government-websites

28th February 2011

Phew 44 websites in all, the UK government offers a selection of services and information across the board; whether or not the website is well designed or useable is a debate in itself. Maybe you can decide?

Following a National Audit Office report, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) published a critical review of progress in improving the Government’s internet practices in its 16th report of session 2007/08.

One of the issues the PAC concluded was “one third of all government websites did not comply with government’s own user accessibility standards and all should meet the requisite standards by 2011.” Rather contradictory but vital when some government sites recieve an average over 8 million unique users per month.

Based on satisfaction surveys conducted by the COI on ‘quality of central government websites’ the net visitor satisfaction rating was barely 80%; ease of use as low as 1%, design and content accuracy under 70% and almost one-third didn’t have a search tool.

Personally, considering the amount spent on websites you would expect a much more rich user experience, functionality and accessibility. Let’s take a look at the culprits:

attorney_generals_office

business_link

cabinet_office

civil_service

communities_and_local_government

crown_prosecution_service

department_for_business_innovation_and_skills

department_for_culture_media_and_sport

department_for_education

department_for_environment_food_and_rural_affairs

department_for_international_development

department_for_transport

department_for_work_and_pensions

department_of_energy_and_climate_change

department_of_health

directogv_uk_government

eatwell_food_standards_agency

food_standards_agency

foreign_and_commonwealth_office

forestry_commision

goverment_communications_headquarters

government_equalities_office

hm_revenue_and_customs

hm_treasury

home_office

legislation-national_archives

ministry_of_justice

ministry-of-defence

national_health_service

news_and_information_from_central_to_local_government

number_10

ofgem-office_of_the_gas_and_electricity_markets

ofsted-office_for_standards_in_education_childrens_services_and_skills

research4development-dept-for-international-dev

serious_fraud_office

stabilisation_unit

the_office_of_fair_trading

the_postal_services_commission

transportdirect

uk_statistics_authority

uk_trade_and_investment

I think it’s nice to see that the Cabinet Office, Dept for Business & Skills and NHS Choices have took steps to improve the visitor experience and are more modern than some of the other examples.

For a detailed report of what ‘the survey said’ you can download a report from the Central Office of Information – REPORTING ON PROGRESS, Central government websites 2009/10

What do you think?

About Blueocto

Blueocto is a web design and development company, based in North Tyneside, UK.

We work with sole traders, small and medium-sized businesses.

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