Interactive House for Sale – No Mortgage Required
The Portal’s interactive house is one of the most recognisable parts of the site. It was originally designed for use by members of the public who wanted to understand how planning rules work and it has been extremely succesful. Later in the post I recount the history of the house but before doing so I’d like to make you aware of it’s latest exciting incarnation.
House for Sale – no mortgage required
We’ve now moved the house on by stripping it of all content and adding a very simple content management system that will enable anyone (really anyone!) to add whatever content they like, not necessarily planning but anything house or home related.
We’ve already built a Crime Prevention version to demonstrate its potential for non-planning content but the permutations are endless, from providing info to tenants on various scenarios around the home to a sales tool for doors and windows – you decide.
We’ve made it incredibly easy to customise, add new features and content and publish it to the web.
If you’d like to get your foot on the cyber ladder please contact our commercial team
to talk about the costs or access to our demonstrator.
The History of the House
The interactive house has changed a lot over the last five years and I thought I’d take you on a trip down memory lane.
The idea for the house came from watching users struggle to navigate through text-heavy web pages in usability studies back in 2003. Not only was the text dense it was also full of strange technical terms – ‘curtilage’ anyone?
Giving people a simple and visual route into the advice seemed like a good solution.
Here’s the very first version from 2004:
The second version of the house arrived a couple of years later and coincided with the launch of Building Regulations content on the Portal.
This version of the guide let you move inside and outside the house.
In 2008, technology had moved on and we re-developed the house again to offer more information on new developments, such as microgeneration technology. The redesigned house was launched in May 2008 in time for a big trade show at the NEC.
It was relaunched again in September 2008 to communicate the new permitted development rules. CLG referenced the house in the launch and dispensed with the usual practice of releasing a Circular.
A couple of months later in December we launched the terraced house in response to numerous requests from LPAs in urban areas. It also let us accommodate new areas of content such as shops, flats and basements.
It came as a real revelation to us to learn that the house was not just popular with members of the public but also with local authorities and planning professionals.
LPAs used it to communicate planning and building regulations rules to their customers (both at front desks and through call centre staff).
Meanwhile, we discovered that planning professionals used the tool in pre-sales discussions with their clients.