Course Syllabus

PROTOTYPING FOR URBAN POLICY AND DECISION MAKING

Course Location | UP Computer Lab

Course Date/Time | M 6:00pm-8:00pm

Instructors | Clara Chung + Kaz Sakamoto

 

Course Description

This course teaches how to prototype for a contemporary urban issue, with an emphasis on how to use open data for evidence-based policy making. We will cover how to apply design-thinking and other strategic frameworks to breakdown urban issues, which pose high-levels of complexity, which entails multiple stakeholders into actionable solutions. The first session of the course focuses on strategic thinking, defining the problem, and prototype ideation. In the second session, students will work in groups to build a minimum viable product (MVP) which should demonstrate functioning user interaction and/or analysis workflows. The course will result in a final presentation of a product demo of that prototyped solution alongside a how-to guide.

 

Course Goals

The objective of this course is to teach students the process of conceiving and executing a prototype or MVP for urban policy and decision making purposes. It will also teach how to leverage technological tools such as R, Tableau and other wireframing tools to build a product. The final outcome for this course will be a demo of a novel product and a product guide. The experience gained from this course will imbue tangible skills for developing thesis alternative projects.  

 

Learning Objectives

By the end of the semester, students should have an understanding of how to:

    • Articulate and critique various urban technologies with planning ethics in mind
    • Ideate prototypes with a clear hypothesis on personas and use cases
    • Justify and present a product strategy with consideration to risks and viability
    • Build and execute a prototype with the MVP principle in mind 
    • Leverage technological tools in analytics and interactive design in building a MVP

 

Course Expectations

Attendance

Classroom attendance is mandatory for this class. We expect an e-mail or in-person explanation on any absences at least 24 hours before class. You will be responsible to catch up on class materials by yourself and your classmate’s help, and are expected to complete assignments at the same deadline as the rest of your class.

Grading Schema

Deliverable

% of Final Grade

Deadline

Assignment 1: Problem Statement

10%

15 Sep, 2019 (Sun)

Assignment 2: Personas + Use Cases

10%

22 Sep, 2019 (Sun)

Assignment 3: Elevator Pitch

5%

30 Sep, 2019 (Mon) during class

Assignment 4: Product Strategy

10%

6 Oct, 2019 (Sun)

Assignment 5: System Design

10%

13 Oct, 2019 (Sun)

Assignment 6: User Journey

10%

20 Oct, 2019 (Sun)

Assignment 7: Interactive Mockup

5%

25 Nov, 2019 (Mon) during class

Final Project: Demo Presentation

15%

9 Dec, 2019 (Mon) during class

Final Project: User How-to Guide

15%

13 Dec, 2019 (Fri)

Class Participation

10%

N/A

 

All assignments are due 11:59AM of the deadline date in Canvas(assignment link) unless they are specified as an in-class deliverable in the table above. 

Grades for late assignments within 24 hours will be discounted by 50%. If assignment deliverables are used in class discussions, late ones may not be included. Anything submitted later will not be graded and instructor feedback is not guaranteed.

 

System Requirements

  • ArcGIS
  • Excel
  • Tableau
  • R
  • Powerpoint/ other presentation software

Weekly Schedule

Class Date

Topic

Assignment to Handout

9 Sep, 2019 (Mon)

Ideation: Introduction to Urban Technologies, Product Thinking and Role of Planners

Assignment 1

16 Sep, 2019 (Mon)

Ideation: Personas and Use Cases

Assignment 2

23 Sep, 2019 (Mon)

Ideation: Agile Development and MVP

Assignment 3

30 Sep, 2019 (Mon)

Ideation: Business Frameworks

Assignment 4

7 Oct, 2019 (Mon)

Build: Introduction to Tech Stacks

Assignment 5

14 Oct, 2019 (Mon)

Build: UI/ UX and Wireframes

Assignment 6 

21 Oct, 2019 (Mon)

Build: Data Exploration with Tableau

28 Oct, 2019 (Mon)

Build: Data Exploration with R

Final Project: Presentation Demo & How-to Guide

4 Nov, 2019 (Mon)

Election Holiday - No Class

11 Nov, 2019 (Mon)

Build: Interactive Dashboards with Tableau

18 Nov, 2019 (Mon)

Build: Interactive Dashboards with R (Shiny)

25 Nov, 2019 (Mon)

Desk Crit

Assignment 7

2 Dec, 2019 (Mon)

Desk Crit

9 Dec, 2019 (Mon)

Final Presentation

 

Weekly Schedule - Details

Week 1 (9 September):

Objective:

By the end of this class, students should be able to...

