Supriya Kalidas
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Oakland Rent Adjustment Program

The Rent Adjustment Program is the City of Oakland’s main mechanism for resolving disputes between property owners and renters. Approximately 70 percent of Oakland’s estimated 100,000 rental units are currently covered under the RAP. Tomorrow Partners was brought on to design an online application portal and information site to help the RAP transition from a paper-based process to an online one. Link to RAP website.

Role / UX research, Sitemap & Wireframing of the Informational site, Visual Design    
Creative Direction / Gaby Brink    Team / Lisa Baird, Sharon Kong, Kirill Mazin, Jason Durgin


 
The new online petitioning process now available on our improved website is an important step in delivering on our promise to make our local government more responsive and agile in meeting the needs of this community.
— Mayor Libby Schaaf, Oakland
 


UX Research and Synthesis
During the design research phase we spoke to several internal and external stakeholders in order to gain a deeper understanding of the petition process from both the perspective of the petitioner as well as employees of the RAP and the hearing officers who administer the decisions. We found the case workflow to be extremely complex, and the biggest revelation of the research synthesis was that there wasn't enough conflict resolution in place in the current mechanism. We learned four important themes that we needed to address in the design: 

  • Universal access is critical
  • Website also needs to be a knowledge portal
  • Process transparency is paramount
  • Safety & security builds trust in the system
 
Internal Stakeholder interview: RAP Hearing officer

Internal Stakeholder interview: RAP Hearing officer

Internal Stakeholder process exercise

Internal Stakeholder process exercise

External stakeholder: Landlord, Property Manager

External stakeholder: Landlord, Property Manager

Early sketch of petition workflow by Sharon Kong

Early sketch of petition workflow by Sharon Kong

Synthesis of research and interview findings

Synthesis of research and interview findings

Internal stakeholder workshop exercise

Internal stakeholder workshop exercise

Early sketch of the sitemap

Early sketch of the sitemap

Petition workflow diagram

Petition workflow diagram