Develop a digital service to enable users to submit, view and comment on a Planning Application ALPHA

Project details:

Organisation London Borough of Hackney
Department Public realm
Collaboration Level Share Ideas
Budget £100k > £250k
Key Contact Andy Evans
Phase start 23 May 2018
Phase Estimated end 22 May 2019



Hackney Council identified, in consultation with its residents and businesses, that the current planning application process falls short of being a digital service ‘so good, people prefer to use it’.

Research resulting from a digital design sprint validated the need for: - An intuitive and accessible interface to help applicants self-serve and improve submission quality. - Improved process visibility to make it easier for proposals to evolve and amendments to be made during the course of the application. - Significantly improve engagement between applicants, planning departments and the local community, resulting in better quality applications and more effective development management. Problem to be solved - There is insufficient progress tracking resulting in a significant amount of failure demand - Planning Portal hold national policies and without local policy guidance coupled with loose process controls and guidance many applications are arriving incomplete, inaccurate and unstructured data - Poor website usability and use of Planning terminology is making it difficult for the public to easily finding relevant applications and engage in the consultation process - The use of old technology such as pdf’s for viewing applications does not lend itself to helping the public understand the impact of developments. Who the users are and what they need to do




Status Updates

06 December 2018

13 November 2018

  • w/c 5th November week notes

13 November 2018

  • w/c 5th November week notes here

02 November 2018

  • 29th October week notes here

29 October 2018

  • 22nd October weeknotes can be seen here

26 October 2018

  • Google Site Link

25 October 2018

  • Google Site under development

24 October 2018

  • w/c 15th October 2018 ____ Phase Alpha: Sprint 3 (week two) Project A digital service that enables users to submit, view and comment on planning applications with ease. Thanks Thanks to everyone that came to our show & tell. Sorry that the size of the screen was a bit small, were working on something which can better display the work were doing for next time but until then, please feel free to take a look at Emma P’s question trees and Victoria’s wireframes. Thanks also to the GIS team (Sandrine and Marta) who have worked tirelessly with us for the past couple of sprints. What we’ve done Completed mapping the basic logic for householder application types Tested the constraints finder with users and iterated the design based on the results. View the test results Coded the constraint finder to show the following information: Boundaries Trees The location of currently open applications Sourced user testers for the next round (scheduled for 1st November) Built the UI framework that the service will function within Decided upon the URL and page structure the service will follow Had a retrospective on sprint 3 and planned sprint 4. Key decisions Team focus is to produce an end to end householder application journey; This is due to the complex nature of a full planning journey and the inherent risk of rework this carries A new data schema for planning applications will be created as opposed to using existing schemas. The old schemas enforce arbitrary caps on any form and function the new service can offer and remaking a broken tool is not what this project has set out to do Of the elements identified as part of the service, the priority order of work has been set in accordance with the core functional needs of a user. As such, the priority order of work is as follows: Forms Data schema Constraint finder Onboarding Payment Accounts Notifications What’s next Linking Hactar’s Codebase and Hackney’s GitHub so that the code is visible Design logic allowing multiple changes to be incorporated into a single householder application Complete work to produce a data schema for applications mad evia Submit my Plan Producing discussion templates and questions for next round of user testing (looking at forms) Begin the form build in code Reach out to the Hackney Matters panel and also leaflet applicants at site visits to ensure a steady supply of user testers for the remaining life of the project Blockers and risks Please see the risk and unknown log Planning Applications MVP Team (AKA Emma P, Victoria, Andy B, Andy E, Ana, Wing and Emma H).

16 October 2018

  • w/c 8th October 2018 __ Phase Alpha: Sprint 3 (week one) Project A digital service that enables users to submit, view and comment on planning applications with ease. Thanks We had a break last week so we’ve felt refreshed and raring to go this week! Thanks to Steve Fraser-Lim, Ian Rae, Cleo from Plan X and Southwark planning team. Also big thanks to Wing for recruiting 3 users for testing. What we’ve done Planned sprint 3 and set our goals: - Enable proposed site investigation to increase quality of submitted applications - Define logic of details required when applying to make householder changes so that applications are submitted right first time - Understand the optimum journey for users starting an application so that it is a seamless experience Began visually mapping the data for householder planning rather than death by spreadsheet Tested our initial wireframes with users What’s next Build feedback from testing into our next iteration Organise the next round of user tests Progress through our sprint goals Blockers and risks A red risk and blocker continues to be understanding what can be achieved with the current data schema and our ability to write back into M3. Andy from Hactar is working on defining and quantifying this with Northgate, GIS and the planning team >>>Question of the week<<< We’re still in need of volunteers for testing so, same as last week. Do you know anyone who has submitted a planning application in Hackney as a citizen or as a professional (consultant/architect) who might want to join in our testing? If so, let us know ASAP!

10 October 2018

  • Project weeknotes w/c 24 Sept:

10 October 2018