We’ve made a brand new SaaS product for residents to report housing repairs

We’ve constructed a brand new SaaS (software program as a service) product that lets residents report their housing restore must their native authority. It takes about 5 minutes for a resident to make use of. We’ve constructed this to assist native authorities everywhere in the UK enhance the housing repairs providers they supply to their residents, whereas saving money and time on the similar time.

We’re actually excited to share this. It’s one thing fairly new and completely different to what we’ve completed earlier than. Fairly than working with completely different councils on particular person housing restore providers, we predict it makes rather more sense to construct one utility to handle this widespread want. We’re actually eager to listen to what you assume.

We’ve made a video about it, which incorporates some display screen grabs of what it appears to be like like. Have a look:

Profit from the person analysis we’ve already completed

The wonderful thing about taking a SaaS method is that anybody can profit from the groundwork we’ve already completed. Person analysis is an effective instance. 

We’ve completed heaps of person analysis to make the product as straightforward to make use of as potential. That features analysis with group teams representing individuals with decrease digital literacy. (Thanks to everybody who took half. You’ve helped make this a a lot better product.)

Screenshot of the product. Text on the page says: "Housing repairs online. Where is the problem?" with multiple choice options: kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living areas and outside"

We’ve designed the product utilizing the GOV.UK Service Normal. And because of this analysis, we’ve completed different issues to make the product as straightforward to make use of as potential, together with simplifying phrases wherever we will.

One factor we’ve tried and determined towards is the sort of interface the place you present customers an image of a room and ask them to pick the article or space the place there’s an issue. Although this will sound like a simple method for some individuals to report an issue, there are accessibility points with asking customers to work together this manner – for instance, for individuals with a visible incapacity. 

Screenshot of the product. Text on the page says: "Book an appointment" with options of 2-hour windows in the morning and afternoon on different days.

The hassle we’ve utilized to creating the product as accessible as potential implies that the web service is usable by many extra individuals. That’s faster and simpler for them, but additionally frees up your individuals’s time from answering cellphone calls and emails to focus extra in your priorities. 

And since it is a correct SaaS product, you gained’t must spend time understanding, sustaining or upgrading the product. We’ll do all of that.

Why we’ve gone the SaaS route

In case you’re not acquainted with software program as a service, these are functions that stay within the cloud, and that are maintained and improved by the supplier (on this case: us). They function on a easy pay-as-you-go foundation, and our housing repairs product is not any completely different.

We expect a SaaS product makes a lot sense for fixing housing restore wants. It’s a less expensive various to both constructing a brand new bespoke service, or making do with an out-of-date system. 

And it makes issues easy for you (the native authority). As a result of it’s SaaS, you pay a single flat price. There aren’t any add-ons or preferential charges. The prices are predictable. You don’t want to fret about sustaining it (as a result of we do this bit). 

Like all SaaS merchandise, our housing repairs device is rarely completed: we’ll go on bettering it based mostly on new insights and the suggestions we hear from you. Everybody will see these updates roll out on the similar time. There’s no further price for these updates – it wouldn’t actually be a SaaS product if we did that.

It takes a bit of effort and time to arrange, most likely a day or 2, which we’ll assist with. After that, updates ought to simply work, with no extra tinkering wanted. However we now have help available in case, supplied by the individuals at Made Tech that truly constructed it.

This isn’t completed – and we’d love your assist

We’ve already discovered an terrible lot whereas constructing this product. As we’ve talked about, we’ve discovered that quite a lot of the prevailing assumptions about what makes a great repairs service want difficult based mostly on what the person analysis reveals us.

Magnets on a metal wall spell "Made Tech woo funky lab"

However on the similar time, this product isn’t completed, and it by no means can be. We’re fairly positive the product because it stands may help councils across the UK, however we need to hear from as many individuals as potential about how it may be improved to raised meet the wants of native authorities and their residents.

One space nonetheless up for dialogue is the potential for eliminating logins, which we’ve completed within the product because it now stands. There’s quite a lot of proof to help this determination, as logins create a barrier to entry that turns some customers away.

We’ve heard some arguments towards, and the assumptions behind these are potential areas for additional person analysis. However that is an space the place we’re eager to listen to from extra individuals, so please do come to have a chat with us. 

One other function we’re fascinated with is picture uploads. There’s some proof that letting residents snap a fast picture of the issue to add with their report may help native authorities precisely diagnose the difficulty and scale back the necessity for repeat callouts. We’re testing a prototype in our newest spherical of person analysis.

That is our first SaaS product, however watch this house. Head of Analysis Robin Wyles and crew are laborious at work of their batcave as we converse.

See a demo

We haven’t gotten round to creating a full demo video of the housing repairs product but, as we’ve been doing a little last-minute tweaks. However if you happen to’d like to check out the end-to-end journey, we will leap on a fast name with you to do a stay demo. That method you possibly can ask any questions you’ve, or tell us the place we’re going mistaken (and we’ll put our case on the contrary, if we now have one!) Simply give us a shout by way of the contact form on our housing repairs product web page.

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