Mike Tedeschi is the new Design Director at O3 World, and he comes to us with an impressive amount of design and development experience under his belt. Mike has created countless outstanding digital experiences for an array of companies, and we asked him to talk about some of the work he’s most proud of.
Over the last twelve years, I’ve worked on over 140 different projects from digital experiences to print design to complex geospatial applications. My favorite projects are the ones that have the most impact, that truly make a difference to the people that use them or benefit from them. Here are some of the projects that I remember the most:
Philadelphia Museum of Art
I worked on a few different projects for the Philadelphia Museum of Art during my time with Interactive Mechanics. One was a digital experience that envisioned a new way to explore period rooms, which are typically under-visited and not well understood. The other was to build a solution to help visitors explore a typically overlooked artifact that has a rich history. I really appreciated that both projects focused on building experiences that put the visitor first, and were validated through regular testing. Some examples include accessibility controls, clear instructions (through text, icon, and animation), and refined content that catered to common questions and curiosities of visitors.
The World Bank – DRIVER
One of my favorite and most impactful projects was a collaboration with The World Bank and government agencies in several countries. There is a global challenge of identifying how to improve traffic accidents, particularly in Southeast Asia (I worked closely with several government agencies in the Philippines). We strategized around and built a system called DRIVER, which identifies road incident blackspots—areas of significant numbers of problems—and improving emergency response. I worked closely with stakeholders in local agencies and The World Bank to evaluate the pain points and needs of a solution to better understand how a tool like this could gain traction within these organizations. In addition to leading us to build an easy-to-use tool that could save lives, we also built tools that were easy to adopt. One of which was an Android app that allowed first-responders to better collect data that could be shared across government agencies to streamline data collection and reporting on accidents as they happen.
I led the charge on redesigning an overhaul of HunchLab, a predictive policing product created by Azavea that law enforcement could use to make more well-informed decisions. The product was complex, so building a solution that was usable in various situations was critical. After building a deep understanding of the product’s users (officers in the field, in a vehicle, or in a command location), we explored appropriate solutions for each scenario. This included designing unique experiences for officers in the field (for phones), in the car (via a tablet or computer), and large-format displays for a command center where more intensive work is required. We even explored augmented reality through Google Glass to provide “heads-up” information when on the street.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Wait-Play-Learn
Working with CHOP was one of my favorite projects. We worked iteratively with children, family members (including siblings, guardians, and experts), and CHOP staff to conceptualize and create a number of accessible games for children at the hospital’s new Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care. To meet the needs of the hospital, we explored solutions that were both safe, clean, and inclusive. We landed on building games that were gesture-based using the Microsoft Kinect. The process involved co-creating the games through design workshops with staff and family representatives, regular testing with kids and their parents in the space, and during physical therapy sessions to better understand how to build and refine the system.
NYC Streets Department – TreesCount!
While with Azavea, I worked on a project with the New York City Streets Department called TreesCount 2015 on a project built off of OpenTreeMap, one of the products Azavea created. The NYC Streets Dept aimed to crowdsource a database of every street tree in the city, neighborhood by neighborhood and block by block. The discovery process was thorough: we did a deep dive into understanding their audiences, their motivations to participate, and the objectives of the department. We conducted an intensive workshop to conceptualize the platform, how it would be marketed to residents, and ways to build educational and corporate team-building programming around the initiative. The end result was a product for the event (spanning several months) that collected data on over 694,000 trees across the city to better improve and track this urban forest.