Weeknote — 2020-04-17

Local plans

What are we thinking about?

We’ve had a busy start to the project, building up our domain knowledge in a complex area and designing and testing a prototype to get feedback from local authority users.

Our focus on the prototype has been on an ‘exemplar page for local plan information’. This has been invaluable in understanding where there is common language and some of the constraints around standardisation. Local plans necessarily respond to local needs, and the flexibility in their production is a strength of the system. This strength makes standardisation challenging. The thing we’ve heard most clearly in this first sprint is the need to ‘get the level right’. Too detailed and it won’t work for local plan making. Too high level and it is meaningless as a standard.

We’re just coming to the end of our first two-week sprint, so we’re thinking about the experiments to run for our remaining two sprints. The brief is to explore data standards around timetabling of local plans, and data standards for the policies held within them. In the complicated world of local plan making, we need to make sure the experiments we plan help to directly meet this brief.

What have we done in the last week?

  • We held a session with three local authorities to validate our thinking around domain modelling and to research some aspects of local plan making
  • During a co-design session with MHCLG and local authorities, we created ideas for a prototype
  • Debs designed three pages of an ‘exemplar local plan page’ prototype
  • We tested the prototype with three local authorities on Friday

What are we planning to do next?

  • We’re analysing the feedback from the prototype session and identifying areas and ideas to design and test around
  • We’ll be holding our first show and tell on Tuesday at 3pm - if you want to join then get in touch at alex.yedigaroff@dxw.com
  • We start our third sprint on Wednesday. We’ll plan exactly what we want to test so that the design process can continue and we’ll be ready to test with users next week.

Who is on the team?

  • Debs Durojaiye (designer, dxw)
  • Samantha Opara (user researcher, dxw)
  • Alex Yedigaroff (transformation manager, dxw)
  • Richard Crawley (planning expert, PAS)
  • Stephen Barker (planning expert, PAS)
  • Paul Downey (service owner, MHCLG Digital Land)
  • Sarah Hunt (project lead, MHCLG planning)
  • Andrew Langley (MHCLG planning)
  • Natalie Record (MHCLG Digital Land)