Municipal Complaint Tracker Sketch

February - 15 - 2013

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As an attempt to figure how systems work when filing complaints with the municipal authorities here, we tried filing a complaint via the website and phone. The online experience didn’t seem satisfactory as we didn’t get a complaint number and couldn’t track the complaint as it probably moved from department to department. On the phone, the experience was a little better and we received a complaint tracking number and we were tolf that our grievance would be redressed within a week. However, on checking our status online after a week on the website it simply informed us that the complaint was “closed.” We had to call again to check and were given another number to call to see why it was “closed”. We tried calling this number but there was no pick-up on the other end.

This got us thinking about what the key features of an effective complaint tracking should be:

First, the person who has filed the complaint should have easy access to the current status of his/her grievance. Second, as the complaint moves through the concerned departments of the service provider, one should know whom to contact if things get stuck (and where they are in the entire process). Third, there should be a simple way to provide feedback for the service received. Finally, the system should also be useful to the service provider by being able to detect inefficiencies and bottlenecks in the system.

Towards this, we made a quick video sketch for a complaint tracking system for what a municipal complaint tracking system could be like.

Users can go to the website and log into their account where they can get easy access to all the complaints they have filed. The tracker, is an interactive visualization of the complaint as it makes its way through the concerned departments step by step. Recently completed steps are in blue and the current step is marked in orange. One call also get an understanding of the entire process along with the estimated time of completion.


At the end of the process, users are provided with an update on the final outcome and the date of completion. They are also able to provide feedback for the service rendered to them to the MCGM.


It should be pointed out here, that this is by no means a solution, but a sketch to think through making. Making this got us wondering about how this system could feed into the administration side of things. So we also made quick mockups of a possible admin complaint tracking panel that we will be using as prompts when we speak to the municipal authorities in the coming weeks.

The interface is designed to integrate with the complaint tracking mechanism shown above and has been based on popular email clients so as to be familiar and easy to use. There are two modes of viewing: an inbox view and a map/graphical view.


The map view inspired by services such as “Fix My Street”, provides an interactive overview where it will be easy to analyse where different kinds of complaints map out in the city. Further, it would also be possible to highlight inefficiencies in the system and detect bottlenecks.



Zubin Pastakia

Zubin is an interaction designer working in Mumbai.

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