Thames Valley Housing Association

It’s been a busy week in government digital, with the Sprint Alpha presentation at the start of the week catching everybody up to how far the GDS has got in building their new raft of transactional services. These services are the order of the day; they’re the priority for GDS and for us too: we’ve just started working on an smart new transactional customer service product for Thames Valley Housing Association.

One of the discussions that we have around the office on an almost daily basis is about online customer services: “why can’t they just get it right?”. You’ve been there too, trying to complete an online transaction that should just work, and yet here you are: threatening your computer/the internet/anyone involved with running the site with eternal damnation.

Forced to use shitty online service for remortgage. Only way I can get documents that I have to print. and POST back. *weeps*

— annkempster (@annkempster) July 18, 2013

Online stuff should just work. It should just work on your mobile, on your parents’ windows box, on your mac, on wifi, 3g and without a prescriptive set of requirements for the user. It’s why the GDS spend so much time on transactional services as these things just aren’t optional any more, and they never should have been.

We love building the web that just works. That’s why we’re keen to get to work on this project. We’re working towards an alpha build/minimum viable product with Duncan and I going out to talk to residents and staff about user needs.

This is a really exciting project for us and we’re really keen to show how we work, so we’ll be sharing our insights and progress here as we iterate the website and include more features. We’re going to keep talking to users, we’ll be following the service design manual and above all, we’re going to build services that just work.

Image credit: Oregon State University – flickr