I asked a leader of one civic tech group the other day what his team lacked. Among the group’s half-dozen or so core contributors and about 20 occasional ones, they have a coder. They also have a guy who’s tied into local politics. And the guy I talked to, Nick Brooks, is the user-interface designer.
The group is Open Budget: Oakland, one of nearly a dozen active projects in OpenOakland, a local “brigade” associated with Code for America. Open Budget Oakland aims to provide everyday citizens with an understanding, mostly with data visualization, of the city budget and budget-making.
Brooks said, “People need to know how to use this.”