Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Office of Management & Finance

Bureau of Technology Services

BTS HelpDesk: 503-823-5199

111 SW Columbia St, Suite 400, Portland, OR 97201

PDX Reporter

image of PDX Reporter appPDX Reporter is the City’s mobile application (“app”) used by members of the community to report problems or service related issues around the City. Unlike traditional methods of reporting by telephone hotlines or web forms, PDX Reporter allows reporting of issues at the time of their discovery given it’s real-time capability. Because of this advantage, mobile apps lend themselves as an ideal channel to report issues when incurred, which removes the onus placed on community members to find the appropriate City hotline or web page, most often at a later place and time.

Supporting both iPhone and Android platforms, PDX Reporter is designed with two principles in mind: ease of use by end users and ease of adoption by City bureau service providers.

The following information provides a brief overview of configuration options for bureaus to consider.


Configurable front-end

PDX Reporter supports both optional and required input fields as determined by bureaus on a per service category or Report Type basis. A Report Type is one of the supported services available through the app, which also allow for bureaus to supply custom splash screen content – specific to the selected Report Type – to address additional information such as bureau or group business hours, alternate phone numbers, etc.

 

TrackIT back-end

PDX Reporter ties seamlessly into the City’s existing workflow system, TrackIT. Either new or existing TrackIT forms can be used. For existing TrackIT instances, only a few additional fields specific to PDX Reporter are activated to complete the communication tie between the City and the app. Updates to the TrackIT form status and/or comments by bureaus are also supported as feedback to the user’s phone device as well.

PDX Reporter supports a combination of required versus optional input fields as determined by the bureaus. By default, only Report Type and Report Location are required inputs, all others are optional. Designating an input field as “required” means the end user cannot submit the report unless the required input field is supplied.

Picture of default interface

Set Photo (input = optional):

Requiring a photo for input may make sense as it does for Graffiti, for example. Requiring it for other categories such as a burned out Street Light (at night) may not make sense.

Choose Report Type (input = required):

The type of report (supported service request) is required so the appropriate bureau service provider can be notified of the request. Report Type naming should be concise, unambiguous and effectively convey the intended purpose to the end user.

Set Report Location (input = required):

Supplied via crosshairs on a map, Report Location is required for all report types to document the location of the issue.

Description (input = optional):

Reports combined with a photo may not require descriptions of the problem, but it is usually a good idea to make this a required input field.

Contact Information (input = optional):
Contact information for the end user is “hardcoded” as optional to keep the perceived usage barriers low. Without contact information, however, PDX Reporter will display a “nag” screen frequently reminding the end user of the need for their contact information. Fortunately, the vast majority of users (over 80%) willingly supply this information as part of their reports.

 

Application Flow

 

Image of application flow

Image of application flow (cont'd)

 

Conclusion

Well over 20,000 PDX Reporter apps have been downloaded from both iTunes and Google Play since its initial release in 2009, resulting in thousands of issues reported and addressed by bureau service providers. Future support for public facing features are likely to include adding more report types based on user requests.

PDX Reporter can also be configured for 'private' use by City bureaus by supporting 'hidden' report types that are only visible on specific device ids (City devices) for bureau only use.

For more information about PDX Reporter, please contact btsphoneapp@portlandoregon.gov