The aim of Detroit’s Civic User Testing Group (CUTGroup) is to make civic websites and public apps more accessible to city residents. Launched in Summer 2016 with the support and partnership of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, the City of Detroit, and Microsoft’s Civic Technology team, CUTGroup’s motto is, “If it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work!”
CUTGroup Detroit’s tester pool has over three hundred residents who bring an array of backgrounds and levels of digital literacy. We work with residents from all over Detroit who use different types of devices, browsers, and operating systems.
During testing sessions, CUTGroup members evaluate and provide feedback on the usability of apps and online tools from the perspective of the intended audience.
CUTGroup sessions are crafted over the course of several weeks, as D3 works with developers to design and document testing protocols. D3 recruits for sessions from within the pool of testers, narrowing the pool when certain characteristics are desired (for example, if the tool is built for residents who access the internet via a mobile device), to attend a one-on-one proctored test.
At the end of a CUTGroup event, testers are compensated for their time, D3 compiles session findings in a report, and synthesizes them into a presentation for the developers. The developers then improve civic tools so that they work better for the people they are built to serve.
If you’re interested in signing up to become a CUTGroup tester, start here! You’ll get a $5 gift card just for signing up!