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Content Strategy for the CTA: Mobile Application Workshop

Leo Burnett Chicago hosts content strategy workshop to tackle CTA navigation.

Let’s face it, nobody rides the CTA for fun. Sometimes, it’s downright painful. So the content strategy team at the Leo Burnett Group decided to host a workshop with Chicago Content Strategists to think about public transportation constructively.

George Aye, partner at Greater Good Studio led the Meetup consisting of more than 30 content strategists, designers and writers in brainstorming ideas for a mobile transit app at our agency on October 23. Part of the challenge was encouraging non-designers to shift how they think and brainstorm.

“Part of teaching design is making people not numb to things they have become numb to,” said Aye.

The workshop was part of a larger project he and his wife Sara, both professors at School of the Art Institute of Chicago are embarking on. They received a $10,000 prize from TED recently to support Designing Chicago: New Tools for Public Transit, a project wedding crowdsourcing and design to improve citywide navigation.

Involving content strategists in this project made sense because they are analytical, strategic thinkers who are familiar with the CTA. Each group was tasked with finding themes within 60 pictures of transit tools and identifying opportunities for user-centered solutions.

Team leads helped each group identify reoccurring patterns within the data such as signaling, trip conditions, customization and next steps.

After groups shared their themes out loud, it was time to brainstorm ideas for transit apps. Content strategists morphed into interaction designers, sketching mockups of mobile screens and features over the next 20 minutes.

Finally, groups voiced their ideas for mobile apps that would improve the transit experience in Chicago. Their design ideas ranged from predicting the intent of routes to providing real-time construction alerts to inviting users to customize their user experience by selecting what type of commuter they are.

“The work Greater Good Studio is doing is such a perfect fit for the Leo Burnett group to be involved in. It lines up nicely with our Humankind philosophy, that everything should be rooted in, and ultimately change human behavior,” said Jeff Pfaller, Content Strategy Director at the Leo Burnett Group.

“We think design plays a role in shifting toward a better world,” added Aye.

If you would like to learn more about Greater Good Studio’s transit project and what it means to be an “urban agent,” then feel free to visit