    • Articulate categories of urban technologies that inform policy and planning
    • Differentiate between problems, ideas and products
    • Derive problem statements and value propositions from existing products
    • Explain the importance of planners being involved in urban technologies

Reading for 16 Sep, 2019:

Required:

Ethics

Peter Waldman, Lizette Chapman, and Jordan Robertson (2018) Palantir Knows Everything About You. Bloomberg Businessweek. Apr 19, 2018. URL: https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2018-palantir-peter-thiel/

Steven Bertoni (2019) Murder! Muggings! Mayhem! How An Ex-Hacker Is Trying To Use Raw 911 Data To Turn Citizen Into The Next Billion-Dollar App. Forbes. Jul 15, 2019. URL: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2019/07/15/murder-muggings-mayhem-how-an-ex-hacker-is-trying-to-use-raw-911-data-to-turn-citizen-into-the-next-billion-dollar-app/#7f880f591f8a 

Smart Cities

Arman Tabatabai (2018) The Economics and Tradeoffs of Smart City Tech. Techcrunch. URL: https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/01/the-economics-and-tradeoffs-of-ad-funded-smart-city-tech/ 

Bruce Sterling (2018) Stop Saying ‘Smart Cities’. The Atlantic. Feb 12, 2018. URL: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/02/stupid-cities/553052/

The Economist (2018) The world’s first neighborhood built ‘from the internet up’. The Economist. May 3, 2018. URL: https://www.economist.com/business/2018/05/03/the-worlds-first-neighbourhood-built-from-the-internet-up

Bernard Marr (2018) AI in China: How Uber Rival Didi Chuxing Uses Machine Learning To Revolutionize Transportation. Forbes. Nov 26, 2018 URL: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2018/11/26/ai-in-china-how-uber-rival-didi-chuxing-uses-machine-learning-to-revolutionize-transportation/#770832326732 

Adam Frank (2017) What does It Take to see Gentrification before It Happens. NPR. URL: https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2017/08/29/546980178/what-does-it-take-to-see-gentrification-before-it-happens 

Recommended:

Ben Green (2019) The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in Its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future

[Podcast] CityLab (2019) Technopolis. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/technopolis/

 

Assignment 1 given out in class.

_____

Class Exercise:

Students will form groups to come up with problem statements that 5 existing urban technology products are trying to solve. They are expected to critique between the best and worst product based on the clarity of its problem statements and value proposition.

Assignment: (due Sunday before next class)

Each student has to submit 5 problem statements with maximum 40 words each to explain why it is a worthy problem for urban planning technologists to solve.

This list will be consolidated before second class for discussion.

 

Week 2 (16 September)

Objective:

By the end of this class, students should be able to...

    • Articulate the importance of personas and use cases in product ideation
    • Brainstorm and evaluate multiple product ideas using personas and use cases

Reading:

Byrne, A. et al. (2011) Personas as a user-centred design tool for the built environment, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability Vol. 164 Iss. 1, March 2011, pp. 59-69 doi:10.1680/ensu.1000015 http://arrow.dit.ie/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1078&context=engschcivart 

Rikke Dam & Teo Siang (2019) Personas - A Simple Introduction. Interaction Design Foundation. URL:  https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/personas-why-and-how-you-should-use-them

Lene Nielsen (2013) Personas. In Chapter 30 of Soegaard and Dam (2013) The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed. Accessed via URL: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/the-encyclopedia-of-human-computer-interaction-2nd-ed/personas

Aguiari et al. (2018) Smart Mobility and Sensing: A Bike Information Gathering Architecture. In Smart Objects and Technologies for Social Good edited by Barbara Guidi et al. Available on Google Books.

