Following in the footsteps of other councils (perhaps, a little too closely as My Croydon App is essentially a reskinned version of the apps churned out by My Council Services), it’s encouraging to see Croydon Council looking at better ways to help residents by using devices most of us carry around every day – our smart phones and tablets.
Upon opening My Croydon App, the user is presented with an uncluttered interface couched in palettes of Council-ratified mauve with a very clear call-to-action in the form of a “New Report” button.
Clicking through leads to simple instructions (“1. Provide us the details…2. Take a picture of the incident…3. Tell us where it is” – simples), before being presented with a drop-down menu of pre-loaded problems – blocked drains, abandoned vehicle, dead animals… – to select from and a request to upload a photo from the location.
Geo-location quickly isolates where you are when using My Croydon App and tags your pictures, meaning you don’t have to arduously type in your location address to the letter (very useful if you’re reporting an incident from an unfamilar area). Other plus points include overlayed instructions for the novice (“double-tap to zoom in”) on some screens, which are helpful for those who are new to using services such as this from their phone.
If you’re particularly fleet-fingered, the whole process of selecting a problem, keying in a further written description, taking a photo and adding a location takes under three minutes. Or about three times as long as it would take to irately tweet @YourCroydon with a photo attachment. Or one hundred times faster than actually trying to contact the right person at the Council by phone.
(Un)Fortunately, since I live in Croydon South, in a Conservative-ward, in election year, my streets are as spotless and unblemished as a Hallmark card, meaning I was unable to follow-through with the entire experiment by actually taking a photo of the some street detritus and then submit it.
Once they receive a submission from My Croydon App, the initial response offered by the council in the digital world is the same as it ever was, with a promise to look into the matter “within five working days”.
Coming to Croydon
- STDLCC Screening: Wolf Children, Jan 6
- STDLCC Screening: Museum Hours, Jan 13
- “Croydon Communities Consortium” meeting, Jan 14
- Norwood Society talk, Upper Norwood Library, Jan 16
- STDLCC Screening: The East, Jan 20
- STDLCC Screening: Winter Nomads, Jan 27
- Steve Knightly at Stanley Halls: Feb 5
- Purley Swimathon: Feb 8 and 13
- Norwood Society talk, Upper Norwood Library, Feb 20
- Norwood Society talk, Upper Norwood Library, Mar 20
- Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough – 262,183 page views (Jan-Jun 2013)
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