- Brighton & Hove City Council
- What we did
- Digital service design
- User experience design
- Digital transformation
Like all councils across the country, Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) has an urgent need to reduce costs while still providing a good service to local people. To meet this need, they have embarked on a programme to introduce operational efficiencies and save customer service costs by embracing the potential that 'digital' can provide.
Inevitably, this type of digital transformation involves a channel switch from more conventional, analogue means. For the transition to be successful, BHCC recognised its need to provide a much improved digital experience for both citizens and staff.
Clearleft have been working with BHCC throughout the transformation process. For this particular initiative we focussed on improving a vital council service which affects everyone in the city. We needed to address the service design of Cityclean, the department responsible for rubbish, recycling, and street cleaning.
The Full Story
How do you get 'digital' to benefit the real world?
In order to keep the city safe and hygienic, Cityclean relies on local people reporting issues such as graffiti, fly-tipping and broken glass. Our task was to make it easy and rewarding for people to report problems, and to help Cityclean efficiently respond to those reports.
We worked closely with Cityclean to understand exactly what information they required from such reports, and how they would act upon it.
We discovered that the online report form was difficult to use and required lots of unnecessary information from the person filling it in. Additionally, every single report was being printed out each morning, street crews were circumventing communications bureaucracy in an attempt to be more productive, and there was very little timely feedback to citizens. All in all the incumbent procedures were crying out to be improved. On the plus side we also found a dedicated, albeit frustrated, team with a great can-do attitude.
The solution we designed in collaboration with the BHCC digital team was a simple focussed system, enabling Cityclean to do their job better and with greater efficiency.
As a result, reporting online is now quick and easy to do, and works well on mobile devices. The new website asks citizens to provide only the information actually used, and takes advantage of modern technology including the cameras and location services in smart phones.
Urgent jobs are more easily identified, and work is quickly assigned and tracked through a digital dashboard rather than a physical paper trail. Street crews get job details directly on their mobile devices, which they can mark as fixed in real time. Supervisors can provide advice and direction through the system, and automatically notify citizens of progress, thus closing the loop as soon as the report is resolved.
The final result is a reporting system that works for citizens on screens of all sizes, and makes reporting issues much easier and more effective. The reporting system flows from citizen to the street team and back, and helps Cityclean respond more quickly and operate more efficiently.
If you want to find out more about service design, please have a listen to episode 2 of the Clearleft podcast.