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Bruce Montgomery

Mightybytes Develops New Web Application for Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture

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Updated Website Streamlines Process for Matching Visitors with Local Volunteers to Encourage City Exploration

New process significantly reduces workflow and volunteer response times and offers improved convenience

(www.twitter.com/techaccesstv) Chicago based Mightybytes developed a new web application streamlines the process for booking visits on Chicago Greeter, a free service provided by the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture (COTC). The site allows visitors to explore the city by matching them with friendly and insightful local volunteers who know the area. These visits can be customized to a specific neighborhood, language, or special interest and can vary from historic landmarks to unique shops and places to dine.


The existing website was friendly, but cumbersome because it used an outdated data tool in tandem with emails and faxes to match visitors and volunteers. After researching user demographics, Mightybytes streamlined and refocused the site around all three sets of users and developed an intuitive three-phased web application for COTC staff, volunteers, and Chicago visitors.

The resulting site accomplishes several tasks: 
·    Establishes Chicago Greeter as a helpful resource for visitors to connect with city volunteers who are knowledgeable and excited about their favorite local destinations. 
·    Provides an easy tool for volunteers to manage bookings. 
·    Helps Greeter staff service volunteers and visitors with a more fluid and professional flow of information.


In order to help the Chicago Greeter team make site updates and more efficiently manage data, Mightybytes focused on streamlining workflow steps across all parts of the booking and administration process and then created simple interfaces to support each step in that process.

”Usability was the most important factor in redesigning interfaces for Chicago Greeter,” Mightybytes Art Director Joy Burke said. “Our lightweight design paired well with a strong visual hierarchy and easy-to-understand workflows to achieve a very user-friendly system.”

Users of the site agree, noting that the site is not only intuitive but also saves time as well.

“Because of the improvements that Mightybytes implemented, our workflow time has been significantly reduced and our volunteers are responding to visitor requests far more quickly than ever before,” said Katie Law, Manager, Chicago Greeter. “It is so convenient to be able to access our database from any computer—even from a mobile phone.”

The site’s creators see where a solution like Chicago Greeter could be applied to many different scenarios both in and out of the travel and tourism industry.

"Chicago Greeter is great for those travelers who are looking for recommendations or historical background from people who know their neighborhood best," said Mightybytes owner Tim Frick. "The product could also be easily extended to other cities or to organizations interested in matching up volunteers with those who need services."

The Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture markets Chicago as a premier cultural destination to domestic and international leisure travelers; provides innovative visitor programs and services; and familiarizes visitors and residents with the city’s vibrant neighborhoods, cultural attractions and creative industries. The Chicago visitor industry serves 40 million visitors annually, generates $11 billion in direct spending and $616 million in taxes, and sustains 124,000 jobs.

For more information, visit http://www.ExploreChicago.org.

Mightybytes is a triple bottom line-friendly creative firm that executes design-driven marketing communications and online interactive solutions. The company employs smart design and clever storytelling as the underlying forces that drive its process while its technical expertise cuts across media formats and platforms to set it apart. Mightybytes works primarily with cause-driven clients, helping them prosper, grow, and achieve measurable business results. For more information, visit http://www.mightybytes.com.

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Tim Frick

Thanks for sharing this, Bruce. Really appreciate it.

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