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OpenOakland improves the lives of Oaklanders by advancing civic innovation and open government through engaged volunteers, community partnerships, and civic technology.

We make tools. They increase access to public information. Some help Oaklanders engage more effectively with local government and with each other. We collaborate with Oakland’s civic stakeholders. We help civic-minded volunteers make a difference in their city. Join us!

Find out what we’re about or start with projects we’re hacking. Get plugged in: our community meets weekly for civic hack nights each Tuesday from 6:30–9 p.m. in City Hall Room 3. Join us! Geeks, Suits, Wonks, and all Oaklanders are welcome!

Recent Posts

OO Developers + Civic User Testers: The beginning of a beautiful relationship

On Saturday, February 21, OpenOakland’s CUTgroup Team held our first-ever Civic User Test. What’s a Civic User Test? It’s an event where Oakland residents try out a new technology for making life in this city better, the creators of that technology get to hear what they think, and the testers get a $20 gift card for their time. (Sound like a good deal? Here’s where you can sign up.) Saturday’s test took place at the Oakland Public Library’s West Oakland Branch. The group tested Open Disclosure, a website that reveals campaign contributions to Oakland elections in charts, graphs and clear language.

After a quick welcome, each tester sat down at a laptop with a volunteer test moderator and a note-taker. The moderator asked the tester what questions they had about local election campaigns, then watched as the tester looked for answers using the Open Disclosure website. Finally, all the testers gathered for a roundtable discussion where they shared their thoughts about the website, and Open Disclosure team members listened in. The result? The Open Disclosure team learned how their new civic website can better serve the public. As Lauren Angius of Open Disclosure put it, “Testing opened my eyes to all the ways people could use the platform, and let us see the site from a user’s perspective.” The team is now analyzing the data they gathered, and is excited to share it with you in a report we’ll publish soon. The team is now analyzing the data they gathered, and is excited to share it with you in a report we’ll publish soon.

Big thanks to the OpenOakland volunteers who put on the event and the ten CUTgroup members who tested OpenDisclosure and gave thoughtful, helpful feedback. We hope you had fun and that you’ll tell your neighbors. Speaking of which, thanks to everyone who has joined the CUTgroup so far. And for all you Oaklanders who haven’t joined yet, it’s not too late! We’ll be announcing more tests soon, with more chances to check out civic apps, eat tasty snacks and earn a gift card. Sign up here.

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