motivation to implement the ideas;which ( 6) transformed the participants’visions of mobility (Figure 3).
Here is a concrete exampledescribing the dynamics of this virtuouscircle. A member of our community( 1) made the following comment: ( 2)
“Why isn’t there any plan of the towndisplayed downtown?” A conversation( 3) then started, as many people triedto help her out. For example, “Did youknow you could find maps of the townfor free at the xxx office?” New ideas( 4) emerged from these answers: “Howabout printing out our own signs andsticking them around the city to guidepeople? I have seen a similar initiative inthe United States…” [ 2] (Figure 4).
The discussion sparked so muchenthusiasm that one communitymember was on the verge ofimplementing the idea: ( 5) “Yes, cool,let’s do it! Let’s go and print the signs…”( 6) Cohesion, solidarity, and awarenessof the issue had been created in thecommunity around the needs of thisperson.
OUR HCI COMMUNITY
The main characteristic of MobiLab
is that it actually is an “online
ethnography and design thinking
project.” We took care of the
ethnographic research design and the
sense making of the data gathered,
but we delegated the ethnographic
data gathering to the citizens. Also,
the solutions design happened mainly
online, which bore more fruit than the
plain face-to-face co-creation sessions
that we organized at the end of the
state employees to dive into the project,
integrate findings, and create a direct
bond with their customers, namely the
Finally, we summarized thesetestimonies into reports, presentations,articles, and a list of 100 ideas toimprove mobility in Geneva. We tried,and are still trying, to continue co-constructing and co-implementingthem.
SIX IMPACTS IN
ONE VIRTUOUS CIRCLE
We managed to create a virtuous circle:
( 1) We developed a community; ( 2) we
encouraged it to report about its daily
mobility; ( 3) these reports enabled a
dialogue inside the community; ( 4)
the dialogue generated new ideas to
improve mobility; ( 5) this created a
“I would like us to get closer to our
citizens.” This claim from the Geneva
State Councillor in charge of mobility
[ 1] in 2010 was the inspiration for
our “augmented citizenship project”
that we lead in the summer of 2013.
We made our minister’s wish come
true by co-creating, with citizens,
ideas translating the 2030 mobility
vision for Geneva into concrete
daily-life solutions. This innovative
way of interacting with the public is
uncommon in Switzerland. Therefore,
before launching a large initiative,
we decided to run a pilot project: The
MobiLab project was born. Here, we
show how it evolved.
The MobiLab project is an onlinecollaborative platform where citizensreported and discussed their dailymobility during an eight-week periodusing their mobile phones, tablets, andcomputers. They also posted interestingnewspapers articles, commented onrecently proposed measures to improvemobility, described surprises they hadon the way to work, and so on.
We facilitated discussions on theblog (Figure 1), dedicating each week toa specific topic (e.g., parking, budget).We motivated people to avoid talkingabout generalities such as “I am fed upwith trucks parking on my bikeway” butinstead to report about real situations(Figure 2).
All of these concrete submissionsfrom daily life laid the groundwork forfruitful discussions and the creation ofrealistic solutions.
Using a blog was also a way to enable
Figure 1. Screenshot of the MobiLab blog.
Figure 2. Picture posted by a MobiLab contributor showing a truck parked in a bike lane.