Socitm Insight’s 15th annual Better connected survey of local authority websites will be published at 8.00am tomorrow, 1st March.
by John Fox
The purpose of our report has always been to highlight and share good practice for the benefit of the millions who every month use council websites across the UK. Sharing best practice is essential at the current time when money, skills and resources are in scarce supply. Better connected provides a benchmark of what can be achieved, and, more importantly, clear guidance on how to get there.
A team of reviewers has carried out a structured survey with 224 questions for local authority websites, followed by a series of shorter surveys on specific topics. This research has been supplemented by additional sets of data, supplied by partner organisations.
- 37 councils have achieved four star ranking. This compares with 23 last year, of which 16 have retained their four star ranking.
- 13 four star sites have also met the new mobile standard, in total 67 sites passed this standard.
This year’s annual report identifies current good practice in the on-going development of task-based, customer-oriented websites using extensive evidence obtained through research. It has more content than ever devoted to guidance on good practice, examples of good practice, and top websites to visit.
Most councils achieve the Better connected standard for over half the top tasks assessed. The tasks that give the greatest difficulty are ‘Object to planning application’, because it relies on third party software that is either not easy to use or poorly integrated, and ‘Find out about my councillor’.
What’s new in Better connected 2013?
- Inclusion of results from our mobile survey into the star ranking
- Full analysis of customer journey for 10 new tasks that we have not previously analysed
- Early feedback from first month of special mobile extension to our Website take-up service
- First survey into evidence of digital engagement with website visitors
- Commentary on Government Digital Strategy related to Better connected
How to access the report tomorrow
You will be able to access the full Better connected 2013 report if your organisation has renewed its Socitm Insight subscription and you are personally registered on the Socitm website. See note below if your organisation does not subscribe.
The report can be accessed online from 8.00am on Friday 1st March at www.socitm.net/betterconnected.
Headline results will be tweeted tomorrow by @Socitm, @x333xxx, @prettysimple, @lamornaspry and @helenewilliams. The hashtag for 'Better Connected 2013' is #SocitmBC
Non-subscribing organisations will be able to access the following information about Better connected 2013 via www.socitm.net/betterconnected:
- the headline results
- the press release
- information about top tasks surveyed
- reviewers' comments on web presentation of housing, children's services, libraries, planning, adult social care, democratic services, and waste & recycling
John Fox is a Better connected reviewer