myGRcitypoints Responsive Web App
City of Grand Rapids
Can a city encourage citizens to be more active in their community? Grand Rapids' leaders thought so. They created myGRcitypoints, a web and mobile-web app that rewards citizens for recycling, volunteering, and other civic-minded activities.
Grand Rapids wanted to empower its citizens to improve their city and neighborhoods with a program that would:
- Tell Grand Rapidians about volunteer opportunities, park cleanup days, etc.
- Award them points for volunteering, recycling, etc., and allow them to redeem those points at local businesses.
- Show them how their actions were improving the community and environment.
They called the program myGRcitypoints and partnered with Atomic Object to create a web app that would manage the rewards program.
Starting Small Enough
For the first release of myGRcitypoints, Atomic Object encouraged the City to narrow their scope and focus on recycling—something the community was already familiar with.
By framing myGRcitypoints around recycling, Grand Rapids was able to reward users for something they were already doing. This made it much easier to get the people of GR excited and involved in the project, and drove sign ups and adoption.
Jasmine Olsen, Project Coordinator
Atomic designed the system architecture and wrote software and firmware for:
The first version of myGRcitypoints was released in early 2011, as the City was switching to a single-stream recycling program. Within the first 10 months, the new program increased the volume of recyclables by more than 80%.
myGRcitypoints continues to grow. Since the initial release, Atomic Object has helped develop an accompanying web-mobile app, added a volunteering function (with help from the Heart of West Michigan United Way), and performed several annual updates. The focus remains on adding new users and functions while keeping the recycling function a high priority.
The myGRcity points program is not just achieving significant environmental results—it is achieving economic results, as more Grand Rapids households are shifting their spending to locally-owned businesses.
A Partnership with a Storybook Ending
The team’s careful project management, client communication, cutting-edge architecture, and cohesive design strategy helped the team ship the product on time and on budget.
Reflecting back on the multi-year, high-profile project, Robinson said Atomic helped his company arrive at a special moment in time.
“We'd never done anything this big. Ever,” he said. “We’re live across all the major pillars Atomic said they would deliver on. It was delivered on time, on budget, to expectation, live. Not three or four milestones late with people leaving and the platform half-baked and full of bugs.”
StoryLoom began open-beta in December 2022. A global launch is scheduled for the spring of 2023.
“Our future is pretty bright,” said Robinson. “We’ve been given a rare opportunity to find success by chasing opportunities Starship Enterprise-style: going where people aren’t—pushing boundaries.”
The Atomic Team
Here are some of our current Atoms who worked on this project. Click their photo to read their bios!