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A new way to start planning applications on the Portal

by on November 22, 2012

We’ve made some changes to our application home page this week. We hope it will make a difference to first time users as well as seasoned pros.

Over time the old planning applications home page had grown and grown to the point where there was a vast amount of information competing for attention.

We’ve analysed traffic in and out of the old page, looked at keywords used in incoming searches and tried to cut the page back to the bare essentials.

We hope the result is page that gives first-time users an overview of the service but a clear link into the application service for return visitors. I’d be happy to get your thoughts on the new page.

A note to LPAs

We’ve noticed that many LPA sites link to our main home page when a link to this page may be more appropriate.

If you are telling site visitors they can make an application on the Planning Portal, this link would be more appropriate than the main Portal home page as customers remain in the context of the user journey.

2 Comments
  1. Simon Evans permalink

    The page loads much faster as a result of the slimming exercise and that is very welcome.

    If one is being picky, there are still an awful lot of words and it probably takes a bit of time to navigate for a newbie. Room for improvement yet.

    Someone once said that the ideal in any walk of life is not how much more can be added but how much can be removed without losing the thing’s essence. Nirvana is the thing stripped back to its most basic. Websites like Dropbox seem to achieve that Holy Grail.

    Any step in this direction has to be applauded.

  2. The page that I have noticed that’s changed is where you choose the type of permission. If I can be picky as well there are some small adjustments to the first few pages of starting an application that would help regular users- move the all the Next buttons left a bit so that it’s easier to navigate down from the field above. where it asks “Do you know the type of planning application you need?’- make the default selection Yes.

    There is a bit of an issue that Safari 5 users have with the Document description fields as they don’t retain previously entered text as the old form used to. The help desk are aware but can’t help.

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