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Celebrating simplicity - Arlington Virginia's Recommended Bike Network updates

July 19, 2021
minute read

At Konveio, we applaud pragmatism and simplicity when approaching community and stakeholder engagement. Arlington Virginia’s strategically simple design drafts are a prime example to demonstrate how less is more.

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Creating a minimalist graphic-based document saved Arlington time, delivered a more approachable learning and participation experience, and earned the team far more flexibility. Though certainly minimalist and approachable at first glance, they did not skimp on detail nor input options. They delivered a one-stop-shop for information, participation, and supplemental resources with just a one-page map and Konveio Pro.

Takeaway #1: Simplicity (& resourcefulness)

By designing a graphic with Konveio’s content overlays in mind, Arlington’s staff performed fewer steps to finish their graphic. Not more.

For some projects, a map similar to this may have already been created for another document. In the simplest scenario, all Konveio needs is for a screenshot of a map or design rendering to be placed in an editor (PowerPoint, Canva, etc) and for lines or arrows to be drawn from whitespace to the elements or areas of interest.

Takeaway #2: Agility

Arlington was not locked in by the static document they uploaded to Konveio. The minimal information shown within the document itself was conservative enough to weather any future revisions.

To build rich content overlays and keep them up to date, far less collaboration and communication are required. At any time, the team could add to or modify the details of each proposed bike lane as it evolved with community feedback.

  • Updating a pin in Konveio takes an administrator roughly 20 seconds to perform. No graphic needs to be altered and no file needs to be redistributed.
  • Arlington leveraged Streetmix to visualize the proposed changes. In the event of a change, replacing the image with an updated version would not change the formatting of the section. Simply double-click an image, select a replacement, and save the changes.
Sample image of Arlington Virginia’s use of Streetmix.
Sample image of Arlington Virginia’s use of Streetmix.

In their document settings, they could choose whether or not to accept and/or display visitor comments anywhere on the document. To date, Arlington has relied more on Konveio (Pro’s) survey and form functionalities to accept questions and input.

Another opportunity  Arlington unlocked was an ability to focus the feedback on just a select few bike lanes at a given time. This control allows them to leverage agile’s classic “build, measure, learn” feedback loop when some of the initial feedback might provide insights that mean adjusting all bike paths to match, such as their width.

Takeaway #3: Visual presentation and user experience
Ever wondered what TLDR stood for? Too long, didn’t read. A static document of comparable depth may have required 8-16 pages to produce.

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Arlington’s approach drastically cut down on visual clutter and length by providing around 20% of the overall detail at first glance. The lack of initial detail leads residents to freely explore each area at their own pace, choosing their own adventure from a single-page document.

Takeaway #4: You can do it.
We hope this served as inspiration or a healthy reminder that you can create a perfectly approachable and effective document without spending a week in Adobe’s Creative Cloud to design it.

Watch the video below to take a closer look at the City of Arlington’s work, or visit the page to click around.  


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