Since Rock Solid (previously CitySourced) has partnered with the City of Redlands, 65% of its citizen complaints are received through the mobile app. Philip Mielke, interim CIO of Redlands, CA said that the mobile App has simplified the complaint process.

Here are some tips for local governments looking to build an official mobile app. Two IT experts from Redlands, CA and Rancho Cucamonga, CA give some great advice.

1. Keep it simple
Don’t overdo it. The app should mean one thing when you publicize it. Multiple functions may require a separate app or system.

2. Be open to ideas
Engage other departments in the design and functionality of the app.

3. Know your audience
The Internet is accessed more frequently via mobile solutions by people below the poverty line (due to the low initial price point). You’re involving a new group and need to plan your outreach accordingly.

4. Make it relevant
Know what functions and issues are of concern to the community and make your app more than just a problem reporting program.

5. Location, location, location
If your app doesn’t have a spatial component to it and you don’t have an ability to extract GIS information from the app, you’re more than missing the boat — you don’t know where the water is.

6. Data integration
Make sure the mobile app can feed into your existing work order or dispatch systems. You don’t want to waste staff time trying to bridge systems

7. Cross-platform support
Don’t leave two-thirds of your public unable to interact with their local government easily because you decide to only develop on one platform.

Go to the full GovTech article here.

Image courtesy of Jordan McQueen