Citizens use mobiles for a quarter of visits to council websites

Nearly a quarter of visits to council websites are now from mobile devices, according to data from public sector IT managers association Socitm.

The data comes from Socitm’s website take-up service, used by more than 100 local authorities to monitor usage and satisfaction levels in council websites.

The service, which has been running since 2004, collects up to 25,000 surveys a month from council website users, and since January 2013 has run a version of the survey for mobile users (including those using tablets).

The survey detects the use of a mobile device and offers the user a cut-down version of the main website take-up service survey. The questions ask respondents about their main reasons for visiting the site, and whether they were able to achieve what they set out to do on the site.

Data for the first three months of the year suggests that the percentage of visits to council websites from mobile devices is 23 percent. In total, a monthly average of just under 2,000 responses (9 percent of all website take-up survey responses) came from mobile devices.

The data shows that reasons for visiting websites differ for users on the move, with schools/youth (16 percent), rubbish & recycling (15 percent) and leisure (10 percent) the most popular services to use from mobiles.

Planning and council tax are less popular services to access from mobiles, while housing and libraries feature higher in mobile rankings than they do in desktop rankings.

"These results make clear the high level of demand for access to council websites from mobiles,” said Martin Greenwood of Socitm Insight. "They provide new information about the sort of information users expect to be able to access when on the move.

"Councils need to analyse this information carefully in order improve development of their websites for mobile access."

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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