City dashboard websites are a common modality for bringing open-government philosophies into the public domain. Yet, there has been little research concerning the optimum design for city dashboards that takes account of users’ expectations and skills. Indeed, there has been minimal exploration of user-centered design (UCD) to improve the usability and utility of smart city technologies in general. This study sought to conduct a user evaluation analysis to inform a UCD approach to city dashboards. Interviews with different types of users were conducted that applied a protocol analysis to gain insight into user perspectives and experiences of city dashboards. Along with critical incident technique procedures, interaction data of critical significance to the user was collected and a content analysis was conducted. These qualitative data were used to determine representations of users, as identified through observed behaviors, attitudes, needs, and goals. Targeted-scope user experience personas for the design process were then constructed to represent and build empathy towards three potential users of city dashboard systems: novices, end-users, and advanced users. The collected user requirements and the personas formulated are underpinning the re-design of an existing city dashboard.