A first-ever UX advisor
for planning


An archaic planning system holds communities back. Government-funded innovator Future Cities Catapult asked us to help overhaul the process and its outcomes. We created a functioning prototype in four weeks.

We’re very impressed by Else’s approach and look forward to working with them to bring design thinking expertise to the work we’re doing.

Head of Projects, Future Cities Catapult

Next-generation planning tools

From viability studies to neighbourhood plans and local authorities under pressure to use space, the planning process is an untidy business that dictates the future of our urban spaces. How do you resolve the conflicting workflows of planners, developers, consultants, and often, their clashing goals? 

We were tasked with disrupting the planning system to showcase what digital innovation, urban data and user-centred design could contribute to building better cities. Our response featured UI heatmaps to identify and overcome common problems.

A better picture for UK cities

At the core of this solution is a new visual way to manipulate data that’s a huge time saver for planners – imagine overlaying the percentage of nearby affordable housing, number of schools or GP practices. 

Planning applications can now be gauged against viability and adjusted at pace. Once submitted, progress can be seen at a glance, with alerts for developer managers and other stakeholders speeding up response times.

Potential impact

  • A fairer system where planners and developers can view ‘the big picture’
  • More considered applications and approvals that factor local and national issues
  • A connected digital process to apply, track progress and solve problems
  • Greater understanding of the impact of land use in real-time
  • Significant costs savings as bureaucracy evaporates

Change starts with a conversation

Let's get started