Over the last few years, the team here at Urban Interactive Studio has been continuously experimenting with new products, constantly tweaking and improving them to better serve our clients and their communities.
Today, we’re excited to announce the new EngagingPlans platform and App Suite, which streamlines digital outreach and provides unique, intuitive opportunities for online public involvement.
For the most part, EngagingPlans Core will remain the same great project hub that it’s always been. Project updates, event calendars and timelines, searchable document library, FAQs, a survey builder, polls, and open questions are all included in the Core platform, so you can easily involve your community throughout the project lifecycle.
The new App Suite is designed to provide creative and intuitive public feedback opportunities that raise the bar on the typical engagement process. Some will look familiar to you, like our Community Mapping app (formerly VividMaps) or the Trade-Off Explorer app (formerly FlipSides). But we are also introducing many other apps that evolved through our ongoing process of learning and improvement, and these apps can be used to support engagement during distinct project phases.
Our favorite thing about the new App Suite is that apps can be configured in many different ways to meet the specific needs and goals of your project. To give you a sense of how this might work, we’d like to highlight Imagine Central Arkansas (ICA), a planning effort to expand transportation choices in central Arkansas. UIS provided an EngagingPlans Core platform with a custom design and used the Community Mapping, Digital Workshop, Trade-Off Explorer and Interactive Plan apps to encourage citizens and stakeholders to share insights about the region’s long-term future.
Treasured Places, ICA’s name for their version of the Community Mapping App, encouraged locals to submit their favorite places in the Central Arkansas region. Through photos and detail pages, residents were then able to explore, rate, and comment on other submission.
To make the extensive State of the Region analysis accessible and fun, UIS visualized it using the Digital Workshop app. At the core of this experience were small games that display content with the user in mind and trivia questions with incentives like badges and high scores.
In later phases of the project, games based on the Trade-Off Explorer app were used to help residents weigh transportation alternatives. As people adjusted their regional priorities and vision for timing, real-time infographics shift to display the impact of those preferences on a variety of indicators.
When the final plan was ready for posting online, ICA took their document a step further using the Interactive Plan app. The intuitive layout and graphics introduce people to the core goals, concepts and components that underlie the Plan, helping them understand the document and better respond to relevant areas of interest.
We’re excited about the projects that will take their public feedback elements to the next level through EngagingPlans Core and App Suite. Our intuitive, mobile- and tablet-optimized solutions are ready to reach different audiences, educate them, and get their insights on building the best community possible.