Derby council tenants can use mobile phones to access new website
DERBY Homes has become one of the first housing organisations in the country to adapt its website for mobile phones in an effort to make it easier for customers to pay bills and access information.
The organisation, which manages and maintains housing on behalf of Derby City Council, said currently a fifth of all visits to its website are made via mobile phones.
But the large site can be difficult to view on the small handsets. So ThisIsMEDIA was brought in to simplify the layout of pages and make them easy to navigate from a phone.
The aim is to make it easier for tenants to pay bills, report repairs and deal with other issues at any time of the night or day.
Maria Murphy, director of housing and customer service, said that was particularly important as welfare reform changes and housing changes were being introduced by government.
She said: "What we have done will help people self-serve and access services 24/7. They will be able to get the same level of service but in a different way which will allow an awful lot more tenants to do things and report issues when they remember and when it suits them."
David Morgan from ThisIsMEDIA, based in Mansfied Road, said: "This was designed to give customers a good experience of the website. A lot of older tenants are now getting smartphones because they are more affordable than computers and can be used for making calls as well, so more and more people are accessing information through these devices."
The company worked with users of the website to make it suit their needs, removing pictures so it loads more quickly and changing numbers from 0845 ones which are not free from a mobile, to local numbers which are free on most mobile phone contract price plans.
And to make it easy for people to get on to the website, the company also created a "QR" code. They look a bit like a barcode and smart phones can scan them. Once they are scanned, it loads straight to the Derby Homes site. The codes have been put onto various signs around the city to make it easy for people to access the site.
Dennis Rees, tenant board member, said: "We will use this site and then we can get people to report any issues they have with it to make sure it is running properly."