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Revolutionizing Civic Engagement: Empowering Izmir City with a Solidarity and Communication Platform

Updated: Jul 11, 2023


Client: Izmir City Metropolitan Municipality


Design Mesh Innovation Lab took on the challenge of transforming the Bizizmir App, a Solidarity and Communication Platform for Citizens of Izmir City, into one of the most widely used municipal applications in the country. With a vision of creating a "Democracy Square" and fostering participatory management, the Design Mesh team joined forces with Izmir Metropolitan Municipality to revolutionize the user experience and promote a sense of unity and dynamism among the citizens of Izmir.


Problem Definition:

  1. Unaligned User Experience: The existing application did not reflect the municipality's vision of a "Democracy Square" and lacked effective communication with the municipal administration.

  2. Distorted Flow: Over time, the addition of numerous features had led to a convoluted user flow, making navigation challenging for users.

  3. Content Overload: The homepage was overwhelmed with a plethora of content, making it difficult for users to follow.

Conceptual Solutions:

  1. Simplified Citizen Contact: The existing "HIM" (Citizen Contact Center) process was streamlined, and a new feature called "Pitch Your Idea" was introduced.

  2. User-Centric Content Organization: Contents were categorized based on user behaviors, highlighting those that aligned with the concept of solidarity and communication.

  3. Story Feature and Smart Filters: A "Story" feature was added for announcements, and smart filters were developed to provide a customized user experience.


Transformation Process:

  1. Interviews: Existing user profiles were examined, and 10 individuals representing different age groups, occupations, genders, and usage habits were interviewed. Insights into user behavior, needs, and goals were obtained to shape the subsequent design process.

  2. Card Sorting: The extensive application and navigation challenges led to the adoption of the card sorting method. Users categorized support programs, volunteering projects, events, and training programs separately.

  3. Personas: Based on the interviews, five personas were created, serving as guiding references throughout the entire product development journey. These personas represented young volunteers, senior urban dwellers, the working generation Y, charitable business people, and those in need.

  4. Sketches: Brainstorming sessions with the client led to the creation of sketches for testing ideas. Over 20 alternative designs were explored, with a focus on easy accessibility and simplicity.

  5. Wireframes: Wireframes were developed based on the tested sketch ideas, offering different alternatives for client feedback and iteration. The goal was to bridge the gap between design and UI implementation.

  6. UI Design: Usability tests paved the way for the UI design phase. A simple and bright visual style was chosen to accommodate the application's comprehensive content. The story feature was utilized to present announcements, and categorization filters were introduced for easy access to the desired information.


Key Learnings: Designing an application with extensive and complex content for a diverse user base was a challenging endeavor. However, Design Mesh Innovation Lab overcame this challenge by revamping the platform's working system. Previously, all content was cluttered on the homepage, hindering users from reaching their desired information. Through the implementation of smart filters and the story feature, the redesigned platform now allows users to easily access relevant content.

This project proved to be a significant learning experience for Design Mesh Innovation Lab. The resulting product not only demonstrated high usability but also introduced innovative features that catered to the diverse needs of a wide range of users.

Project Statistics:

  • Iterations: 100

  • Screens: 98

  • Cups of coffee consumed: 100


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