A data tool that
enables a city's
wellbeing

Santa Monica Wellbeing Index

Research and Strategy
Experience Design
Ideation and Concept Development
Social Impact

Envisioning the Wellbeing Index

The City of Santa Monica had a compelling idea: to create a new way to genuinely understand how the community is doing, and then use that information to actively improve resident wellbeing. Bloomberg Philanthropies invested in this idea, making the implementation of the Wellbeing Project a reality. The City formed a partnership with RAND to create a multidimensional framework for measuring wellbeing at the community level. And they asked Daylight to help them create an inspired vision to bring this idea to life in the real world.

"It was important to find a partner with a deeply held belief in the value of pursuing social impact work. Daylight was head and shoulders above all other potential partners."

Jonathan Mooney, social impact advisor, City of Santa Monica

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A Wellbeing Index for everyone

We created a vision for the user experience of the Wellbeing Index that focused on making the data compelling and usable for a wide range of stakeholders– from a city analyst to a local non-profit to the citizens of Santa Monica. Our designs surfaced the stories behind the numbers to make data human and holistic.

A unified solution for city and citizens

From our on-the-ground time with city staff and residents, a larger theme of collaboration and civic engagement began to emerge: the community's wellbeing had to be a joint effort between the local municipality and its citizens. While early conversations imagined separate portals for staff and residents, we recognized the opportunity for the Wellbeing Project to bridge the gap between local officials and the people they were trying to serve. Our designs put citizens and city staff on the same page — literally — and empowered residents to take action in collaboration with their local government.

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Prototyping for governments

Daylights helped the City of Santa Monica see how the iterative design process could be a valuable addition to their toolkit. It gave city officials a way to listen deeply to citizens' needs and a methodology to then rapidly prototype solutions. It helped the city officials translate their ideas from abstract to concrete so everyone – the city officials, citizens and community partners – could engage in constructive conversations around wellbeing. 

"Daylight's creative process of synthesizing has been very critical to coalescing our thinking."

Julie Rusk, Wellbeing Project lead, City of Santa Monica


"When we saw Daylight's wireframes, it was like a light bulb went off in people's heads."

Jonathan Mooney, social impact advisor, City of Santa Monica