Latest Public Sector News

26.05.17

Almost all council websites now optimised for mobile devices

Almost all local councils have now repurposed their websites to present a responsive or mobile site when accessed on a smartphone.

In a survey conducted in April and May 2017 by Better Connected, who analyse the digital performance of local public services, 89% of councils were found to have optimised their sites to be used on a smartphone.

This is a significant rise over the last two years, as in 2015 only 57% of sites were optimised for mobile, before rising to 80% in 2016.

Reviewers visited all 416 council websites from a smartphone and tested their ease of use, findability of content and whether functions, likes maps, worked on a mobile format.

Making the sites more accessible on mobiles is becoming an increasingly important issue, as data from GOV.UK this month found that desktop visits to its site stood at 51%, down from 54% from the previous year.

Better Connected’s research also found that the highest performing sites worked best from mobiles when they were designed around services with uncluttered home pages, with precise labelling and clear links to sub sections on the home page.

Programme director of Better Connected Vicky Sargent said: “It’s been good to see how quickly councils as a group have repurposed their websites for mobile use.”

She added that the move to better accessibility on mobiles will benefit all website users as a site that performs well on mobile will be uncluttered, simple, and fast to use, from whatever device it is accessed.

“There is some evidence from our surveys that service managers, who are usually responsible for commissioning forms and other software for online service delivery, need to move faster to ensure third party software they procure accommodates mobile users,” she concluded.

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