First-Ever Contract for Design Services Will Allow Any City Agency to Create and Deliver More Effective, Efficient, and Equitable Public Resources
NEW YORK—The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) today released its first-ever Government x Design: Citywide Design Services Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP will allow the City to better engage the design industry in improving public services, seeking design firms to provide digital, service design, and communications design to all City agencies and offices. This will greatly expand the availability of these services to agencies while streamlining procurement and promote opportunities for businesses of all sizes—as well as Minority-and Women-Owned Businesses (M/WBE)—to engage with the City. All services provided under the contract will be centered around human-centered design principles to ensure they fully and expertly engage New Yorkers.
“Any City service is only as valuable and as easy to use as it appears to everyday New Yorkers,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Laura Anglin. “That’s why Government x Design is a sea change for City government—because it will empower City agencies to tailor their products for the people they serve.”
“We are thrilled to be able to support our fellow City agencies with Government x Design as they develop and deploy critical services to millions of New Yorkers,” said Samir Saini, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. “In the world of technology, we’re always looking for tools that are efficient, flexible and accessible. And that’s exactly what this contract will help City agencies deliver to New Yorkers.”
“Design methods can help government draw on the insights and experiences of the people we aim to serve,” said Matt Klein, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity. “This new contracting vehicle makes it easier for City agencies to work with the design community to better understand, honor, and respond to the needs of New Yorkers.”
Several master agreements are expected to be awarded from this RFP, covering a broad range of design services across four classes: digital design, service design, communication design, and a comprehensive class encompassing all three. Proposers will be expected to demonstrate knowledge and experience in the services within each class by responding to specific questions and submitting a short proposal based on a sample project.
Government x Design: Citywide Design Services is the first flagship service of the NYC Gov Lab & Studio, a new DoITT project that provides flexible and scalable user experience (UX) and human-centered design (HCD) services. The project is a collaboration with the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity’s Service Design Studio. The solicitation was developed jointly, and draws on formal input gathered from agency staff and design practitioners through a previously issued Request for Expressions of Interest.
DoITT began to embrace the human-centered design approach nearly five years ago, offering training to interested City agencies on HCD principles and helping inject them into various initiatives—such as NYC Open Data and the 311 Mobile App—in order to make it easier and more intuitive for New Yorkers to engage with agencies. NYC Gov Lab & Studio is an outgrowth of these adopted practices and an important component in DoITT’s recent re-organization.
“As we began to incorporate human-centered design methods into our work, we discovered that the City’s office spaces, policies, procurement mechanisms, and organizational culture needed to change in order to improve customer experiences,” said Dominic Berg, Associate Commissioner, NYC Gov Lab & Studio. “This contract gives agencies options beyond contracting in limited, one-time purchases with Design vendors. This amplification will most certainly have an impact on the City’s culture and drive innovation in areas we would least expect.”
“We are seeing a growing demand for design inside government,” said Ariel Kennan, Director of Design and Product at the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity. “Government x Design will help bring more expert practitioners to work with agencies and offices delivering human-centered public services that are equitable, effective and efficient.”
The RFP can be found at www.nyc.gov/xdesign. Responses are due by May 4, 2018.
About the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT)
DoITT is the technology core of New York City government working with over 100 city agencies and entities to deliver the tech they need to serve and empower New Yorkers. DoITT’s technology solutions help keep the five boroughs safe, strong, and vibrant. For more information, visit nyc.gov/DoITT or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.
About NYC Gov Lab + Studio
The NYC Gov Lab & Studio’s UX and web front-end development teams, in coordination with DoITT’s full suite of contract and technology services, are uniquely positioned to provide end-to-end, targeted digital solutions for City agencies and their customers. Competencies include customer research, human-centered design, user interface and interaction design, prototyping, agile development, and usability testing. Our full-spectrum teams take ideas from concept through completion to give customers state-of-the art apps and access to City services.
About the NYC Service Design Studio
In October 2017, the Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity) launched the Service Design Studio to help further the City’s use of human-centered design methods. The Studio partners with agencies to engage with residents and those who deliver services so that their insights can shape new and existing programs. The Studio team is versed in design tools, experienced in developing in-person and digital services, and focused on addressing poverty-related challenges. The Studio produces Civic Service Design Tools + Tactics as a resource for design methods.