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LocalGov Digital

SocITM confirms top tasks for Better Connected

SocITM has confirmed the tasks it will review as the basis for it’s annual survey of local government websites, Better Connected 2014.

The survey is carried out by a group of reviewers who attempt the set of tasks as well as scoring sites on usability and accessibility in order to provide examples of good practice and a benchmark across the sector.

The list of customer journeys set to be tested for the 2014 report are set out on the SocITM website. Several tasks will also be assessed separately for usability when accessed from non-desktop devices.

As the 2014 tasks were confirmed Carl Haggerty, Chair of LocalGov Digital steering group and Digital Communications Manager – Strategic Lead at Devon County Council, said: “We know that many digital practitioners in local government are under pressure to maintain or improve on the website ratings given in the SocITM Better Connected report.

“While we understand these pressures we urge all digital practitioners, senior managers and council leaders to be mindful of taking only the headline figures and remember this review is most useful for highlighting examples of good practice.

“We urge a user-centred approach to designing and delivering digital services and encourage digital practitioners not to spend inordinate time optimising specific tasks ahead of the SocITM review, purely to secure a star rating.

“As a network we are also aware that not all council’s have been able to afford SocITM subscriptions in the current economic climate and so will not benefit from the good practice shared in the report.

“As LocalGov Digital seeks to share knowledge between practitioners and raise skills and aspirations across the sector several free resources will be published from our initial year of work. These include content guidelines and content governance advice as well as usability tool to test all tasks a council website may include.”

SocITM will carry out their review on council websites between October and December with the report available to SocITM Insight subscribers at the start of March 2014.

There is more information and discussion around the report in the Web Improvement Community on KHub.