Today I came across this web app to design your own street: Streetmix.
Quite a soothing exercise, and I recommend taking a go at it.
And once you do, check out the equally if not more interesting story behind the design – You are a street designer. It mentions how this tool got people to reach important ideas with ease.
Yes, there was a lot of quirky or unfinished streets in the 50,000 or so created in just one month since we launched — but we also saw a very healthy fraction addressing real-life issues: bike advocacy enthusiasts all over the world proposing changes to their streets, and professional city planners using Streetmix instead of their pro tools to quickly sketch some ideas.
And I like how the designer was driven by making the product accessible to people who cared about streets.
…we already feel that our approach was the right one, that fun doesn’t have to preclude seriousness, that unrealistic can lead to impactful, and that accessibility is so much more than just text labels on image elements.
I wonder if making a product accessible is linked to economic growth. As Prof. Clayton Christensen describes it, growth happens when you compete with non-consumption. If we make products accessible to a wider audience, by making them simpler, easier, cheaper – and so much more convenient that people who did not use such tools start using them, we have economic growth.