Every year the membership association for public sector ICT professionals, Socitm, produces a report benchmarking the performance of council websites actross the UK. 2009 was a landmark year for Lincoln as it was the first review of our new website; we scored a ranking of “Transitional” “Transactional”, having previously achieved the basic level of “Standard”.
In 2010, we are a non-mover gaining the “Transitional” “Transactional” equivalent of “3 Stars” using Socitm’s new star based ranking system.
One excellent thing that Socitm has done this year is to produce an “open” version of the headline results that I’m allowed to publish publically! That means I can now show a breakdown of Lincoln’s performance across all categories. Here we go (a Yes below shows that we passed that particular subject area):
Common Topic Tests (these benchmark how good the information on our site is for the following):
Jobs – Yes
Library Services – Yes
Schools – Yes
Family History – Yes
Planning – Yes
Rubbish Collection – Yes
Useful content – Does the website have the information that people are looking for?
Information – Do people find answers to their questions? – Yes
Links elsewhere – Are people referred to another organisation if the council does not have the information? – Yes
Currency – Can people rely on the site being up-to-date? – Yes
News value – Does the content capture people’s attention by its newsworthiness? – Yes
E-mail – Can people do business with the council by e-mail? – Yes
Transactions – Can people transact business with the council? – Yes
Participation – Do people have the opportunity to influence council policies and decisions? – Yes
Usability – How easy is the information to find and use on the website?
Use of A to Z list – Can people find their way easily to a specific topic? – Yes
Use of search engine – Does a specific word or phrase generally point people to the information they want? – Yes
Navigation – Can people rely on a clear and consistent style in finding their way around? – Yes
Use of location – Can people find information easily by using a map or postcode (or other similar)? – No
Accessibility – Can people use the site if they have a disability? – No
Resilience – Can people rely on the site to be available and working properly? – No
So there you have it. Obviously we have some work to do on the accessibility side, something I am aware of. I do disagree with their review that we don’t provide interactive mapping as I know plenty of examples on our website…
I’ll open this out to comments – as a user of our site, do you agree with Socitm’s review? If not which of the points listed above do you think we need to look at improving on?