Friday, 15 July 2016

Modern Way (of web browsing...)

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy


When you use Amazon, shop online at your favourite online supermarket or buy electronics at Currys, using the web, we are all used to that web2.0 experience, without probably realising it.

You know what I mean, a marriage of technology & ergonomic design to put the self-serve customer at the heart of the transaction. It's not just easy, the best ones are helpful too, in smoothing our path to doing whatever we need to do. That's why its our choice, rather than trawling the High St. Don't get me wrong the High St does quite often have its real ale attractions. Please feel free to DM me on that one.

Why is it then, that many of our #ukhousing self-serve offerings, look more like we have re-modelled an office form, for customers to get grapple with, on the web? Signing up to a lettings application form is a particular example in point. Just because in the office, we consume a long paper form, then at the end the 'computer says no'.

On the Currys website, if I am looking to spend £350 on a 14" laptop with a i7 processor, after clicking 3 check-boxes, I realise my chance of doing so is very slim.

No bargains to be had here..... Here be dragons...

There's no reason that on the web, all of these online letting systems can do some simple checks first, within maybe 3 or 4 questions, the applicant can see if it's really worth completing the next 25 questions.

I was talking about this recently with a local authority housing team, who are looking at future needs, from a new system. While I have seen a few organisations have signposting at the front of the online lettings process, I struggle to think of one HMS customer self-service portal, where that feature comes right out of the box.

When you think about it, that's pretty surprising, considering how our socialhousing is becoming such an endangered species and we need to 'market' it to different audiences. One example is bigger houses, often made virtually un-lettable, in some areas due to side-effects of bedroom tax legislation.

If you have a facility on your web self-service that clearly shows the types of property potentially available in this way, do DM me to sare. I have seen a few, but not many.

Here is one I would like to highlight from Chevin, part of 'Together Housing' - http://chevin.housingapplications.co.uk/property-search/
A big thank you to my good friend Jim McNeil @TogetherJim for being so good as to highlight the innovation. How close does yours come?

Suppliers should be taking the lead with innovation, to enable the social housing and public sector keep up with web expectations seen elsewhere. Fail to do so and we attract labels we don't really deserve, because our supplied systems fall short and we have not got deep pockets, to make up the design shortfall, with lots of third party web design.

Cmon suppliers, lets see you stepping up to the plate...

Catch the blog monthly archive at
https://archive.org/details/@housingitguy 

Related Post: How IDS can help you avoid poor planning...? 


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Kaiser Chiefs - Modern WayKaiser Chiefs - Modern Way.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


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