Sunday, April 13, 2008

BPN 1067 Dutch government needs to adapt their websites

Internet users use the medium without criticism and proper searching skills. The government should take notice of the internet behaviour of its constituents. That is the conclusion of the researchers of the University of Twente. This is their first survey for the government on the behaviour of internet users. This survey has been done before by the national Centra Statistics Bureau (CBS) and SPC with questionnaires. For the University of Twente survey people were asked to behind a computer for a test of 1,5 hour, covering nine extensive assignments.

The research concentrated on four types of skills. The respondents did not have any problems with the operational skills how to use the buttons. The respondents succeeded for eighty percent of the assignments. Also the formal skills, orientation and navigation during surfing, were okay and the respondents succeeded for 72 percent of the assignments. The information skills, searching, selecting and evaluating information, were properly used in 62 percent of the assignments. However 25 percent of the assignments were completed when it came to strategic skills. Respondents had a hard time to reach a certain goal such deciding whether or not to start an appeal against a financial government measure.

The researchers noted that the older people did not have less skills than the younger people. The youngsters were better in operational and formal skills, but in the processing of the information found, the younger people were not significantly better. No difference was found between men and women. There was a difference with regard to highly educated people, who were able to find information and process it.

From the survey it is clear that internet users accept information from internet without criticism. Google was more important as a search engine than the special search government sites. The researchers have recommended that the government should adapt their sites better to the search behaviour of the constituents. They also recommend for better education in the area of information skills.

Blog Posting Number: 1067


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