After meeting with the heads of IT in the Department of Communities, we discussed ideas to streamline their process by utilising new technologies. We eventually settled upon the idea of an iPhone App for the Department of Housing and Public Works (who changed names after the Government change) to lodge a maintenance request directly without having to go through the costly 13 GOV phone system.
The app qualifies whether a request is or isn’t life threatening and then captures user details and information about the maintenance request. The user can attach a photo and also provide their location via GPS. We then provide the information to a Government System for processing.
The key to all our projects is wireframing, to remove assumptions and make sure we can all talk the same language. The final product is always way ahead of the wireframes but it’s the first step. H&PW (Housing and Public Works) didn’t have any definitive design guidelines so we were able to use their existing online branding and use our own ideas an input.
The focus of the app is general maintenance requests. Using clear iconic imagery and bold questions the app is super easy to use, and very visual the entire time. The first step is to qualify the severity of the problem, and it’s a general request they user can continue, otherwise they need to call the emergency number provided with the app.
One problem Housing & Public Works were having is the 13 GOV number takes a long time because users have to constantly tell the operator a tonne of information. Our app lets users enter this information once, and then stores that in the app so future requests are a breeze.
Another great feature of utilising modern iPhone & iOS technology is the ability to submit photos with your request. This means operators on the other end can easily qualify exactly what is going on, much better then you ever could over the phone. This is also invaluable data.
Once a request is submitted you’re given clear instructions on the next steps. Future versions of the application could include giving the user a Request Number #, and potentially give them a list of their requests and a status.
The first screen of your request qualifies how severe the maintenance request is. If the request involve a Fire, Exposed Wires, Burst Water mains, or a Gas Leak, then you’re quickly given a toll free 1800 number to call.