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Better Connected programme update - 22 September 2017

Fri 22 Sep 2017
Vicky Sargent

We recently emailed the following update to our main recorded contact for the Better Connected programme. Please tell us via if you would like to receive updates by email. We will also publish updates across Better Connected and Socitm platforms. Some of the items below are explored in more detail in the blog and in Socitm Insight's September briefing.

Changes to accessibility testing and reporting 2017-18

As part of our ongoing updates to Better Connected processes and practices, we have been working on making it easier for web teams, including those with no in-house developer capacity, to understand and action the reports we produce on our accessibility testing. We have already made the assessment criteria free to view online and have simplified the way we present councils’ individual results. Stage one and stage two testing were introduced last year.

This year, we will streamline scoring to make it easier for web managers to interpret results and understand where their sites present real barriers, as opposed to inconveniences, for people with disabilities. Changes are explained in a blog post on this site, which also links to a document with revised scoring criteria (its in the Web Community on KHub, so login required). Please read the information and use the comment facility for feedback.

Better Connected re-reviews

We have completed a number of Better Connected paid for re-reviews, an option developed following discussion with Better Connected subscribers at Better Connected Live in 2106. Paid-for re-reviews are available for individual tasks including service-based task or the mobile or search/navigation/A-Z tests. New results, including any changes to task scores and the overall site ranking are substituted for the original results on the council’s Better Connected web pages. Feedback from councils that have used the service has been very positive, eg:

We recently had our website re-reviewed as part of the Better Connected process. This was a really useful exercise, as we worked closely with Socitm on vastly improving the customer experience on the mobile responsive version of the site and also on waste content rather than purely an exercise to improve our rating. This forced us to really pay attention to the small details Socitm reviewers had picked up in the first round of testing and our aim now is to maintain the 4 star standard.

Star logos

If your council performed well in Better Connected 2016-17, we can supply three and four star logos to display on your website. Simply email

Encouraging colleagues to visit the Better Connected website

We were pleased to see 18,500 pageviews on the Better Connected website over the six months of peak activity, but we think there could be many more visits, both to the public and logged in pages. We've also noticed significant differences in numbers visiting individual council web pages - from nearly 2000 to fewer than 17. Landing pages are free-to-view, so visits could be from councils' own staff, employees of other councils, supplier organisations, residents, elected members and or other interested parties. We are keen to encourage service managers to view results for planning, social care etc themselves, so please spread the news that anyone from a Socitm Insight subscribing/corporate member council can get access behind the Better Connected login simply by registering (for free) as an individual on the Socitm website.

Briefing on Better Connected

Socitm has just produced a briefing Better Connected: The continuous improvement platform for council web and digital services. Its a useful introductory piece for people new to the programme and also includes a draft list of surveys for next year. Other content includes:

The performance of newly redesigned websites in Better Connected
Accessibility: our approach shows why auto testing is not enough
Using the Better Connected website to get engagement and buy in
Making Better Connected accessibility testing more…accessible
Should Better Connected continue to test councils’ A-Z function?
Meeting the mobile challenge
Four-star sites at 01/09/2017

You can download the briefing from the Socitm website.



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