MAPLE Testimony Platform

MAPLE Testimony Platform


Product Owners — Matt Victor and Nathan Sanders

Developers — Alex Ball and Sasha Goldberg

Product Design Team — James Vasquez


In Massachusetts, the state legislature is not required to publish testimony received from the public, compromising legislative transparency and accountability. In response, a Code for Boston team created MAPLE (Massachusetts Platform for Legislative Engagement), a public, non-partisan platform where constituents can publish their testimony. I joined this project in May 2022. We are preparing for a soft launch of the platform in early 2023. In preparation for the soft launch, MAPLE would like to develop organization-catered features to increase public engagement.


An effective way of gaining critical mass and thus, public awareness of our new platform is by encouraging organizations to use MAPLE. However, organizations may already be set in their ways and thus, there may be some resistance to learning a new platform.

How might we design organization-catered features that are unique to MAPLE and thus, increase desirability of the platform to organizations?


I developed features that cater to both small and large organizations by creating a dashboard that allow organizations to feature priority bills, receive tailored metrics/updates, and increase member engagement.

1. Empathize

Industry Analysis

I conducted industry analysis to identify areas of opportunity for MAPLE.

  • can favorite bills of interest
  • track bills through legislative process
  • can organize events
  • track changes between bill versions
comparison table of competitors to MAPLE for different features

Provisional Personas

Using information gleaned from the industry analysis and previous meeting notes with different organization leaders, provisional personas were developed based on size of the organization.

Small organizations

  • may be difficult to make changes due to being underresourced or understaffed
  • may be more geared towards local issues
  • may be tackling fewer, more specific issues
  • may need help with raising public awareness + recruitment

Big organizations

  • may be difficult to make changes due to red tape/getting approval from multiple people
  • may be more focused on national issues
  • may be tacking many different issues
  • may use MAPLE to promote legislative transparency

User Interviews

I conducted 5 interviews with participants from organizations of varying sizes.

Big Organizations (2 participants)

  • don’t want to share member information
  • didn’t feel that MAPLE offered anything special
  • cautious about where they put their logo

Small Organizations (3 participants)

  • wanted to get more information about bills
  • wanted a page that featured priority bills
  • not as cautious as large organizations

Priority Matrix

After discussing researching findings with product owners and developers to re-assess desirability and feasibility, I determined the relative priority levels of different features.

Priority 1 Features

  • see bill history
  • show priority bills
  • follow bill progress
  • serve as recruitment tool

User Personas

2 user personas were developed using the user interviews and industry analysis. Due to the trepidation that large organizations had toward MAPLE, we decided to put a primary focus on smaller organizations.

The user personas were also designed to be politically diverse since MAPLE is a non-partisan platform. Therefore, it was important to stakeholders that the features developed didn't unfairly cater to organizations of a specific political standing.

2. Define

Project Goals

The business, user, and technical goals were informed by our research and conversations with our stakeholders and our dev team. Our common goal is to develop a personalized dashboard that provides bill updates and encourages engagement.

Task Flow

I focused on 5 main task flows. 3 of the task flows focus on organizations and what they can do on the website. Because public engagement is a high value item for organizations, the other 2 task flows are geared towards individuals interacting with organizations on MAPLE.

Task Flows of MAPLE

After reviewing the task flows with other UX designers, I determined that 3 new pages would need to be designed and 3 existing pages would need to be redesigned.

3. Ideate

High-Fidelity Wireframes

I used Figma to develop the high fidelity wireframes, leveraging the existing design system

4. Test

Usability Testing

The testing was done with three participants from small-medium organizations. The users were directed to complete tasks surrounding the new dashboard comprised of a newsfeed and a mission center.

Affinity Map

Participant feedback was organized using an affinity map and priority matrix. During testing, participants gave valuable feedback on what kind of metrics would be most useful to be seen on the Mission Center page.

Affinity Map of MAPLE

5. Iterate

Priority Revisions



By making sure I had frequent communication with my dev team and product owners, I ensured that I was delivering a product of high value and made the dev hand-off process seamless.

Growth Areas

This project took longer than intended due to receiving feedback at multiple points. Although this was helpful, it also delayed the timeline of producing deliverables. I could’ve done a better job enforcing deadlines so that the project stuck to the planned timeline.

Next Steps

We need to consider what the notification system will be and how it will work in tandem with the newsfeed page.

Stakeholder Testimonial

From the day we first connected, Sam has been a critical member of our design team at MAPLE. She is highly skilled as a designer, a project manager, and a communicator with stakeholders. She has led major UX design and user testing initiatives for our project and always impressed our team with her insights, dedication, and professionalism.

We trusted Sam to reach out to X high profile statewide advocacy organizations on our behalf to gather their feedback on our features for organizers and she represented our team ably, helping us to build out a new featureset and value proposition for those users.

— Matthew Victor and Nathan Sanders