City Tech Collaborative | Civic User Testing Resources

Last Updated March 2022


The Civic User Testing group, also known as CUTgroup, originated in Chicago to enable residents to give valuable input throughout the technology discovery and development process, allowing them to have a voice in emerging technology. CUTgroup’s model combines User Experience (UX) testing, civic engagement, and digital skills training to provide a unique perspective for technological solutions. Over its lifetime, Chicago’s CUTgroup has provided input in over 30 different local user design exercises for civic and government-related products.

Chicago’s CUTgroup was most recently led by City Tech Collaborative, following a merger between City Digital and the Smart Chicago Collaborative in 2017. At the end of 2021, City Tech launched two new, independent organizations focused on civic infrastructure innovation and community health and wellness and closed it doors. With this update, City Tech wanted to document and share its CUTgroup toolkit for others to utilize in their own Civic User Testing programs.


This site serves to document CUTgroup materials and resources developed by City Tech Collaborative. They represent one approach to Civic User Testing, based in the CUTgroup Book by Daniel X. O’Neil and the Smart Chicago Collaborative and adjusted to fit City Tech’s evolving work in this space. Along with browsing the materials we are sharing, we encourage you to explore the original CUTgroup Book, as well as discover the great work that other organizations are doing within this space.


These materials are meant to be resources for use in developing Civic User Testing programming. They are based on City Tech Collaborative’s work and will not be updated once City Tech is closed.