Digital Customer Portal - the journey so far



It's been an hectic yet rewarding few months in the Digital Customer Portal Team here at Blackburn with Darwen.  Having only just had training on our new low code Digital Portal system, we were asked to stand up a brand new service in response to Covid in a matter of days.  Fast forward 3 months and that new service, the Help Hub, has been through three iterations of change and is now an established service that will continue to support local people in the Borough. 

Oh, and we've also pushed out digital applications for Business Grants, Discretionary Grants; redesigned our website homepage and launched a full end to end booking system for Household Waste Recycling Centres! We've certainly been busy, but that's good, as we are playing our part in delivering safer services for our citizens. 

What've we learnt? 

  • That we work best when we work as a team on one piece of work - Agile.
  • That quality services can be stood up quickly when people have a common goal – collaboration is key
  • Forming relationships with people you've never worked with before can be hugely rewarding and enjoyable
  • To be open to feedback, learn from others and keep making iterative improvements to services
  • That there's some amazing work being done across the Public Sector that we can tap into being part of the Local Digital Declaration

What’s next for the team? 

Our Product Backlog is extensive, and growing by the day, as the DCP becomes the Council's first port of call for external interaction with citizens. Our next pieces of transformational work though will focus on waste processes and moving our Waste Rounds onto our new Digital Portal.  This will include lots of user research and UX.  Alongside this we will also be designing and creating a new customer account that will be launched later in the year. And, we will revisit the Local Declaration Principles that we signed up to in February 2019 to keep checking back that these underpin everything that we do.

We will be promoting our programme of work internally through our Vision Video which provides an excellent summary of what we want to achieve here at Blackburn with Darwen (thanks to Stockport who shared their scribe file with us )



By Laura Crabtree on 16th Jul 2020
Laura Crabtree is a Service Design Manager at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.