Scottish Government - Planning and Building Standards
We rethought the application process from the point of view of the user, understanding with research how users approach applications. We developed a question set that allows users to easily find out what kinds of applications they need to make. Applications are modular and data-driven: this makes them easily scalable while collecting structured, measurable data.
We built functional prototypes of services for applying for planning and building warrants, helping users calculate their fee, and making easy online payments. Building these as functioning prototypes allowed us to properly test functionality and data integrations in preparation for public beta.
Certain locations have constraints which may impact what assessments or applications an applicant may need. Constraints such as flood risk, listed buildings, and conservation areas. By using an address and location search, and enabling the applicant to draw the boundary of their work, the service uses available data to cross-check whether restrictions will apply.
- We undertook a discovery process with 34 planning authorities (32 local, 2 national parks) and their staff, alongside expert and non-expert users
- This level of stakeholder engagement was key to managing the project in the context of the wider programme of work
- We also conducted a technical investigation into third-party integrations and management portals
- We used the information we gathered in discovery to co-design solutions with the client and policy advisors
- We produced sketches and a service map that we iterated with feedback from end users
- During alpha, we developed, iterated and tested the viability of functional prototypes that integrated with third-party data
- We broke down the current application forms into data components to ensure future data was more structured and valuable
- We also updated guidance to better match user expectations
- We undertook automated quality testing alongside accessibility and usability testing of the service
- As a public, government service, we were subject to a full assessment from a Digital Scotland Services Standards panel
Get in Touch
If you're ready to transform your digital services or require a new CMS, get in touch and we can discuss your requirements.