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Why RingGo Is Hard to Use for F&H Parking Permits

October 28, 2020 5:08 PM

I have had the point made to me reguarly by local residents, and made the point myself to Folkestone and Hythe Parking Services, that the RingGo system used for Resident Visitor Permits is *not* straightforward or easy to use.

However, its not always easy to find an example of WHY that is. Today though, I've been able to, and to brighten the existence of the Parking Services Manager and two Cabinet colleagues by sending them an extensive email detailing it. I know they are grateful. I can sense it.

And I thought I'd put my example here too, in case the email gets lost. The internet can thank me later.

So - first up, at 4pm today, I get a reminder email. Excellent. I approve of those.

Dear Mr Tim Prater,

Permit Type: Resident Visitor Permit permit From: 25/11/2019 To: 24/11/2020

Your Resident Visitor Permit Parking Permit is due to expire at 23:59 on 24/11/2020.

You will need to renew this permit to continue booking sessions for your visitors. Login to https://www.myringgo.co.uk/folkestone-hythe/login to access your account.

Click the renew icon (green arrow) against your application to reach the renewal form. If your details have not changed since your original application simply click 'Next'.

If any of your details have changed, make the relevant amendments and submit.

Once the application has been processed, you will receive an email confirmation. Please contact Parking Services at parking.services@folkestone-hythe.gov.uk if you wish to discuss further.

Kind Regards,

Parking Services

Its right too. It *does* expire next month. And they got my name right. Double tick. Good job. Let's go.

Important note though: this email is to renew my Resident Visitor Permit. This is not my Resident Parking Permit, which is different, but my ability to buy Resident Visitor Parking permits for the next year. Different. Having made that mistake last year *I* know that now, but it is a little confusing. Must remember to renew the Resident Parking Permit later. I'll look out for an email.

However, back to the show. I follow the instructions.

Clicking the login link, I arrive at the login page. Browser even remembers login details. All good.

Ringgo Permit Application Page

I log in.

This brings me to the "Dashboard" page. The instructions say "Click the renew icon (green arrow) against your application to reach the renewal form. If your details have not changed since your original application simply click 'Next'." Dammit. As you can see from two screenshots of the dashboard page, there is no green arrow to follow.

Ringgo Permit Application Page

Ringgo Permit Application Page

However, I'm stronger than that. I place a guess, and follow the "View applications" link under "My permits". Not sure why. Just seemed the closest of the available options.

And on that next page title "My Permit Applications" I've struck lucky. As the message under the header (pretty understated, you'll agree) says:

"Note: You currently have an application which can be renewed. Please click on the green arrow ( in the renew column of the table below to renew and update your permit application."

Ringgo Permit Application Page

Excellent - I'm in the right place. So I just need to click on the green arrow and I'm away… Oh.

You may have noticed: there is no green arrow on that page either, in the "( renew" column (sic) or elsewhere. I guess there will be, soon, but not at the time of sending the email. I therefore can't renew at all as far as I can see.

Now, for my day job, I run a website company that often builds web user interfaces. I also use them a LOT, for a vaety of work, Councillor and personal reasons. I like online systems. However I can't use this system today to renew my permit (at all) and even when that green arrow appears, it's not on the page the email says it will be on, but is instead hidden on a sub page I found by guessing. Can we imagine how a less frequent internet user will feel?

I'd suggest the email needs some reworking, or the dashboard. Possibly both.

I should say however that the RingGo dashboard is *beautiful*. I think its been recently reworked: clean, well laid out, good looking. Almost everything a user needs. Except a green arrow and the ability to renew my permit.

I hope this example of why I rail so often about RingGo *not* being a user friendly system is of assistance to the Parking and Customer Service teams.

I'll now go back to hitting refresh until a green arrow appears…