User Research with Keep Tidy Volunteers


The Digital Team are working on the transfer of street cleansing processes from BwD’s old customer platform to the new Digital Customer Portal (DCP). This gives us an ideal opportunity to redesign online forms and back office processes for requests and reports that are raised for litter bins and street cleaning.

The Future

New functionality will allow us to show the user maps, that will have details of the cleaning rotas, so reports don’t need to be raised if we are due to attend that area within the next few days. Street Cleaning Operatives will also be given mobile devices which will provide them with details of areas and bins to be cleared as well as giving the details of their normal routine work.

Who better to ask about what this service should look like than some of the volunteers that assist the Council and work tirelessly for the borough.

Keeping BwD Tidy

The Digital Team have followed both Keep Blackburn Tidy and Keep Darwen Tidy groups on Facebook for a while with interest. The team have been chomping at the bit for an opportunity to meet with some of the ambassadors and do some real user research in this area, and that time had come!

4 meetings were held with various volunteers from across the groups, mostly virtual and 1 meeting was held face to face (obviously socially distanced).

It soon became apparent that what you need to contact the Council about as a volunteer is massively different from the sort of issues a customer would engage about.

A customer advises the council of a litter bin that is overflowing or a back street that needs cleaning. A volunteer actually does this work and then asks for the Council to remove the bagged waste.

Facebook post
Facebook post

All sorts of issues were covered in the meetings and every bit of feedback or comment was written down to take back to the table.

The Digital Team learned lots about the life of a volunteer and what “good” would look like to them. As a Council BwD want to embrace groups like this to build our services for the better with users at the centre of everything we do.

Watch out for our next blog on The Next Steps in Our User Research Journey

By Joanne on 25th May 2021
Lead Service Designer in Digital & Business Change