Calderdale has one of the most user friendly council websites in the UK.
According to a survey reviewing how usable council websites are, the council’s site is one of the best in the UK, with top marks of four stars.
The Better Connected survey rates the experience of reporting a missed bin and finding out about keeping fit through the site as very good, while paying a parking fine was good. However the experience of renewing a library book was poor.
The site’s navigation, search or A to Z were rated as good while its usability on a mobile was very good.
It also passed the test of whether the site was accessible to people with disabilities.
In comparison, Kirklees was given two stars, with services for reporting a missed bin rated as poor and renewing a library book as unsatisfactory.
In the results, four stars means a very good user experience, three a good one, two unsatisfactory and one a poor experience.
Socitim, a society of IT practitioners in the public sector, has been carrying out the Better Connected survey to check the usability of council websites since 1999.
The surveys look at how easy it is for customers to carry out a series of top tasks, which may be informational (find out about keeping fit) or transactional (pay parking fine). Tasks picked are usually popular or important things people may want to do or find out through the council website.
Reviewers conduct some tests on a smartphone (eg the rubbish & recycling tasks in Better Connected 2015-16), reflecting the fact that nearly half of all visits to council websites are now made from mobile devices.
As well as performance in tasks, the survey evaluates site navigation, search, and A to Z; the degree to which sites are purposed for access from mobile devices; and their accessibility to people with disabilities.