What is OOR?

OOR is an initiative of Antwerp to involve people into the decision-making of the city. It organizes participation projects to get the feedback of citizens about different projects. Examples of these projects can be the reconstruction of a playground, the arrival of a new youth center or the evaluation of a district.

OOR uses a regular website to announce new participation projects. The results are mostly processed with man power and Excel, but this way of working was very slow. The urge for better tools and new ideas was big, so the city of Antwerp announced that they were looking for an update of their platform.

Narato to the rescue!

Narato immediately applied as a candidate and saw the opportunities for this project. It was not just about building a new website, it also involved a better and supportive admin tool to process the results. A  mobile app to get closer to the citizens would also be nice. We started thinking about innovating ideas to make it easier to process open questions. We came up with the idea of an AI (Artificial Intelligence) engine which could detect predefined categories in different notations, but with a phonetic match. OOR  also wanted to inform citizens about new surveys, so we introduced the possibility of using iBeacons/Eddystone to push notifications to the mobile app. Citizens that came in the neighborhood of a project would immediately be notified.

From ideas to POC

At Narato we focus on building applications. I’m more a front end developer but for the visual design we needed someone who is more experienced in this field. That’s why we looked for a partnership with a designer company for this project, called Knight Moves. Together we made an excellent tandem. Narato provided the knowledge for the technical part and Knight Moves came up with the visuals.

During the selection process we decided to make a proof of concept. This way we could show our knowledge and excellent teamwork. Knight Moves provided the designs and Narato developed a small application built on these visuals with the main features we wanted to highlight.

Round two: our screen cast!

Luckily, In the second round of the selection we scored well with our live presentation. We showed our proof of concept and they liked it! For the final round they didn’t want another presentation so we needed to come up with another way to show the improvements that we made. They only wanted a digital document with our best and final offer, so we had to make it count. We thought that this wouldn’t fully express our ideas, so we decided to make a screen cast.

I had no experience with this format yet but luckily my colleagues could help me out with tips and tricks. In no time I transformed my MacBook into a real recording studio using only freely available tooling. I ran several tests, wrote a screenplay and then started the recordings. Colleague Alain Thoen participated to be the voice over and after some rehearsals we could record our final video. Afterwards, Bart ten Velde assembled the video and the screenplay was a fact.

You can see the result below. The screenplay was for an Antwerp audience, so the heavy local accent wasn’t such a big deal 😉

It didn’t take too much effort to make a screen cast that could really tell our story and express our ideas about this project. We used an interesting new way that tells much more than only a ‘paper’ version. Let’s hope OOR agrees!

edit: We got silver. There was a pool of around 25 candidates and we managed to grab the 2nd place. Although we didn’t win the deal we did learn a lot and we don’t consider this a loss.