Talebook (2018) How to Create Personas - A Step-by-Step Guide. UX Planet. URL: https://uxplanet.org/how-to-create-personas-step-by-step-guide-303d7b0d81b4

Page Laubheimer (2017) Personas vs Jobs-to-Be-Done. Neilson Norman Group. URL: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/personas-jobs-be-done/

IBM (2018) Enterprise Design Thinking Toolkit - As-Is-Scenario Maps. URL: https://www.ibm.com/design/thinking/page/toolkit/activity/as-is-scenario-map

Interaction Design (2019) User Stories - Capturing the User’s Perspectives Quickly and SImply. URL: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/user-stories-capturing-the-user-s-perspective-quickly-and-simply

Assignment 2 given out in class.

Class Exercise:
TBA
Assignment: (due Sunday before next class)
TBA

 

Week 3 (23 September)

Objective:

By the end of this class, students should be able to...

    • Articulate the basic technology principles of agile development and MVP
    • Form a critical view of how those principles manifest in urban planning and smart city solutions
    • Apply those principles in narrowing down their product ideas and prototype scope

Reading:

Ries, E. (2011) The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.

Simon Lapointe (2014) Can Agile Thinking Create Outstanding Plans? The Planetizen. URL: https://www.planetizen.com/node/72760

Janette Sadik-Khan & Seth Solomonow (2016) Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution. 

James S. Russell (2012) The Agile City: Building Well-being and Wealth in an Era of Climate Change

Jane Jacobs (1969) The Economy of Cities

Interaction Design (2019) Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and Design - Balancing Risk to Gain Reward. URL: ://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/minimum-viable-product-mvp-and-design-balancing-risk-to-gain-reward

Chris Ciligot (2019) Planning a Minimum Viable Product - a Step-by-Step Guide. URL: https://clearbridgemobile.com/planning-a-minimum-viable-product-a-step-by-step-guide/

Euphemia Wong (2018) Wicked Problems - 5 Steps to Help You Tackle Wicked Problems by Combining Systems Thinking with Agile Methodology. Interaction Design. URL:  https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/wicked-problems-5-steps-to-help-you-tackle-wicked-problems-by-combining-systems-thinking-with-agile-methodology

Deborah Mills-Scofield & Liza Donnelly (2014) Draw Your Elevator Pitch. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2014/03/draw-your-elevator-pitch 

Assignment 3 given out in class. 

__

Class Exercise:

TBA

Assignment: (due Sunday before next class)

Elevator Pitch

 

Week 4 (30 September)

Objective:

By the end of this class, students should be able to...

    • Formulate a concise, persuasive pitch on a product idea with defined scope
    • Identify KPIs that might be important to rapid prototyping and successful products
    • Show consideration to product market fit and other business frameworks

Reading:

The Field Guide to Human Centered Design.  http://www.designkit.org/resources/1

Jack Aldane (2018) The Search for the Urban Unicorn. Cities Today. https://cities-today.com/the-search-for-the-urban-unicorn/

[Podcast] CityLab (2019). Episode 1: Venture-Backed City. https://www.citylab.com/solutions/2019/02/technopolis-podcast-episode-1/583606/ 

Murat Uenlue (2018) Strategy: Porter’s Five Forces explained (plus example Uber). Innovation Tactics. URL: https://www.innovationtactics.com/porter-five-forces/

Eillie Anzilotti (2019) How smart city tech is helping to keep cars from illegally driving on this car-free street. Fast Company. URL: https://www.fastcompany.com/90316266/how-smart-city-tech-is-helping-to-keep-cars-from-illegally-driving-on-this-car-free-street

Adeyemi Ajao (2019) Everything You Want to Know About Scooters and Micro-Mobility. Forbes. URL: https://www.forbes.com/sites/adeyemiajao/2019/02/01/everything-you-want-to-know-about-scooters-and-micro-mobility/

Assignment 4 given out in class. 

___

Class Exercise:

Students will give an elevator pitch on an idea in front of the class. 

Assignment: (due Sunday before next class)

TBA

 

Week 5 (7 October):

Objective:

By the end of this class, students should be able to...

    • Delineate the basics of server-side and client-end applications
    • Understand key issues that need to be resolved when deciding on a tech stack such as scalability, “time to market”, and maintainability
    • Know the pros and cons of choosing common tech stacks deployment models.

