Building Permit Portal
Arlington County homeowners, business owners, construction contractors, architects, and others are required to navigate a complex system of applications, reviews, inspections, and permits in order to build or modify a structure or property. One of the loudest complaints was the long in-person wait times required at every step of this process, as well as the volume of phone calls requesting assistance, not to mention avoidable errors that resulted from poor information and required re-applying and additional visits, and cost.
I led a rigorous investigation into the problems and possible solutions, designing a new website and branding that was ultimately handed off to an outside firm to complete the process and develop and launch the site. Crucial to my work were rounds of in-person interviews and round-tables with likely site users, focusing on their different needs and concerns, to ensure that the final design would serve all of them successfully.
A thorough education about the county's permitting process — including an end-to-end understanding of first contact through final issuance of occupancy permits — was also essential, in order to be sure that the new site could exploit every opportunity to improve the process for users.
Finally, new branding was introduced to more clearly identify the people and resources involved in the processes, separate from other county services.
Once the final designs were accepted by management, I was responsible for briefings and hand-off to the chosen vendor, as well as follow-up design work.