Civic Futures Awards

Digital services that can grow and adapt with resident needs

Austin Office of Design & Delivery

Team and approach for alpha.austin.gov

The problem

The City of Austin provides hundreds of services, from building permits to food assistance. How can we ensure our digital services meet the needs of all of our residents?

Solution / Approach

For alpha.austin.gov, we’ve introduced a modular technology infrastructure that supports accessibility across devices, languages, and levels of ability. We’re continually testing and refining our tools and technologies based on the needs of our residents, meeting with residents across all of our neighborhoods to learn how to improve.

Core team
  • Desi Gonzalez
  • Brian Smith
  • Nick Ivons
  • Gerald Oliver
  • Eric Sherman
  • Bob Main
  • Chia Berry
  • Chase Chenevert
  • Tori Breitling
  • Sarah Rigdon
  • Annie Szotkowski
  • Jo Dwyer
  • Amanda Langworthy
  • Kristin Taylor
  • Anu Kandimalla
  • Matthew Barron
Key advisors
  • Marni Wilhite
  • Stephen Elkins
  • Farah Muscadin
  • Ben Guhin
  • Lane Becker
What can make it sustainable?

Treating the website as a product, not a project. Resident needs evolve, and the City’s website must adapt to meet those needs. We also need to invest in building content, design, and technology skill sets within the City of Austin rather than relying on vendors and consultants.

Advice to others

Design for users first by committing to fully understanding the needs and expectations of the community, and testing solutions with residents. Adopt an agile approach to technology and workflow design that uses prototyping, testing, and iteration to learn and improve over time, rather than “redesign”.