Reading:

Vimal Maheedharan(2017) How to Select the Best Web Technology Stack for your Product. Cabot Solutions. August 30, 2017. URL: 

https://www.cabotsolutions.com/2017/08/how-to-select-the-best-web-technology-stack-for-your-product

OpenGeeksLab(2019) 4 Tips on How to Choose a Tech Stack for Your Project. OpenGeeksLab Blog. April 19, 2019. URL: 

https://opengeekslab.com/blog/4-tips-on-how-to-choose-a-tech-stack-for-your-project/

Elena Storozhokova(2017) Technology Stack Dilemma Explained for Non-Technical Business Owners. Perfectial. December 4, 2017. URL: https://perfectial.com/blog/technology-stack-dilemma-explained/

Assignment 5 given out in class.

Class Exercise:

TBA

Assignment: (due Sunday before next class)

Data/ Architecture diagram

 

Week 6 (14 October):

Objective:

By the end of this class, students should be able to...

    • Comfortably discuss the difference between UI and UX
    • Understand the impact of good/bad design on users
    • Learn about the main principles underpinning human-centered design
    • Apply concepts of human computer interaction into application design

Reading:

Norman, Donald A. The Design of Everyday Things. Basic Books, 2013.

Rikke Dam(2019) The MAYA Principle: Design for the Future, but Balance it with Your Users’ Present. Interaction Design Foundation. April 2019. URL: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/design-for-the-future-but-balance-it-with-your-users-present

Marc Hassenzahl. User Experience and Experience Design. The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed. https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/book/the-encyclopedia-of-human-computer-interaction-2nd-ed/user-experience-and-experience-design

Bloomberg Cities 5 lessons from the Best Data-driven Cities. April, 2019. https://medium.com/@BloombergCities/5-lessons-from-the-best-data-driven-cities-502f6ce9ef09

https://datasmart.ash.harvard.edu/news/article/designing-human-centered-city

Assignment 6 given out in class. 

Class Exercise:

User Journey Diagram of existing app

Wireframing existing app

Assignment: (due Sunday before next class)

User journey/ interactive flow

 

Week 7 (21 October): Data Exploration with Tableau

Objective:

By the end of this class, students should be able to...

    • Load excel and/ or spatial data into Tableau
    • Clean data with calculated columns for visualization
    • Conduct exploratory data analysis
    • Refine visualizations for user-friendly presentations 

Class Exercise:

Data Exploration with Tableau . 

Reading:

To be provided closer to class date.

 

Week 8 (28 October): Data Exploration with Shiny

Objective:

By the end of this class, students should be able to...

    • Load data into R
    • Clean data and ready for data visualization
    • Utilize exploratory data analysis (EDA)
    • Learn the basics of shiny applications
    • Create a basic shiny app to interactive explore data

Reading:

https://shiny.rstudio.com/tutorial/written-tutorial/lesson1/

https://github.com/rstudio/cheatsheets/raw/master/shiny.pdf

https://github.com/rstudio/cheatsheets/raw/master/lubridate.pdf

https://github.com/rstudio/cheatsheets/raw/master/data-import.pdf

https://github.com/rstudio/cheatsheets/raw/master/data-visualization-2.1.pdf

https://github.com/rstudio/cheatsheets/raw/master/data-transformation.pdf

https://datasmart.ash.harvard.edu/news/article/making-neighborhoods-data-heroes

 

Week 9 (4 November): ELECTION HOLIDAY

 

Week 10 (11 November): Dashboards with Tableau

Objective:

By the end of this class, students should be able to...

    • Produce interactive dashboards with Tableau
    • Create buttons and parameters for user interaction
    • Produce a storyboard of dashboards or pages with Tableau

Reading:

To be provided closer to class date.

 

Week 11 (18 November): Dashboards with Shiny

Objective:

By the end of this class, students should be able to...

    • Produce interactive dashboards with Shiny
    • Combine the user needs and experience into dashboard

Assignment 7 (due Sunday before next class)

Interactive Mockup

Reading:

https://shiny.rstudio.com/articles/dashboards.html

 

Week 12 (25 November): Desk Crit on Final Project

Objective:

By the end of this class, students should...

    • Create a prototype that interacts with real-world data
    • Have final tech and design requirements 

 

Week 13 (2 December): Desk Crit on Final Project

Objective:

By the end of this class, students should...

    • A near-complete MVP application
    • A final product guide draft
    • An outline of the demo presentation

Final Project (due Sunday before next class)

 

Week 14 (9 December): Final Project Presentation

 

Course Summary:

Date Details