Eating Dog Food

This is a repost from our CEO, Ben Berkowitz. You can find the original here.

The concept of dogfooding in product development implies that the product owner should also be a user of the product. SeeClickFix has always solved real world problems for me since day one so it has never been hard to dogfood our app. (Occasionally painful when I hit an unexpected bug or realize that our UX is awkward in a new release, but of course that's part of why you dog-food)

Last night I took a look at my own use of SeeClickFix through our new city client facing analytics platform Insight. Effectively dogfooding to look at dogfooding.

I'm not entirely sure what the value of looking at an individual user's behavior is for a city or an individual user but I thought I would share some of the graphs that I produced from my activity on SeeClickFix. (Note this is not my admin account but my everyday user account). If you'd like to see some graphs on your own SeeClickFix use email me and I'll take a look: ben at seeclickfix com. Below each graph I've shared some personal insights into the data.


You can see a spike in the beginning of my usage. I think this is typical behavior for a SeeClickFix user as there is usually a backlog of requests gathering in your mind just waiting for SCF. There also appears to be seasonal spikes in the early winter months and mid summer months. I definitely am guilty of reporting overgrown properties, illegal dumping and other types of blight that pop up in urban areas in the Summer. I'm also walking around more in the Summer. In the Winter its helping out my neighbors with shoveling and reporting storm damage.


Vandalism was the primary use of SeeClickFix for me in 2011 but the number of incidents to report have gone down dramatically in New Haven. You can see that pothole reports and the number of reports in general have gone up since I moved across town to Westville. I attribute my increased reporting to longer walks to work covering more of the city, fresh eyes on a neighborhood and more potholes from a very tough winter.


You can see that my reports in the downtown ward 7 where I work have stayed consistent. You can also tell that I have moved neighborhoods in 2014 and walk across more wards to get to work. I'll visualize my points of interest on a map in a future post.


The City of New Haven has gotten faster and faster at responding to mine and other citizens complaints with communication even as the number of requests increases. They have also gotten faster at closing requests.