The crowd map that provides space

On June 1st, after the first corona wave, the Netherlands ‘opened up’ again step for step.
More and more restrictions were lifted and it became increasingly busy in public places, also in Rotterdam. The municipality of Rotterdam wanted to do everything they possibly could to ensure that this took place safely.

At a glance
SpotRotterdam maps out how busy it is in and around the city and helps residents and visitors to go out for their groceries, shop, sit on a terrace or have a picnic in the park in a responsible manner. SpotRotterdam shows the user at a glance how busy or how quiet it is in public places in the city so they can base their choices on this accordingly. Do you want to go to an area where it is busy? SpotRotterdam will then show when it is expected to be quieter at that location or indicate alternative destinations. The information in SpotRotterdam is refreshed every fifteen minutes.

From A to Z in 7 weeks
In close cooperation with the municipality of Rotterdam, Total Design facilitated the whole full-funnel process of producing SpotRotterdam in seven weeks. The development of SpotRotterdam started with a technical feasibility study, data research and privacy design followed by a house style study and the graphic and UX/UI design. In this phase, it became clear how SpotRotterdam could be aligned with the house style and how it would be used. The communication strategy was also determined by means of a touch-point analysis.

After which the data science process and the back-end data engineering took place. In this process, it was key to gain insight into which city-covering data sources could be used for the pressure gauge and the infrastructure was set up. The website and the web app were also created. Search functionalities, search suggestions, graphs and map visualisation were added to the pressure gauge in this phase. Extensive user tests and data quality tests were also carried out in this phase in order to obtain feedback on the use of the pressure gauge and to improve it. After these tests, it was time for the official launch of SpotRotterdam with the accompanying campaign.

Simple pattern
Form and function were taken into account when developing SpotRotterdam. The tool must be clear for each user, with a focus on a simple design enabling the user to use the pressure gauge intuitively. We opted for a simple flow in which the map has a prominent place. The pattern is simple: the city is green and the people are blue. The more busy it is, the bluer the city becomes.

Campaign based on growth hacking
A campaign was launched from the point of view of the recipient by means of a growth hacking strategy. All touch points were utilised optimally so that every Rotterdam resident and visitor became familiar with SpotRotterdam. In the first phase of the campaign, which mainly focused on providing information about the pressure gauge, SpotRotterdam appeared in the news 63 times as the result of an intensive PR campaign. A social media campaign was set up during the test phase of SpotRotterdam in which early adopters were the primary target group. During a test phase, over 200,000 users used SpotRotterdam and provided feedback. In the second phase of the campaign, of which the primary aim was awareness and activation, various radio commercials, social media and OOH posts were produced to appeal to all target groups of different ages.

After Covid-19
SpotRotterdam is not only relevant during corona, but also afterwards. The tool can also provide insight into the hustle and bustle at specific places, for example, during festivals and events, or help tourists to plan their outings in the city as easily as possible.

In a short time and under high pressure, Total Design has developed and successfully launched SpotRotterdam, both technically and commercially. They work agile and can work in close collaboration with the customer to create the final product.

— Frank Vieveen, Program manager Smart City & Digital Economy, gemeente Rotterdam

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