What is this?

BESEN is a fictional app that aims to clean up Berlin. It is based on the official Berlin Ordnungsamt App.

The hypothesis of our redesign is simple, but effective:

So far BESEN it just an idea. But it could be easy to make it happen.

Why did you do this project?

Basically, we did this just for fun. There is no money or fame involved. But we had three things in mind that motivated us:.

1. The official app to remove litter in Berlin works surprisingly well.

Berlin is a dirty city. Somehow, it became a standard behavior to dump your litter on the streets. As one way to address this, the city offers an official way to report litter via the app of the „Berlin Ordnungsamt“ (the municipal order office). This process works great. Once you report a piece of litter, it is usually removed within a few days.

The city’s official app Ordnungsamt-Online

2. The app supports dozens of topics, but most users just want to report litter.

The Berlin Ordnungsamt-App lets users submit reports on a variety of topics – from broken traffic lights to noise complaints – litter is just one of them. We analyzed the reports in the app for two months (October and November 2019) with a surprising result: More than 80% of the reports are about litter. This insight made us confident that a more dedicated experience would make things easier for users. And Berlin cleaner a city.

You can check out our research data here. It is based on the numbers available at OrdnungsamtOnline.

Update: We were contacted by the city and were told that the reports which can be found online actually do not represent all reports that are coming in every day. The real number is approx. 600 reports per day. These reports are generated by E-Mail, Fax, Internet, Face2Face, Mail, Telephone and Mobile. So our data is not 100% correct.

3. The current app does not reflect the needs of Berlins international population.

In many Berlin neighborhoods you hardly hear people speak German any more. As the city becomes more and more international an official app that expects you to know words like „Bauschutt“ (demolition waste) feels a bit out of time. So we made BESEN available in English and use a simple language to speak to as many users as possible.

Besen is available in English and German.
Besen is available in English and German.

How hard would it be to actually build BESEN?

In fact, not very hard. We tried to stick as closely as possible to the city’s existing process – there are no functional changes necessary to the existing main app. BESEN is just a nicer and more focused way to access its main use case.

Do you want to the city to pay for your idea?

No. If the city of Berlin wants to realize BESEN we are more than happy to donate our idea.

Who are you?

Besen is a project by Nils Steinert and Philipp Schiedel.

Special Thanks to Johannes Schwaderer, Joachim Kerkhoff and Luke Leighfield for helping out with text and video.

BESEN supports the ideas of FixMyBerlin and CleanUpTravekiez.

How can I support this idea?

Share and tell your friends and the officials!