We are absolutely delighted to have received this award, and are very much looking forward to the next competitions we would like to participate in the next few months!
This app is the result of months of hard work and creativity, shared among our cross-functional teams working in the Digital Studio we set-up hand-in-hand with Bruxelles Fiscalité.
Through this article, we wish to share with you the story that made it come to life. We’ll first walk you through the context behind this project, then move on to explaining our methodology that helped us reach our client objectives.
The social housing market in Brussels is represented across the 19 municipalities via 16 independent Social Housing Companies, which represent around 40.000 housings in total.
This complex landscape brings many challenges for all parties involved. Social housing tenants within the Brussels region face challenges because of a lack of digitalisation, leading to difficulties to easily obtain information (for instance, the status of a repair), .
Also the social housing companies encounter obstacles when offering their services to the tenants due to a high workload, with very often the same kind of questions that are asked again and again
To better support social housing tenants, the housing authority of the Brussels region (SLRB-BGHM) decided to explore the potential of digital technology, with the help of Deloitte Digital.
Our methodological approach
For the development of an appropriate solution we applied our Digital Delivery Model, which consists of a 4-stage methodology based on a combination of Agile and Design Thinking methodologies:
- Capture: Identification of the target audiences and assessment of their needs and challenges via interviews and observations. Exploring the interactions between tenants and their housing companies was of crucial value for the design of the solution;
- Concept: Turning the identified challenges into potential opportunities, and designing a solution around the needs of the social housing tenants;
- Prototype: Development of a clickable prototype to be tested with a test group of target users. Based on the feedback received, the prototype was further improved and eventually resulted in a functional application meeting the user’s expectations and needs;
- MVP and Pilot: After testing whether all features actually work, develop then launch the application on the market.
The Appinest app aims at providing a response to the needs of social housing tenants, as well as social housing companies, through:
- A 24/7 personal and secure service offering for social tenants on the app: Tenants can submit requests for technical interventions and follow up via their phone; consult and easily update their personal information; post announcements to reach out to their community or ask for help from neighbours; consult the news and check their balance due and pay their rent directly via the app. The app offers an inclusive and intuitive design, as the sober interface lets the user focus on the key needs. Discrimination is also avoided by the usage of birds.
- A facilitator for housing companies to improve their ability to support tenants: Appinest reduces the workload by integrating services usually offered at the counter or by phone directly in the app. Tenants also have better access to information (balance, status of service requests etc.), and generally feel more connected to their housing company through the communication channel on the app.
- A consolidated, up-to-date source of information for the regional administration, allowing more transparencies towards the tenants.
In short, Appinest transforms social housing into a social community by providing a central and accessible solution to social tenants, social workers and many others, where connection, interaction and – ultimately – happiness, is key.
Finally, we put together a video to make this story come to life for the IAB Mixx Awards. Have a look, and don’t hesitate to leave feedback in the comment section below.
Feeling inspired? Don’t hesitate drop a line to our team leader, Philippe Delhez. We’ll talk digital, and further explain how our methodology helps us deliver award-winning digital experiences.
Curious to know more about the design process behind Appinest’s visual design? Have a look at our article about emotional design, and how we used it to produce our app’s award-winning user experience.