7 reasons I love the Summer in Hackney map

We launched the Summer in Hackney map this week. Here’s an ode to why it might already be my summer highlight.

1. It came from nowhere

I first heard of the Summer in Hackney project in its first weeknote. I was surprised and delighted: it’s not often we do something that I haven’t heard of beforehand. So it was liberating to read a weeknote and then see a Show & Tell. That’s why we ask the team to ‘fail in a fortnight’. 

2. There was more vision than definition

The project began with a vision for what we could achieve for users, rather than a clear definition of how we’d do this. We need to start more projects with a goal in mind rather than a thing we want to do. 

3. It was a team

The GIS team worked with user research, our designer and front-end developer to prototype and build a product. The team worked together, testing and re-using components (including our front-end patterns as well as things like the research pop-up banner). 

4. We did our user research

It would be easy to have done the Summer in Hackney map because we thought it was a good idea. We didn’t. The team did user research, together, to find out what users need.  

5. It blends tactical and strategic

The team described Summer in Hackney as a side-hustle, which sounds cool but is a bit unfair. It helped us learn about new ways of working and experiment with a different approach to delivering GIS data to users. 

6. The team delivered

We shouldn’t take for granted that a piece of work that began in July, delivered whilst it was still summer – and before the peak of summer. But we’ve also delivered a tangible improvement to residents. 

7. We’ve created components for re-use

The team did the work in a way that means we’ve learn about a pattern for how to provide maps and developed re-usable components for future maps – reinforcing how this project is a nice tactical intervention providing a strategic opportunity for change. 

From this:

Summer in Hackney - old

To this:

New summer in Hackney map

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