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Small is beautiful or bigger is better


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Analyzing the results of the Norwegian benchmarking system for quality of public websites in the period 2007.2011

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Small is beautiful or bigger is better

  1. 1. Size of Municipalities and Quality of WebsitesSmall is Beautiful or Bigger is Better?- by Svein Ølnes, Western Norway Research Institute (Vestlandsforsking)- ECEG 2013, Como, Italy
  2. 2. www.vestforsk.noBigger is Better!
  3. 3. www.vestforsk.noContent Main question answered Benchmarking systems Method Results Benchmarkings: Whose quality are we measuring?
  4. 4. www.vestforsk.noMain question answered Does quality of municpality websites vary with size? Which underlying factors can explain the observed variation? Whose quality are we really measuring?
  5. 5. www.vestforsk.noBenchmarking systems Norwegian benchmarking system from 2001 all public websites yearly evaluations (expert evaluations) a single set of indicators Denmark: Also since 2001 tried different methods (single set of ind., multiple sets, self eval. gradually moved to more end user involvement 2012 benchmarking accessibility screening + user survey
  6. 6. www.vestforsk.noBenchmarking systems EU’s benchmarking system Conceived at the Lisbon conference i 2000 Until 2012 based on a set of 20 services• 12 services for citizens• 8 services for businesses As the “e-readiness” approached 100 % when measuring the digitalavailability of the 20 services, new approaches had to be found
  7. 7. www.vestforsk.noMethod1. Results from the Norwegian benchmarkings of publicwebsites (municpality part) 2007 – 20112. A survey to web administrators (of the same websites asabove)3. A broad citizen survey conducted in 2009/2010
  8. 8. www.vestforsk.noNorwegian benchmarking system 2007-20112007 2011No. of ind. Max score No. of ind. Max score1. Accessibility 11 27 11 282. Usability 14 37 12 303. Useful services 7 28 10 35Total 32 92 32 93
  9. 9. www.vestforsk.noNorwegian benchmarking system (2013)1. Accessibility 13 indicators, max score 36 points Example: Ind. 1.11 – Correct use of HTML2. Usability 8 indicators, max score 28 points Ind. 2.2 – The website is functional also with mobile devices3. Useful services 9 indicators, max score 39 points Example: Ind. 3.7 – The website has published open data
  10. 10. www.vestforsk.noResults2007 20011 ChangeSmall municipalities (< 5.000) 46,6 58,4 11,8Medium sized mun. (5.000-20.000) 50,7 66,1 15,4Large municipalities (> 20.000) 58,4 72,0 13,6Average, all municipalities 49,5 62,7 13,2
  11. 11. www.vestforsk.noWhat do the webmasters say? What is your knowledge of the quality evaluation system?Small Medium LargeNo knowledge/little knowledge 36 % 15 % 3 %Good/Very good knowledge 59 % 85 % 97 %
  12. 12. www.vestforsk.noWhat do the webmasters say? How easy or difficult is it to understand the quality indicators?Small Medium LargeDifficult/Very difficult 37 % 34 % 13 %Easy/Very easy 58 % 66 % 87 %
  13. 13. www.vestforsk.noWhat do the people say about the qualityof public services? A survey to 30.000 citizens above 18 years Satisfaction with public services (12.659 asked, 6.646 answers) Results: No significant difference in perceived quality of municipality services inrelation to size of municipality Planning and building services and elderly care got higher scores fromcitizens of small municipalities For services like kindergarten and primary school larger municipalitiesscored better than smaller Is it Jakob Nielsen’s first rule of usability? “Don’t listen to the users, whatch them work!”
  14. 14. www.vestforsk.noWhose quality are we measuring? Better quality on public websites and digital public servicesis the objective But whose quality? The end user (the citizen) is too far away and end userquality is not enough taken into account Benchmarking systems like the Norwegian need to be moreuser oriented Usability testing and user surveys should be key parts indeveloping benchmarking systems
  15. 15. www.vestforsk.noEnd of presentationThanks for your attention!Svein Ølnes – sol@vestforsk.noThis presentation: