests

  • Data Scientist: observed all user tests; provided insight on data sets that application is using

  • User Testers: planners and engineers from the Chicago Department of Transportation

  • Data Consultants: participated in additional user tests and interviews; data professionals who provided feedback on all data sets


The Hopper Vision Zero prototype was created to show city planners where the most dangerous parts of the city are so they can allocate resources to fix them.

They’ll be able to filter streets by levels of risk of crashes, identify top crash factors, and see how many crashes have been prevented due to taking proactive measures.

Test Results

Internal document

From the user tests with five planners and interviews with four data professionals, I synthesized my findings into annotated wireframes.

Highlighted takeaways from the tests:

Client deliverable

To present to the client, we (the CEO and I) wanted to show them what we would be doing to solve for these problems that were discovered during the testing phase. I created similar annotated wireframes from before, and changed them to show the recommendations.

Highlighted recommendations from key takeaways

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Design Iterations

Since so many of the elements were changing, I illustrated new wireframes to hand off directions to the developer. Working with the CEO and data science team, these designs went through multiple iterations as we learned the limitations of the data sets.

The Reports section had the most significant changes:

Application Development

Slight design changes were made when the application was created. Here you can see the differences between my final designs and the current state of the application.


The most exciting part of this project for me is knowing that I’m helping to create something that will save lives and prevent crashes. This application is currently being created for the City of Chicago, with future plans to bring this technology to more cities around the country.