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The new-look Planning Portal – a note of thanks

by on November 1, 2010

If you’ve visited the Planning Portal this morning you may have noticed a few things have changed.

Last week I wrote about how excited I was about the launch of the new-look Planning Portal and what benefits we think it will deliver to us and to you.

It wasn’t always an easy road to travel but now it’s here the hard work all seems worthwhile and will become more evident as our private sector partners begin to develop their app’s to sit alongside our content.

As with all projects the success of our endeavours rely heavily on how we collaborate with our partners. This post is a short note of thanks to them.

The project started with our users. We worked with user experience experts CX Partners to help shape how the service should work.

We talked to dozens of members of the public, planning professionals and other end users to tell us how the information should be arranged and labelled.

With CX’s help we tested our assumptions with end users, refined the content and tested again. And again.

The look-and-feel elements were developed by Sheffield-based design and web application developers Technophobia.

From the very first concept to the final polished design, Technophobia worked with us, CX and the system integrators to make sure the site was functional and in line with our brand.

Buffalo Design, the company we work with to build the interactive house and the mini-guides, helped with some essential updates to make sure the guides fitted correctly in our new page templates.

Although we largely excluded the online application service from the project (more on that project here), our forms needed some essential tweaking to work with the new design. As ever Apto Solutions were on hand to do the tweaking.

Finally, the site was built on IBM infrastructure using IBM software and some of its very talented developers and solution architects. I hope they can now get some sleep. Thanks to all involved at Hursley and Portsmouth.

I hope you enjoy using the new look Planning Portal and realise the benefits from the improvements we’ve made.

As with all new services, we’ll find little problems – if you find any let me know by adding a comment below.

So thanks, to the partners who helped us deliver our vision and the users who told us what they wanted from the Planning Portal and how it should be delivered.

  1. GRPA permalink

    Sorry to be the first to comment but…

    The site just completely crashed on me whilst halfway thru submitting an application. Still down a couple of hours later.

    At least the site worked before 🙂

    • PortalDirector permalink

      I’m really sorry about that, you might imagine how embarrased and disappointed I am. We are doing our best to make sure it doesn;t happen again.

  2. Luis permalink

    So it will take a little getting used to but the new look site seems to work just as well as before. Although I’m convinced it’s a little slower this is probably because the home page is dealing with more information.

    Anyway, I’ve noticed a few areas which are consistently displaying incorrectly (such as the final declaration tick box)… I’ve also got a few ideas for helping to speed up the process of filling the forms out even further, but am not sure where I’m supposed to turn to have these heard?

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