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OpenGov’s Data Manager

OpenGov is transforming the way local and state governments access and analyze public finances. They launched as a consumer product aimed at improving public financial transparency, empowering citizens to explore every nook and cranny of a city’s budget.

Making data management easy

Ultimately, OpenGov’s broader mission required more sophisticated “enterprise”-grade tools for the governments themselves. I moved to California in 2014 to help OpenGov design and build these tools 😎.


Challenges and constraints

The Data Manager was one of OpenGov’s oldest software products. Before it was opened to GA, it had been used internally to upload and manage customer data visible on public transparency sites. Not only would we set out to rebuild this system from the ground up while maintaining existing functionality, we wanted to pave the way for a more capable and complete future version of the product. Our design process was initially shifting between what the Data Manager would be in at the end of next sprint and what it could be at the end of the next year.

Design process


We started by designing and building an MVP of the basic uploading, mapping, and management functionality that would be the core interaction of the product. The UI/UX challenge was making the process of mapping data fields to OpenGov’s system as simple as possible. I sketched some vignettes to illustrate a few possibilities 👇


For the larger application flow, the product manager and I developed storyboards. Our goal was to use these to help evaluate the general upload and management process with our customers 👇

MVP First draft

These storyboards grew into early mockups to give our engineering team enough to begin work on the new application 👇

MVP Final mockups

As work and testing progressed, we honed and refined the design. At this point, I was working closely with the developers and contributing React and CSS code 👇

Looking to the future

Throughout the process, I set aside to consolidate ideas about the future of the Data Manager based on feedback from users of the MVP, the engineering team, our domain experts, and other stakeholders. 👇


All designs created with Adobe Illustrator. Prototypes and production apps built with ReactJS and Sass. Read more about my work at OpenGov.

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